20 East End Food and Wine New Year’s Resolutions for 2020

What are your 2020 foodie resolutions?
What's your 2020 resolution?, Photo: 123RF (Olegdudko, PaylessImages, Foodandmore, Baiba Opule, Daniel Jacobus Nel)

New Year’s Resolutions don’t all have to revolve around making huge life choices—you can make a resolution to expand your horizons and try something new. Here are 20 resolutions for 2020 to make the most of East End eating!

Learn to Appreciate Oysters
All these chefs and food savvy folks can’t be entirely wrong. Oysters have long been a stumbling block in some people’s food-appreciation journey, so it’s time to figure out how to enjoy the delicious local delicacy. You might even find a pearl in the process.

Invent and Eat the Weirdest Burger Possible at the East End’s Burger Joints
The East End has myriad restaurants for burger lovers. After you’ve savored the carefully crafted creations found on their menus, concoct your own wacky burger creations from all sorts of crazy toppings.

Make Yours Meatless
Even devout meat eaters can enjoy plant-based options when given the opportunity. As we enter a new decade in 2020, this is a great time to seek out and try some of the best plant-based meals at East End restaurants. And we’re not talking salads. Let’s see what our talented chefs can do with meat alternatives, whether it’s Beyond Meat, Impossible Burgers, seitan, tofu, tempeh or something of their own invention.

Find Out, Once and For All, Who Makes Your Favorite Lobster Roll
The Twin Forks are home to a wide array of this decadent regional delight in various styles. It’s hard to choose a favorite when devouring them weeks or years apart. This year, try as many as possible, complete with tasting notes, over the span of a weekend. When it’s over, you may never want to eat another lobster roll for as long as you live. But, really, what are the chances?

Join a local Wine Club
Most of Long Island’s wineries and vineyards have membership clubs, with benefits like special events, complimentary tastings, early releases and exclusive bottles. If you find yourself frequenting the same winery over and over, why not join their club for some fun perks?

Embrace the Special
Let’s face it—we all love familiarity. But with so many talented chefs heading up East End restaurants, there is ample opportunity to try their limited-time specials and taste something new.

Chef Arie Pavlou, Photo: Barbara Lassen
Chef Arie Pavlou, Photo: Barbara Lassen

Master the Art of French Cooking
Chef Arie Pavlou of Water Mill’s Bistro Été holds cooking classes throughout the year. These special sessions include a cocktail demo, a cooking demonstration and then, of course, a delicious wine dinner.

Straw Poll
Those paper straws we’ve been sticking in our iced coffees and iced teas and sodas and smoothies are better for the environment, but have you actually met somebody, anybody, who has been able to figure out how to make them last through even half a drink before going soggy? Now, vow to either find that person and spread his or her teachings, or instead let’s indulge in some reusable glass, metal or even bamboo straws and put the paper versions out of their (and our) misery.

Give Extreme Eating a Try
Once you get to like oysters, move on to truly dangerous dining and try some fugu. Life’s much more interesting with a bit of risk. If not fugu, try some fresh Long Island blowfish. The northern puffer or, as our elders called it back in the day, sea squab, is making a comeback in our waters.

Try Every Briermere Pie
Apple. Cherry. Chocolate. It’s impossible to drive past Briermere Farms on Sound Avenue in Riverhead and not be tempted to buy one of their famous pies. In 2020, become a regular shopper at this North Fork staple and try every flavor. You don’t need a special occasion to enjoy the buttery, flaky crust and fabulous fillings Briermere has to offer.

East End cookbooks
East End cookbooks

Try Every Recipe in One (or More) East End Cookbook
The East End is home to many a culinary luminary—including Martha Stewart, Katie Lee, Claudia Fleming, John Ross, Ina Garten, David Burtka and Jean-Georges Vongerichten—and these great minds and other experts have written down their best recipes and sage wisdom in cookbooks. This year, it’s time to learn from the masters by picking up one of their tomes and trying every recipe found inside. Perfect your seafood dishes with Citarella owner Joe Gurrera’s Joe Knows Fish; hone your skill on the barbecue with Martha Stewart’s Grilling; indulge in sweet desserts in Fleming’s The Last Course; or cleanse your body with healthy cooking from Gwyneth Paltrow’s The Clean Plate. Beginners should consider picking up Sybille van Kempen’s Bridgehampton Inn & Restaurant Look + Cook Book, which includes a QR code for easy-to-follow video tutorials. Burtka’s Life Is a Party even includes various party music playlists along with over 100 recipes.

