Last summer I put out a list of the best things I ate in the Hamptons over my annual week with Gael Greene. Below is a list that spans the whole of 2015.
Last week I took in the Bridgehampton Inn’s $40 prix fixe. It changes every week, just like the regular menu there. So you can’t always get the mesmerizing Mushroom Fritters, but Chef Arie Pavlou makes fritters out of some delish ingredient every week. Previous weeks have included oysters, clams and corn. (The Inn will be closing on December 28 for a winter holiday, re-opening February 5.)
The Pizza at Harbor Market in Sag Harbor. I thought the arugula was my all-time fave until I tried the one with the fabulous fried egg on top (trust me—try it!). At a holiday party last week I grabbed a slice that looked like it had cubes of Buffalo chicken on it. It was butternut squash—even better!
Earlier this month I finally made it to Goodfood. in Mattituck, which opened in June. I know the work of its two owners well—empanada queen Luchi Masliah and canning/baking whiz Ali Katz. I fell hard for Katz’s Bread Pudding. It’s made out of croissants!
The Swiss Chard in my home garden is still green! And delish. Cooked down with just a bit of Art Ludlow’s Mecox Bay Dairy jowl bacon, sprinkled with freshly ground pepper and splashed with red wine vinegar, it is what makes winter cookery a decent stand-in for summer salads.
Earlier this month a special dinner entrée, a savory Farro Dish at Wölffer Kitchen in Sag Harbor, blew me away. Every little piece was perfectly cooked and distinctly flavorful. Thanks go to their new chef Brian Cheewing. I’ll be back.
Montauk Rum Runners Gin is very bracing in a good way. I had my first snort just last month. It does not taste the least bit of bathtub.
The California Cob Salad (yes, “Cob” is spelled with one “b” on the menu) at Le Chef in Southampton. The restaurant and the salad are reliable old standbys—but the salad’s ingredients are FRESH. Juicy chicken chunks, avocado, bacon, bleu cheese, dried cranberries, hard-boiled egg and chopped romaine lettuce in a just-right raspberry vinaigrette.
Fresh Hamptons’ Coconut Dahl. It is comfort/health food perfection in Bridgehampton. I get it every time I go there, which is most Mondays—to take in the live, local music scene.
The Black Truffle Mushroom Sauce at Vine Street Café on Shelter Island. It. Is. Crack.
The Red Bean Ice Cream Sandwich at Momi Ramen in East Hampton. Their ramen is great, but this “sandwich” is absolutely irresistible. Frozen just so and covered with two spongy pancakes, it is not too sweet. It is pluperfect.
The Clam Chowder that was labeled “#1” at the annual HarborFest chowder contest in Sag Harbor in September. I still don’t know whose chowder it was. A delicious mystery to be solved through extensive “research.”
An Indian Taco at the annual Shinnecock Pow Wow on Labor Day in Southampton. Context is everything. Fry bread is a close second. I enjoyed my taco while chatting with Eastern Long Island NAACP President Lucius Ware about his years growing up on a farm in Ohio.
Osteria Salina’s (in Wainscott) house-made pasta with Pistachio Pesto. Utterly balanced umami/basil flavor.
The Coconut Cake and the Lemon-Thyme Panna Cotta at Bell & Anchor in Noyac. A tasty tie.