My perfect day in Water Mill would start with brunch and coffee at Hampton Coffee Company. Shockingly, there are a fair number of empty storefronts in Water Mill at the moment, but the businesses that are bustling are worth the visit.
Hampton Coffee Company is a small batch, artisanal roaster, known for its top-notch coffee brews all across the East End — locations also include Westhampton Beach, Aquebogue, Riverhead, Southampton, as well as a mobile unit. The flagship location in Water Mill also happens to include a fantastic café.
From made-to-order omelets to fresh salads and vegetarian chili, the menu is vast. Try the authentic Mexican grill menu featuring enchiladas and fajitas. And for the calorie-conscious and restricted diet diners fear not, there are low-fat, whole wheat, gluten-free, and vegetarian options. Be sure to also check out the local beer and wine menu.
Art is at the forefront of Water Mill, with institutions like the Watermill Center and the Parrish Art Museum. My next stop would be the Parrish.
Coming up at the Parrish is a collaboration with Watermill Center, “Barthélémy Toguo: The Beauty of Our Voice.” The exhibition features the internationally renowned artist, Toguo, whose multi-disciplinary work addresses issues of migration, mobility, colonialism, race, and the relationship between the global north and south.
The show features existing work as well as work created during Toguo’s residency in June at The Watermill Center. The centerpiece of “The Beauty of Our Voice” is Road to Exile, a life-size boat that Toguo built at Watermill, heavily laden with bags made from African fabrics and placed on the precarious surface of glass bottles, evoking the danger of a journey that not all survive.
I visited Watermill Center to see a preview of this work last month and look forward to seeing the final, powerful product. The show is on view at the museum from August 5 through October 14.
For dinner, I would head over to Calissa. Calissa in Water Mill is inspired by the design and cuisine of Mykonos, Greece. The restaurant is now in its second season on the East End with Executive Chef Dominic Rice at the helm. Created by the team behind NYC’s Amali, the menu fuses the spirit of the Cyclades with the energy of the Hamptons, offering diners small and large, shareable plates.
Offering a true farm-to-table approach, the menu also highlights Long Island seafood and summer vegetables. Try the pikilia platter, which offers spreads such as tzatziki, melizana, and kafteri, along with grilled pita. Perfect for sharing. Highlights from the entrees include the roasted Cascun Farms chicken or the salt-baked black bass.
You can dine and shop during your visit to Calissa. The venue also offers a marketplace that will run through the season, called the Agora. The Agora includes vendors such as Pared Eyewear, Stephanie Gottlieb, and Tai Jewelry.
The “My Perfect Day” series features a different East End village each week. Email [email protected] or follow @hamptondaze.