June 20, 2012
Hamptons vineyards have a unique grape-growing advantage: their proximity to the ocean allows for richer soil that holds water better—that’s according to winemaker Roman Roth of Wölffer Estate Vineyard. Roth describes East End wines as being “more elegant” on account of this fact.
With his gorgeous reds, Roth proves that you don’t have to go to Napa for a good pinot noir. He also grows chardonnay, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and cabernet franc on his 50 acres of vineyards, where he makes interesting blends of reds and rosés.
In addition to Wölffer, there are two other Hamptons vineyards that reap the benefits of their marine surroundings, Channing Daughters Winery (Bridgehampton) and Duckwalk Vineyards (Water Mill). And the wines these vineyards produce couldn’t be more distinct from one to the next.
Duckwalk Vineyards has a winery in Southold in addition to its Water Mill location. While the Southold winery attracts more serious oenophiles, its Water Mill sister reels in tasters who just want to relax with a glass of chardonnay. With more than 20 wines, the Southampton White, a blend of cayuga and chardonnay that’s often compared to to Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, is Duckwalk’s fan favorite. The beachy, vintage label doesn’t hurt, either.
At Channing Daughters, partner and winemaker Christopher Tracy leads wine education, with a focus on conducting wine appreciation and knowledge classes for small groups. The wine selection is quite unusual, ranging from clones, a blend of 10 different chardonnay clones, to mosaic, a blend of six different white grapes that Tracy calls, “the expression of the Hamptons wine trail.”
June 19, 2012
With locations in Southampton and Southold (and a third opening soon in Riverhead) and a wholesale client list that includes restaurants such as Almond, Nick and Toni's, and Navy Beach, Blue Duck Bakery is the ultimate Hamptons go-to for artisan bread.
Bypass the cookies, skip the brownies and cakes, and focus on the bread; this is where Blue Duck shines. Rather than soft sandwich breads, here you’ll find crusty loaves with deep scores and tender crumbs—think Parisian, not American. (You buy the bread today, you eat the bread today. No breadbox necessary.) Over 25 different types of bread are baked daily at Blue Duck's Southold location, including the classic French baguette, ciabatta, and yeasty, golden brown Pugliese loaves.
The rye breads are especially notable, namely the Finnish-style sour rye, a sauerkraut rye, and even a pumpernickel rye. For a classic, everyday bread, go for the multigrain baguette, the surface of which comes studded with toasted seeds and grains. When it’s warm from the oven, it’s close to perfection. Slice it up, slather it with butter, and wash it down with a cup of Hamptons Coffee Company Joe, which is served at both Blue Duck locations. For something sweet, opt for the decadent chocolate loaves, buttery croissants, and eggy challah. 30 Hampton Road, 204-1701, Southampton; 56275 Main Road, 629-4123, Southold
—KATHY YL CHAN
June 18, 2012
Almond executive chef Jason Weiner eats his way around New York and East Hampton—from five-dollar shawarma to Pike’s strawberries.
Breakfast with my 4-year-old. Poached egg on buttered toast—Piment d’ Esplette on hers, Sriracha sauce on mine.
Now I’m driving into the city to our 22nd Street restaurant. Stopped at the Manorville McDonalds for a large French fry. Second stop in Manorville: you guessed it, Starbucks. Rice crispy treat and a large (I refuse to use their parlance) iced coffee shaken with one pump of simple syrup.
1:00 PM to 11:00 PM
I’m in the restaurant now, so it’s a random assortment of nibbles and tastes; a combination of quality control and a manifestation of an oral fixation. Specifically, but not necessarily in this order, I had smoked blue fish, polenta ravioli, merguez, grilled asparagus, fontina fonduta, green goddess dressing, fava beans, chocolate-peanut butter baked Alaska, mignonette, oil-cured tuna, bresaola, and basil oil.
‘Mixed with Yellow Rice and Everything’ from the Halal cart on the corner of 30th Street and Fifth Ave. It’s equal parts lamb shawarma and grilled chicken thigh, chopped and served on saffron rice with a piece of falafel, pickled okra, julienne jalapeno, grilled peppers and onions, an identifiable white sauce, and hot sauce—all for five bucks. It’s easily the best in the city, as evidenced by the double and triple parked cabs and Lincoln Town Cars. Not only is it an amazing deal, the execution is always spot-on. These people really care.
Back home in East Hampton and… score! There are leftovers from dinner. My wife’s a pretty sharp cook with good insticts. Not a huge repertoire, but what she does, she does well. Tonight it’s a chicken and chickpea curry with coconut rice. I guess I could microwave it, but I’m not in the mood to wait 45 seconds. For dessert, there happens to be a pint of Jen and Jim Pike’s strawberries.
June 15, 2012
It’s National Lobster Day, so get thee to Clam Bar and dig into this luxurious lobster salad. Chef Brian Mooney handpicks every lobster that the Napeague Stretch seafood shack serves. Loyal to Montauk’s Misty Rose Lobster Boat, Mooney can go through a whopping 300 pounds of lobster a day during the Hamptons high season. For the salad—which is way healthier than a lobster roll, by the way—Mooney dresses his lobster simply with mayo, celery, and a few secret ingredients and serves it atop a vine-ripened North Fork tomato with a side of local corn. The best part? Chef leaves plenty of claw and knuckle meat completely intact, no mincing or fine dicing of any sort. 2025 Montauk Hwy., Amagansett, 267-6348
PHOTOGRAPHY BY KATHY YL CHAN
June 14, 2012
If you’re craving all-American comfort food, East Hampton’s The Millers’ BBQ is the joint for you. West of Amagansett, on Pantigo Road, the family-owned restaurant is the perfect pit stop on the way to Indian Wells Beach.
Run by Eric, Marc, and Cathy Miller, the restaurant’s menu includes everything from hush puppies to Texas-style barbecue brisket to hickory-roasted duck from Long Island’s own Crescent Duck Farm. The take-out menu selections are perfect for a lazy day at the beach, and in-home catering is also available. Pack up a pulled pork or spit-roasted chicken sandwich with a side of fresh corn and tomato salad, and a 32-ounce Mason jar filled with homemade citrus-aide and you’re ready to go.
For the ultimate hangover-helper, try the superb bacon-wrapped beef hot dog served with caramelized onions, baked beans, and jack cheese. The Millers’ BBQ is now open Thursday through Sunday until “the kids get out of school” at the end of June. Throughout July and August, the barbecue haunt will open daily from noon to 10 PM. 283 Pantigo Road, East Hampton, 329-1000