The year 2022 saw a lot development in the East End food and wine scene — new restaurants openings, vineyards under new ownership and a few eatery closures, as well. Overall, the outlook was positive as pandemic-era safety precautions were largely left in the past and perks like alcohol takeout and delivery were allowed to remain.
In addition to these developments, Dan’s Papers profiled local restaurateurs who’ve made an impact in their community and those breaking onto national television screens. Dan’s even launched new foodie events, adding Dan’s Bubbles to the growing roster of Dan’s Taste Summer Series events including Dan’s GrillHampton, Chefs of the North Fork, Chefs of the Hamptons and Rosé Soirée.
As we look ahead to 2023, here are some of the most memorable stories of 2022.
It’s strange to think that towns exist on Long Island with no bagel shops to speak of, and until April 2022, that was the case for the Town of Shelter Island. That is, until Darryn and Amy Weinstein decided to do something about that. Nicknamed the “eccentric millionaire” by Shelter Islander locals, Darryn had long bemoaned the strange absence of a dedicated bagel store and after seven years of weekending there, he finally opened The Eccentric Bagel.
Working on their first business venture together, Darryn and Amy took charge of the halves of the business that best suited their talents: Darryn worked the backend ordering, staffing and bagel prep, while Amy managed the frontend design, merchandising and social media. They launched with eccentric bagel flavors like za’atar and jalapeño-cheddar, as well as limited-edition bagel dogs made with sriracha, blue cheese and bacon.
In April 2022, Discovery+ aired the premiere episode of Serving the Hamptons, which centers on the restaurant staff at Southampton hot spot 75 Main, as well as the restaurateur at the helm, Zach Erdem. The five-episode show, while not unique in concept, offered an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the, albeit dramatized, lives of Hamptons restaurant workers.
For those who’ve seen Erdem’s name and restaurant pop up in countless headlines before the show’s announcement — from celebrity sightings to generous bribes for summer reservations — the selection of 75 Main as the focus should come as no surprise, but what is surprising is that this lynchpin of high-end Southampton dining is as impressive a rags-to-riches story as can be. To summarize Erdem’s origin story, he grew up a poor farmer in Turkey, moved to New York with no money and no home, became a dishwasher at what would later become his iconic 75 Main. Whether reality television is one’s cup of tea or not shouldn’t detract from how inspiring Erdem’s road to Serving the Hamptons is. Season 2 comes to HBO Max this March.
This year, Amagansett-based nonprofit organization East End Food Institute announced plans to build a multi-faceted food hub in Riverhead. With the new East End Food Hub, the East End Food Institute, which comprises more than 150 farmer and food business owners as members, intends to centralize their food processing and distribution procedures, to aid local food producers in marketing their products and to relocate their headquarters to the newly renovated space.
The plans include a renovation of the existing 5,000-square-foot building at 139 Main Road, as well as the construction of two additional buildings on the four-acre property — a 7,500-square-foot building to serve as a community space and expanded farmers market, and a 5,000-square-foot building for farm-to-freezer operations.
The East End is full of colorful characters that make the various villages and hamlets abundantly charming, and one of the most recognizable to the East Quogue crowd is New Moon Café owner Ronnie Campsey. In November 2022, the octogenarian finally received a Dan’s Papers profile honoring his high standing in the community.
The local legend and Purple Heart-awarded war veteran opened New Moon Café way back in 1979 and has been its friendly, familiar proprietor ever since. He continues to work to support veterans organizations and has been providing free Thanksgiving meals to seniors and veterans for two decades.
The restaurant has seen its fair share of birthday, bachelorette and engagement parties, and holidays from Cinco De Mayo to New Year’s are celebrated with creative special menus. On any given day, Campsey can be found happily greeting diners and making them feel at home. It’s no wonder New Moon Café has become the unofficial community hub in East Quogue.
OK, this one isn’t technically a singular story, but we can’t not mention it. One of Dan’s Papers’ many ambitious ventures this year was the launch of the 2022 Dan’s Papers Passport to the East End Wineries presented by Peconic Bay Vineyards, which hit stands in July.
With the help of Peconic Bay Vineyards Director of Community Relations Stacey Soloviev, we curated an in-depth guide to all the wineries across the Hamptons and North Fork — listing everything from business hours and seating locations to food availability and rules on dogs. It was a vital resource for East End first-timers, annual visitors and even locals unaware of the latest winery openings — such as Terra Vite Winery & Vineyard, Ev&Em Vineyards, Rose Hill Vineyards and even Peconic Bay Vineyards.
While the enclosed information is now outdated due to the changing of the seasons, the Dan’s Papers Passport to the East End Wineries can still be found online at DansPapers.com/read-the-paper-online.