The East End has the best of everything. The finest restaurants and wonderful wineries, terrific theaters and outstanding art galleries, superlative salons and extraordinary service providers. It’s an endless list, one that, of course, includes the best Best of the Best, if we do say so ourselves—Dan’s Papers Best of the Best, which returns for its biggest and, naturally, best year yet.
Dan’s Best of the Best began more than 25 years ago, and it continues to ask you, the readers, to join us in showcasing the ultimate in East End experiences by nominating and then voting for your favorites in more than 200 categories in the arenas of Art & Entertainment, Food & Drink, Home Services, Long Island Wine, Pets, Professional Services, Recreation & Tourism, Restaurants & Nightlife, Shopping and Wellness & Beauty. The North Fork is also awarded its own set of Best of the Best winners.
Dede Gotthelf, owner of the Southampton Inn, notes the importance of readers getting involved and making their voices heard. “These are real people doing real things, they’ve experienced the businesses first-hand,” she says of the voters, “and this then provides the bible for visitors and resident alike.”
Mike Scrivano, owner of 2011 and 2012 winner M Stevens Roofing, adds that winning Best of the Best is important because “the selection eliminates companies that do not provide a quality service and points out companies that have proven to provide all-around quality.” Indeed, a Best of the Best honor has become a value calling card for businesses to set themselves apart from the pack.
In addition to recognizing businesses, Dan’s Best of the Best has categories that laud East End personalities, such as the area’s best bartender, best waiter, best Pilates instructor and best local musician. “I am always amazed and honored that we are voted ‘Best of the Best’ Band or Singer year after year. It is always a welcome surprise and continues to give me the warm fuzzies,” says Nancy Atlas. “To be acknowledged for doing what you love is a bonus, and I guess I never take that lightly.”
Indeed, the importance of honoring local businesses cannot be understated. “Our Long Island communities thrive because of the individual and unique small businesses that make up our economy. From the restaurants and hotels to the builders and service providers, there is a rich tapestry of business that makes this place we live and work hum,” says Kevin O’Connor, President and CEO, Bridgehampton National Bank (BNB), the presenting sponsor of Dan’s Papers Best of the Best. “Bridgehampton National Bank (BNB) has supported the growth and success of thousands of small businesses throughout Suffolk County. Being part of the Best of the Best is another way to acknowledge how proud we are of the business community here on Long Island.”
Those Best of the Best Winner certificates you see adorning walls and window fronts on both forks is a testament to the pride those local businesses take in being voted to the top by their customers. “Getting Best of the Best makes a difference, because people know those reviews are from real Dan’s Papers readers who eat out and know the Hamptons and the North Fork!” says Barbara Pepe, co-owner of the Old Mill Inn in Mattituck, which has garnered multiple Best of the Best honors over the years.
Kathleen King, owner of Tate’s Bake Shop, concurs with that sentiment. “Being voted Best of the Best is a cherished honor,” she says. “For almost 35 years, I have given my best every day, and to be appreciated for it is the icing
on the cake.”
The nominations process begins on Friday, August 16, exclusively online at DansBOTB.com, and runs through 11:59 p.m. on September 17. After the nominees are tallied and determined, voting will begin (again, exclusively at DansBOTB.com) and run from September 27 until 11:59 p.m. on October 24. Once those votes are counted—and last year, some 100,000 votes were cast in all—we will announce the 2013 winners on November 8.