Dining FeaturesFood & Wine

A Late Summer Idyll at the Quogue Club

Far from the madding crowd that can be the Hamptons scene, the Quogue Club at Hallock House sits in the relative tranquility of Quogue, boasting an enviable membership while still being far from exclusionary. It opens its doors to guests as a 14-room luxury boutique hotel, with a world-class restaurant and amenities to match.

Pulling up to the front on a stretch of tree-lined road off Montauk Highway that could easily double as a small-town-America Main Street in a yesteryear movie, the air of history inherent in the 200-year-old building draws you in immediately. The Quogue Club welcomed guests as far back as the early 1800s, but stepping through the front doors and walking into the reception area, the renovation that began in 2012 leaves no doubt that a modern, subtle sophistication has melded seamlessly with the classic charms.   

Surrounded by the blues, greens and yellows that inform the design by the renowned Alexa Hampton, each piece of art adorning the walls, each seat cushion upon each chair, each accent piece, helps create what is an effortless elegance throughout the Club. Hampton does not land on the esteemed list of Architectural Digest’s Top 100 Designers year after year without very good reason.

The hotel portion of the Club comprises 10 guest rooms in the main building and two private cottages out back. Intimate is a word you’ll say to yourself again and again. The Mahan Cottage has one bedroom, one bathroom and a living room, while the Webster Cottage offers three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a living room—the concept of traveling here with a family is part of the design. In fact, the Founders Room on the main floor welcomes grownups and children alike—on a given night you just might find a kids’ movie being screened while parents enjoy cocktails or dinner at the bar and restaurant. In addition, there’s an airy conservatory where guests enjoy breakfast or a game of bridge, a library with reads ranging from John Le Carré to Michael Chabon, and on the lower level, a 1,200-square-foot fitness center, a yoga studio where barre classes are also given, and a massage room.

The guest rooms and public spaces make it hard to imagine leaving, but the Quogue Club can be an ideal base from which to explore and enjoy the local environs—either by foot, by car or upon one of the charming classic Republic bicycles (complete with shopping baskets, of course) that all guests may use during their stay. Access to Quogue Beach, normally open only to Quogue residents, means the chance to stroll and sunbathe on one of the East End’s most charming strands. Duffers and scratch golfers alike can take in a round at the private Laurel Links Country Club, and tennis aficionados can hit at Westhampton Beach Tennis and Sport. Both the bucolic North Fork and the Hamptons to the east are within day-trip distance, but you’ll want to make it back for cocktails and dinner.

The restaurant, bar and tavern area are a members-only privilege—look over your shoulder and
you just might spot a celeb or two with a home around the corner—but hotel guests are considered members during their stay and are welcome to order up a Red Stripe beer or Passion Fruit Margarita or wine from the member-curated wine list before sitting down to enjoy the fresh takes on local fare created by Chef Matt Birnstill’s kitchen.

On a recent evening, a classic wedge salad and chilled corn soup proved ideal starters, cool foils to the warm night just beyond the windows looking onto the patio outside. Roasted duck breast and NY strip steak arriving at other tables will make your head turn, but seafood is a matter of pride here, and both the swordfish with Early Girl Farms pole beans and almond brown butter and the halibut special, perfectly light and flaky, did that pride justice. Sides such as braised mushrooms and roasted broccoli with a lemon anchovy dressing are sure to catch one’s eye, but no matter what you order, the truffle fries are an indulgent must. It’s all served by a staff that makes everyone feel like part of an extended family—even if it’s your first time here. They’re probably guessing it won’t be your last.

The Quogue Club at Hallock House is located at 47 Quogue Street in Quogue. For more information, visit quogueclub.com

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