Guide to The Hamptons
My Favorite Restaurants
The Beacon is where I think of when I think of summer dining on the East End. Located right on the marina and with a front seat to the sunset over the water, it’s totally dreamy. I always order a ruby red margarita and whatever the special fish is that evening.
The Dock House on the wharf in Sag Harbor is our go-to spot for fried seafood. Ryan always gets the fried clam strips and I have fried flounder. Bonus: they have waffle fries! Sometimes we get it to go and walk over to one of the picnic tables by the water. Can’t beat it.
Bell and Anchor is under the same ownership as Beacon. We like to go on Sunday nights for the $1 oyster special. They serve Montauk Pearl oysters, which are small, sweet, and my personal favorite. Once Ryan ate 48, yes 48, oysters.
My spot for pizza in the Hamptons is Pellegrino’s. They have a wood-burning oven and the dough is just the right combination of chewy and crispy. Be sure to get a side of meatballs.
My favorite sandwich in the world is from Provisions, the Tempeh Reuben. Now before you say “tempeh?!” and turn up your nose, let me just tell you that even the pickiest carnivore would like this sandwich. It’s covered in melted jack cheese (or you can get vegan cheese), piled with sauerkrat, and topped with vegan Russian dressing, on buttered and toasted bread. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
The quintessential Hamptons restaurant has to be Nick and Toni’s. It is an institution and for good reason. As much as I want to break out and try something new when I go, I almost always have the same order: fried zucchini chips, their famous roast chicken with pancetta, garlic, and rosemary, and the tartufo for dessert.
When I want to really splurge, I go to Bostwicks and have baked stuffed clams and an order of their fried flounder. The serving of fish is gigantic, enough for two people unless you’re a piggy like me. It’s exactly what you want fried fish to taste like – super light and crispy batter on fresh, flakey flounder.
Ryan and I are big fans of all of the restaurants within the Hillstone group, including East Hampton Grill. The fried oysters are to die for and the burger is probably my number one burger, period the end. Ryan loves their ribs. If I’m feeling healthy, I go for the salmon.
Duryea’s used to be an order at the counter, no frills, picnic tables only, lobster joint. When I first heard that new management was taking over and making it “fancy,” I was disappointed. I thought it could never possibly be as good. While I still miss the old Duryea’s, the new version is way better than anyone could have imagined. The Lobster Cobb Salad is swoon-worthy and so is everything else on the menu. It’s also one of the best spots on all of Long Island to watch the sunset.
I could wax poetic about Buddha Berry all day long. It’s a DIY soft serve frozen yogurt bar with more topping options than I can count – everything from chia seeds to Reese’s cups – and it’s always packed. Sometimes when I’m alone, I skip dinner and just go make an extra large Buddha Berry.
The chocolate chip cookies are legendary, both for their size and taste. The chocolate with peanut butter chips is my kryptonite.
My Favorite Farms & Purveyors
I’m at Green Thumb about every other day. Their produce is second to none (it’s organic, sustainable, and biodynamic!) and the farm has been owned and operated by the same family since the 1600s. Gus likes to visit Green Thumb with me, as he has flirted with all of the ladies there and they give him a green bean or a snap pea to snack on.
The chicken and eggs from North Sea Farm are outstanding. Buying fresh makes all the difference. It’s hard to go back to grocery store chicken and eggs after these.
There really aren’t enough positive adjectives to use to describe Carissa’s Bread. The shop looks like a set from a Nancy Meyers movie and the bread is other-worldly. Everyone has their favorite, whether it’s the sweet potato or the pickled rye, but for me, the honey oat loaf has my heart.
Years ago, I went to visit Mecox Dairy and I got to see first hand their cheese-making process. There were only nine Jersey cows at the time (I imagine it has grown) and every step was conducted with love and care. The ricotta is rich and creamy, divine when spread onto a toasted baguette (from Carissa’s of course!), drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with flakey sea salt. I am also a big fan of their blue cheddar, a unique blue-veined cheddar cheese.
The butchers at Peconic Prime Meats are doing something special. They make multiple variations of homemade sausage every day and it is downright awesome. One of our favorite easy summer suppers is to load up the grill with a bunch of different sausages, corn on the cob, and vegetables. It’s easy, delicious, and not much clean up. Sometimes we even take our portable grill to the beach and cook up this same combo.
We are blessed with an abundance of fresh seafood in this area and Clamman has an excellent selection.
Ryan and I go to McNamara for the conversation as much as the wine. Their selection is fantastic and the people behind the counter are always ready to chat and share their favorites. Dane won’t steer you wrong!