January Brings New Wines and Dining to the East End

winter wine and a fire
Image: Maksim Shebeko/123RF

There’s much to do and much to taste in the Hamptons and on the North Fork in January and early February. Get out there and explore the East End’s wonderful winter wine and dining scene.

Ian Duke’s much anticipated Union Burger Bar is set to open within Union Cantina in Southampton in January! The restaurant extension will be co-located with the contemporary Mexican restaurant, offering an assortment of specialty gourmet burgers, fresh hand-cut fries, milkshakes and desserts from Executive Chef Scott Kampf, as well as an elaborate craft beer and small batch bourbon selection.

Some very lucky East Enders’ holiday stockings were a-bulge with Wölffer Estate Vineyard’s newly released brandy. It’s only available directly from the vineyard’s shop in Sagaponack—and, by all accounts, it’s well worth the trip. Wölffer is offering a special tasting of their brandy, as well as their other prized Chardonnay products, including the 2017 Perle and 2014 Diosa Late-Harvest Ice Wine, at the winery on January 21. The wines will be accompanied by food pairings prepared by the Amagansett Food Institute.

Channing Daughters Winery in Bridgehampton has just released their 2016 Brick Kiln Chardonnay. This new vintage promises a reflection of the local terroir deliciously influenced by nine months in old French and Slovenian barriques. Channing Daughters also just released their 2017 Cabernet Franc made from North Fork grapes, noting that “This wine is easy to drink immediately…however it will continue to evolve in the bottle for the next five years or so.”

Mattitaco in Mattituck (get it?) is hosting a Punxsutawney Phil Beer Dinner on Groundhog’s Day, February 2, with two seatings, naturally. 

Winter Long Island Restaurant Week returns January 27–February 3. Eaters are jazzed for $29.95 three-course prix fixe meals across the East End. This year, for the first time, Water Mill’s Bistro Été will participate, along with regulars Baron’s Cove, Centro, Claude’s, Elaia Estiatorio, The North Fork Table & Inn, The Preston House, Union Cantina and many other top restaurants. Chef Arie Pavlou at Bistro Été will be offering a host of choices including his signature Long Island duck wings confit and zucchini spaghetti.

Sag Harbor power couple Danny Peary and Suzanne Rafer enjoyed dinner with friends at their neighborhood eatery Il Capuccino Ristorante last Friday evening. They were overheard to say that they were just back from Las Vegas where they spent some time with Wayne Newton and they may be off to Bermuda soon for a taping of The James Brown Show, which Peary writes. New Year’s Eve found the pair at Page 63 in Sag Harbor.

Bridgehampton designer Maria Scotto, in a striking black hat, brunched with friends at Page 63 last Sunday. A “for rent” sign has gone up at Montauk’s Saltbox restaurant…the annual Hamptons restaurant shuffle is well under way!

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