September 05, 2012
The best restaurant recommendations don't come from Yelp, they come from trusted friends. As the co-founders of Immaculate Infatuation you can consider us, Chris Stang and Andrew Steinthal, your two best friends. Although we work in the music business by day, we moonlight as amateur dining and entertainment writers. Our goal is to guide you to the perfect New York restaurant for a date night, dinner with the parents, or girls’ night out. During the summer, we do our best to spend as much time as humanly possible out East—mainly Bridgehampton, East Hampton, and Montauk. And while we love the busy pre-Labor Day season, the fall and winter can be equally as charming. So, without further ado, here's a list of our go-to spots during the off-season.
August 30, 2012
For many, Labor Day marks the official end of summer. We’d be remiss if after season’s end we were kicking ourselves for never making it to new favorites like Andrra for spicy calamari, or to standbys like Clam Bar for a piled high plate of fried clams. So on that note, we’ve compiled a summer 2012 foodie bucket list of must-try eats (cocktails, too!). With four days between now and Labor Day, we realize you may have to pick and choose based on your location, so browse the slideshow below, find your town, and start eating. Bon appétit!
August 28, 2012
Tate's chocolate chip cookies are distinctive: perfectly flat, deep caramel brown, speckled with chocolate, and crunchy all the way though. And flavors reach far beyond the classic chocolate chip. There’s oatmeal raisin, double chocolate chip, white chocolate with macadamia nuts, whole wheat chocolate chip, and even a chipless chocolate chip. Aside from cookies, which are sold in just about every Hamptons and NYC market, Tate’s also serves delicious cakes and sweets, which are exclusive to its Southampton bakery. Here are a few of our favorites.
Apple Walnut Cake: A hearty snack served in large rectangular wedges. It’s the sort of apple cake a grandmother bakes, and serves with tea, of course. The surface is a tad crunchy, with a light sprinkling of sugar, and the plush interior is sweetened with brown sugar, tender chunks of baked apple, and toasted walnuts. It’s perfect for breakfast, dessert, or afternoon tea.
Cream Cheese Brownie: These are a godsend for those who love fudgy brownies. Each dense and decadent square has nearly equal parts semisweet chocolate brownie and cream cheese topping. The cream cheese is generously swirled into the batter and the best bites are where chocolate and whipped cream cheese meet.
Marie Antoinette Cake: This colorful and extravagant confection lives up to its name. From bottom-to-top, layers go like this: buttery yellow cake, raspberry jam, raspberry buttercream, über-moist chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, and a final layer of yellow cake. The whole thing is covered in vanilla butter cream and topped with a marzipan and apricot glaze. Cake crumbs and almonds are pressed into the sides to fully dress the cake.
—KATHY YL CHAN
August 23, 2012
Tucked into a quaint block of East Hampton Village mews, Rowdy Hall has been a longtime local favorite since it first opened in 1996. A true neighborhood gem, it’s a cozy spot for a family meal before catching a film, or a solo lunch seated at the bar. Courtyard seating is available during the warmer months, while the fireplace often roars in the off-season.
What to order now at Rowdy Hall? Well, it’s tomato season! Recent additions to the lunch starters include a local Balsam Farms heirloom tomato salad with roasted red onions, basil pesto, and ricotta salata, as well as a classic wedge salad with Applewood smoked bacon, plum tomatoes, and blue cheese.
New sandwiches like the heirloom tomato and avocado sandwich on multi-grain bread with sprouts, hummus, and a side of vegetable quinoa salad; grilled tuna with salsa verde; and rock shrimp po’boy are now served alongside the famous Rowdy burger—aka the perfect hangover cure.
For the more sophisticated clientele, a “sipping menu” of six liqueurs is featured daily and includes Venezuela’s Diplomatico Reserva rum, the Italian brandy-based citrus- and vanilla- infused Tuaca, and Johnnie Walker Green, a blend of fifteen year malts.
Rowdy Hall is open year-round seven days a week, serving lunch from noon to 3:30 PM and dinner from 5 to 11 PM. An abbreviated menu is offered between lunch and dinner. 10 Main St., East Hampton, 324-8555
August 22, 2012
As panna cottas go, Little Red’s rendition is a supple and milky success. It’s fragrant, freckled with vanilla beans, and bedded on loose, housemade caramel sauce, which is just the tiniest bit smoky. You'll want an espresso on the side.
But seeing as there are only a few weeks of summer left, you might be temped to take advantage of Little Red’s seasonal sweets. The strawberry shortcake is served with a still-warm tarragon biscuit and bounty of local strawberries. Instead of whipped cream, the dessert boasts whipped crème fraîche—which makes it all the more luxurious. (Why does anyone bother with cream when there’s crème fraîche?)
And then there's the fresh lemon tart. The filling is classic curd, but the crust has a nutty cornmeal crunch. More sinful is the dark chocolate marquise—two wedges of pure chocolate ganache with candied hazelnuts and ripe raspberries. 76-C Jobs Lane, Southampton, 283-3309
—KATHY YL CHAN