Could my job get any easier? Or better? Original and delicious food and drink abound on the East End. The hard part is picking just five outstanding examples a month. It might be easier if I chose just one of Long Island’s famous forks and stuck to it—but I can’t resist dining biforkally.
Honorable mention: the shakshuka on the Dockside’s brunch menu is advertised as “spicy.” It’s not. It is, with a toasted English muffin on the side for dipping, one of the ultimate comfort foods—poached eggs swimming in tomato sauce with raw scallion on top. It might even be a hangover cure—I could test this hypothesis some time, I can just about crawl to the Dockside from my house in Sag Harbor.
#5 Coconut soup with tofu in Southold. What?! A Thai restaurant has come to the East End? I wish! No, I hit the Grace & Grit’s Thai Pop Up and lapped this stuff up. The fantastically collapsing heirloom cherry tomatoes made the dish. I’ll have to go back for their take on Indian cuisine some time—any time! Right now they’re doing a cocktail pop-up series. Grace & Grit is a funky storefront catering commissary on Southold’s Main Road. Make room in your life for some funky storefront catering.
#4 The hot chocolate chip cookie at Chef Ari Pavlou’s Bistro Été in Water Mill. These little delights are served fresh from the oven, but the “hot” refers to a pinch of cayenne. Yes, this is one of the items that they sell to-go, so you can impress your friends.
#3 My own Strawberry-Sweet Cheese Pocket Pies. I’m not bragging—this was a recipe that I’d worried about getting just right for my upcoming cookbook. And it didn’t all come together on the first try. Or the second. As always, the ingredients were key: homemade strawberry preserves, European butter, farmer cheese. Also, I went back to my roots and used the most traditional piecrust recipe possible. Nailed it.
#2 That new-last–season Greek place in Bridgehampton, Elaia Estiatorio (“Ah-lay-ah”), is hitting ALL the marks—service, atmosphere, attention to detail, FRESH ingredients, exceptional olive oil—so it was tough to zero in on one thing. But the coating on a recent salmon special stood out—it was mustardy, crispy on the outside, creamy within.
#1 Anthony Nappa Wine’s Rosato. It’s the first certified organic wine produced on the East Coast. Equally significant to many, it’s an outstanding rosé. Dark, savory, versatile—everything I most like in a rosé AND IT’S ORGANIC—like everything else on my locavore table. At last!
Bonus points: Nappa’s organic wines are bottled sans capsule (that thick plastic sleeve over the cork, finish and neck), which means their entire package—glass bottle, linen label, cork–and–beeswax stopper—is recyclable or compostable. And his organic wines are affordably priced!
Follow Stacy’s informed and opinionated foodie adventures on Twitter @hamptonsepicure. Stacy is currently at work on a Hamptons-centric cookbook with co-author Hillary Davis.