Hamptons living – where to eat and drink out east this summer (hurry, before the summer ends!)
East Hampton: Easily one of the best villages in the Hamptons, East Hampton boasts a variety of dining options for all hours of the day from brunch to mid-day sugar filled snacks like ice cream and crepes to happy hour cocktails and fabulous dinners. Moreover, the main street in East Hampton has some of the cutest shops you have ever seen including Intermix, Restoration Hardware, Ralph Lauren and many others, everything looks so quaint and lovely. It’s so hard to window shop and not want to buy it all! (Luckily most of the shops close around dinner time so buzzed shopping is not a dangerous option!)
Anyway, some of the top crowd pleasers in this beautiful part of the Hamptons include:
1770 House: an excellent dining option attached to a boutique hotel that makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time and are about to dine with Martha Washington at one of her many residences. (Back in the late 1700s bars were always connected to bunkers for men to retire to a bed after a few pints, but I digress). Whether you chose to sit at the tavern, in the main dining room or outside in the garden area, you won’t be disappointed. The wine list is excellent, and the menu boats many excellent local farm to table and sea to table options like local fluke and striped bass to Hudson Valley foie gras and a variety of local cheeses. Be sure to check out their dessert options too! (Pictured below: scallops and roasted natural chicken).
For happy hour, check out Blue Parrot. Their dirty bird margaritas will you on you ass. No joke. They come frozen and, on the rocks, and should also come with a side of an Uber ride home…their guacamole is fantastic too.
These others are not walkable to the downtown area, but only about a 5-minute drive:
Bostwick’s Chowder House: an excellent place for lunch or dinner, this place is always jam packed. Be prepared to wait at least 20-30 minutes on peak hours for a table, but it’s worth it! Hopefully the weather is nice, and you can sit outside on their high-top tables and enjoy some of their famous fish tacos, a delightful lobster roll, or a cup of their fantastic chowder. Their tacos are on the expensive side, but the fish is exceptionally fresh and the two tacos they give you per order are large and very filling. Apparently, they’re set up in the town as a take away only restaurant, so you must be your own waitress (so to speak) by writing everything down on a sheet of paper and handing it to the actual waitress. (At least you know they can’t possibly mess up the order!) Grab a beer and some tacos and plan to kick back, relax, and stay awhile!
11 Madison Park Summer House: this pop-up restaurant has bestowed its presence in the Hamptons the past two summers and we can only hope this amazing place continues to stay open next summer as well. The ambiance and service are outstanding, and the food and cocktails will knock your socks off. Furthermore, the restaurant really caters to everyone. If you’re looking to have a nice, romantic dinner, they have an upscale dining room towards the front of the restaurant. If relaxing and having a cocktail or two is on your agenda, they have a back room with couches and a more relaxed atmosphere; and if you’re looking to have a beer with friends and chill out, they have a fabulous, large backyard area with picnic tables, lawn chairs, and games like cornhole, and bocce. Many of the staff out here travels from the 11 Madison Park restaurant in NYC so you can expect superb cocktails, food, and service. Give their blueberry cobbler a go when you’re here, you could swear they sourced the blueberries from the closest farm a stone throws away.
East Hampton is also home to Citarella, the adorable NYC based grocery store that has a fabulous prepared foods section, beautiful fresh fish options and cheese from all over the world. One step in this store and you’ll be calling to cancel those dinner reservations!
Amagansett: a 5-7-minute drive East of East Hampton is Amagansett. Its downtown is small and quant, and includes a few dining options, bike rentals, local farmers market and the train station a clock away. Be sure to take a ride around as you will see some spectacular elaborate houses a few blocks from the beach. Here are a few worthwhile dining options in this adorable, upscale town.
Wolffer Kitchen (also located in Sag Harbor): if you’ve been to the vineyard (which should 100% be on your list of things to do when visiting the Hamptons), you should swing by this adorable eatery for brunch or dinner. The restaurant is in a cute courtyard and boasts shaded outdoor seating overlooking the square. The wine list features wines from Wolffer Estates and other local Long Island vineyards as well as other American producers. The menu has some delicious and unique options to choose from and the ambiance is both trendy, and casual with a summer ‘spunk’ to it. The New York Times said the restaurant had both style and substance and called their experience ‘quite impressive’.
Montauk: if you’ve never been to Montauk, you are clearly missing out! Montauk has this relaxed, chill, surfer-esque vibe similar to Long Beach California or Hawaii. The main town is a 5-minute walk from the beach and boasts casual dining options and picnic table seating in many establishments. It’s almost the anti-Hamptons area of the Hamptons. Although it’s the furthest point out in Long Island, it’s well worth the drive. Be sure to stop at the following place on Montauk Road on your way out…
Lobster Roll: an iconic, historic landmark that has been around since the 1960s and where they film the tv show, the Affair, this place is a must on your way to Montauk. Some people call it a tourist trap, but I say how the heck can you pass up a jam-packed lobster roll and a local beer or Pina Colada in the summer? The ambiance is casual and has a fun nautical 1960s feel to it. It’s also a wee-bit tacky, but that’s what gives it such character. Lobster roll prices are very reasonably priced overall and hey, if lobster isn’t your thing, they have a wide variety of other options to choose from.
Sag Harbor: on your way to/from Shelter Island and Greenport, be sure to check out this adorable town on the water. It’s well worth a stop for lunch or a quick glass of rose. Make sure to take a stroll past the dock and check out all the nice boats too!
Dockside Bar & Grill: nice, casual eatery located right on Bay Street that has outdoor tables for people watching or gazing off into the bay, a nice relaxed bar area and a casual indoor area for grabbing a quick sandwich or local beer. The staff is friendly, and the ambiance is not the least bit pretentious. Give the guacamole or lobster and avocado spring rolls a try!
Greenport: If you find yourself with some spare time and feel like exploring a bit (and you have a car), take the ferry to Shelter Island and Greenport. (Yes, your car, motorcycle and/or bus can all go on the ferry). Greenport has many shops and eateries right off the ferry, as well as a cute little vineyard about 1.5 miles from the ferry.
Port Restaurant: how can you go wrong with a restaurant that’s right on the water, has indoor and outdoor seating, an outdoor bar and happy hour from 5-7pm? Assuming you come with a group, give their spicy margarita or sparkling rose sangria pitchers a go. It’s quite a large pitcher and believe me, you won’t be disappointed. If lobster is your thing (who doesn’t love lobster)…get the lobster roll. They’re jam packed with meaty lobster and very filling!
Kontokosta Winery: less than a 2-mile ride from town is Kontokosta winery. It’s a small, but charming winery and the wine isn’t bad! They offer a variety of snacks from cheese to olives.
No Hamptons trip is complete without a trip to Sagaponack, especially if you’re a wine drinker. Wolffer Estate winery and wine shop should be #1 on everyone’s list when visiting the Hamptons. Wolffer Estates Rose is quite ubiquitous at this point. It seems almost every liquor store in New York and New Jersey carries this rose in the summer time. Anyway, make sure you make a reservation as tables fill up very quickly on the weekends. Inside you’ll find a massive room with ornate windows overlooking the vineyard and high ceilings with rustic chandeliers. There’s a small bar with high top tables and some couch seating along with a wine shop, which then leads out to a covered patio overlooking the vineyard. If the weather is nice, outdoor tables are also available right next to the extensive vineyard. The vineyard does select wine tours throughout the day. Another option if the vineyard is too crowded is their wine shop right down the road.