Hamptons Foodie News 2015: The Year in Review

2015 was another big year for foodies
2015 was another big year for foodies, Photo: udra/iStock/Thinkstock

Hamptons food and beverage establishments saw some big changes in 2015. Some businesses changed hands, some renovated, and others  found new opportunities in the evolving market. It was an exciting year full of ups and downs, losses and triumphs. As 2016 rolls in, we look back at some key moments from 2015.

Trail’s End Restaurant in Montauk sold this past November. New owner, Montauk summer restaurant Michael Nasti, plans to re-open the iconic establishment soon under the name The Talk at Trail’s End.

It was a big year for Montauk Brewing Company. New York’s easternmost brewery expanded their facility, and they’re now able to brew beer on site. The company also began canning three new varieties—the Session IPA, the Hop Blonde and the Arrowhead Red. And, perhaps most exciting of all, the MBC taps can be found across New York City as of this past September. Prior to the fall, Montauk Brewing made their foray into the city by way of Queens: The Summer Ale and Driftwood Ale cans were available at CitiField at the start of the Mets 2015 season. Did the brewery bring the National League champs good luck?

Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. released their first line of bottled beer in April. The release included four varieties of beer—Harbor Ale, Black Duck Porter, Other Side IPA and their seasonal release, Summer Ale—each featuring a unique label with artwork by East End artist Scott Bluedorn. And they’re like nothing beer fans have seen before.

A healthy newcomer arrived in Westhampton Beach just in time to cheer people up as the days get shorter. Serving freshly made juices, smoothies and organics, Deliciously Dorie’s Joyful Juice opened over Labor Day weekend with great fanfare. Owner Dorie Lake is a raw chef, and she creates everything on the menu, from the salad dressings to the nut milk, from scratch.

Gerry Hayden, the chef and proprietor of North Fork Table & Inn, died in September at the age of 50, almost five years after he was diagnosed with ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neurodegenerative disease. Hayden’s restaurant is highly rated by Zagat—the best on Long Island—and Hayden himself has been nominated for Best Northeast Chef by the James Beard Foundation.

In October, Anna Pump died in a motor vehicle accident in Bridgehampton. Known locally for her Loaves & Fishes Foodstore and the Bridgehampton Inn, and known nationally for her cookbooks, the gravity of Pump’s loss was felt immensely on the East End.

Dan’s Taste of Summer, including GrillHampton, Taste of Two Forks and Harvest East End, in July and August, had another standout year with a top-shelf lineup of hosting talent in 2015. Restaurant Impossible star Robert Irvine and judge on Food Network’s Chopped Marc Murphy hosted GrillHampton; Katie Lee, Co-Host of the Food Network’s The Kitchen and Michael Symon, Star of ABC’s The Chew hosted Taste of Two Forks; while Geoffrey Zakarian, a co-host of Food Network’s The Kitchen and a judge on Chopped, hosted Dan’s Harvest East End. Good times, good food and good wine were had by all!

The Village Cheese Shop, the iconic Love Lane establishment in the heart of Long Island wine country, has changed hands. New owner Michael Affatato took over in October. The shop remains a mecca for cheese lovers, with over 200 varieties on offer. (One of Affatato’s first moves was to purchase an additional cheese case!) The shop has a number of made-to-order fondues, and, a recent addition is beer, wine and cider available for purchase. Come January, Affatato intends to have Fondu Friday, where the establishment will stay open late to warm everyone up from the cold.

Congratulations to Wölffer Estate Vineyard! Wine Spectator selected The Grapes of Roth Merlot 2010 by Wölffer Estate for its Top 100 Wines of 2015. Coming in at number 64, the wine is the first and only Long Island varietal to ever make the list. The annual list highlights successful wineries, regions and vintages from around the world. This was the second Wolffer “win” of the year, as two Wölffer wines received the highest scored ever awarded to a Long Island wine. Mark Squires, reviewer for Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate, gave 94-point ratings to the Wölffer Diosa Late Harvest 2012 and Descencia Bottytis Chardonnay 2012. Another Wölffer 2015 highlight, new to the Sag Harbor foodie scene is Wölffer Kitchen. Serving Mediterranean fare and, of course, Wölffer wine in a chic atmosphere, the restaurant has been a hit since opening this past summer. And, lastly, a baby Wölffer was born in 2015! Winery co-owner Joey Wölffer and husband Max Rhone welcomed a daughter, Nell, this year.

Gurney’s Montauk, the resort and Seawater Spa, brought on several new dining options for 2015. LDV Hospitality and Gurney’s present Scarpetta Beach, a sister restaurant to the Italian eatery in the Meatpacking District. There’s also the Regent Cocktail Club, which boasted classic cocktails and weekend DJs. Tillie’s is a casual dining spot serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, and brunch on Sundays. Corso Coffee is open in the Gurney’s lobby. And the Beach Club at Gurney’s was established on the resort’s private beach, serving appetizers, sandwiches and salads.

The newly remodeled Baron’s Cove Inn in Sag Harbor opened this year, with a restaurant headed by Chef Matty Boudreau, formerly of Vine Street Café on Shelter Island.

Southamptonites rejoiced when they once again got their very own Starbucks. The new location opened at 29 Hampton Road this summer. The East Hampton Starbucks also underwent a renovation this fall, expanding the number of seats in the establishment.

Just across the street from Starbucks, La Parmigiana Italian Restaurant also underwent a renovation this year, as the front deli counter was replaced with a wine bar. With a TV perfect for game watching, the wine bar also offers individual pizzas, in addition to La Parm’s other Italian specialties. Also on offer at La Parm is a Hampton Chocolate Factory outpost.

Founded in Miami, Momi Hamptons came to East Hampton this year. The restaurant features renowned, creative ramen dishes, communal dining and a full bar.

In grocery store news, Waldbaum’s closed its doors in East Hampton and Southampton this year. The supermarkets have been replaced by Stop & Shop stores.

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