Get Active and Artsy with Wine Glass in Hand
Many New Year’s resolutions involve exercising more or learning a new skill, and the East End offers opportunities to accomplish both of those goals while also sipping a healthy amount of premier local wines. East End Bike Tours are a great way to see the North Fork countryside, homes and farm stands and to enjoy wine tastings at local vineyards along the way. The Salty Canvas offers paint and sip classes that make a great way to break into art in a comfortable, wine-filled setting.

Taste Cuisine from All Over the World Without Leaving the East End
The East End is a veritable melting pot of cuisine from across the globe, though it’s easy to fall into a rut of ordering the same handful of dishes at every restaurant you patronize. Resolve to try dishes from (at least) 20 countries, which can be done without needing to leave the area. DansBOTB.com can get you started with categories for the best Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Italian, Mexican, French and Turkish cuisine. Venturing out into the Hamptons and North Fork, you’ll also discover restaurants serving Jamaican, Guatemalan, Columbian, Thai, Peruvian, Irish, Indian, Spanish, German, Polish, Salvadoran, Dominican and American (obviously).

Dine at Every Taste of Summer Chef’s Restaurant
With the immense popularity of the Dan’s Taste of Summer (TOS) lineup of events, it’s likely that many have tasted the culinary creations of TOS veterans Drew Hiatt, Stephan Bogardus, Robby Beaver, Arthur Wolf, Matty Boudreau, Scott Kampf and a long list of other top area chefs. But have you ever tasted their cuisine at their respective home restaurants? Part of the fun of Rosé Soirée, GrillHampton, Taste of Two Forks, MonTaco and the other events is discovering new restaurants to add into your rotation of brunch, dinner and party destinations.

Watch the Super Bowl at a Best of the Best Sports Bar
If making an ongoing New Year’s resolution seems too daunting, set a simple, one-and-done goal that’s easy to accomplish and super fun to do—like watching Super Bowl LIV at one of Dan’s Best of the Best Sports Bars. February 2, make the decision to try something new and head to 78 Foster Restaurant & Bar, The Clubhouse, The Corner Bar or The Point Bar & Grill in the Hamptons; or Founders Tavern, Phil’s Restaurant & Sports Lounge, Smitty’s All-American Grill at The All Star or Legends Restaurant on the North Fork.

Wolffer Pink Gin
Wölffer Pink Gin, Photo: Courtesy Wölffer Estate Vineyard

Drink with a Winemaker, Brewmaster or Distiller
Rough Rider Bourbon. Montauk Brewing Company Driftwood Ale. Wölffer “Pink” Gin. Greenport Harbor Brewing Company Leaf Pile Ale. If it is brewed or distilled on the East End, we should be drinking it. And to elevate the experience, let’s all take advantage of the unique access we are afforded to the brewmasters and distillers—to say nothing of the winemakers at more than 50 vineyards and wineries—who are happy to share insights into and stories behind those tantalizing libations in our glasses.

Hook It, Cook It
The East End is one of the world’s great fishing areas, as the seafood on menus from Montauk to Mattituck will confirm. When it’s locally sourced, it’s simply better…and you can’t get much more local than what comes off a line you drop in the water and reel yourself. Get on a boat, get your gear and cast into the surf—blues, stripers, the ocean is your oyster.

Get a CSA Share
Enjoying the glory of the local bounty from farms on the North Fork and in the Hamptons takes an investment from us all, and few investments will pay dividends as delicious as what you’ll get back from a Community Share Agriculture (CSA) plan. Seasonal, farm-fresh produce is something to be savored year-round, so why not start now?

Create a Local Cheese Plate
We all know about the fish and fowl and fresh vegetables and fruits that abound here on the East End, but let’s make it a point to become well-versed in the fabulous fromage being created here as well. Goodale Farms, Catapano Dairy Farm and Mecox Bay Dairy and others are but a few of the excellent spots to stop for a cheesy celebration.

Savor and Sip at Dan’s Taste of Two Forks 10th Summer Celebration
For those of you who recall that special moment in 2011 when we all raised a glass at the very first Dan’s Taste of Two Forks, here’s another round of cheers to the premier showcase of the food, wine and culinary culture that have made the East End a gastronomic getaway that is second to none anywhere in the world. This July, make sure you join us as we bring together the top chefs, winemakers and purveyors of the delicious for a bash like no other to celebrate a decade of decadent dining, wondrous winemaking and more at Dan’s Taste of Two Forks—the superlative summertime celebration!

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