Backyard cookouts are the epitome of casual summer dining. No shoes, no shirt, no problem. The real problem is preparing a meal that everyone, from carnivore to carbophobe will love. To make your next summer cookout easier (and tastier), you should use these Dan’s Best of the Best (BOTB) winners to guide your menu this August.
For wine and cocktail supplies, stop by Dan’s BOTB Wine & Liquor Stores. Towne Cellars Wines & Liquors (460 County Road 111, Suite 13, Manorville. 631-874-0451, townecellarswines.com) and Wines by Nature (5768 Route 25A, Suite I, Wading River. 631-886-2800, winesbynatureny.com). Towne Cellars is a consistent favorite of East Enders, and offers delivery on local orders over $50. Local wine is abundant in every East End liquor store, but those who wish to shop where myriad local chefs and winemakers shop, should pay a visit to Wines by Nature, which is conveniently only a few yards away from Dan’s BOTB Cheese Shop Cheese & Spice Market (5768 Route 25A, Suite D, Wading River. 631-886-1521, cheesespicemarket.com), both located at The Shoppes at East Wind.
Raw bar appetizers are a natural accompaniment to a cocktail and a summer evening. Consistently voted BOTB Seafood Shop, Citarella (locations in East Hampton, Bridgehampton and Southampton. citarella.com) offers a selection of wild and farmed local oysters available by the dozen, clams on the half shell and grill-ready swordfish kebabs for your shellfish-averse guests.
Once a suitably large pile of shells and skewers has been amassed by you and your guests, dig into a main course fueled by local produce. For farm stands and farmers markets, Dan’s BOTB voters favor Olish Farms Country Market (2 Eastport Manor Road, Eastport. 631-325-0539, olishfarms.com) and Westhampton Beach Farmers Market (11 Mill Road, Westhampton Beach. 631-288-3337, facebook.com/westhamptonbeachfarmersmarket), respectively. At Olish Farms you can pick up fresh tomatoes, lettuce and even flowers for your table’s centerpiece. Bonus points if you buy some of their fresh herbs for a from-scratch vinaigrette.
Remember that vegetarians and vegans love the summer barbecues too, so make sure to have some veggie burgers or kebabs ready on the grill. You can even make these yourself with some help from a food processor. If there are no meat-banishers among your guests, load up the grill with steaks and burgers prepared by the Dan’s BOTB Butchers at Citarella or Wading River Market (6278 Route 25A, Suite 3, Wading River. 631-929-1000, mybutcherwadingriver.com).
Even for the most seasoned entertainers, prepping cocktails and shucking shellfish is a lot of work. Nobody will blame you if you forget the main course. In fact, they may thank you because it means you’ll just have to call Duryea’s (65 Tuthill Road, Montauk. 631-668-2410, duryealobsters.com) and order their Dan’s BOTB Lobster Dinner for pick-up.