the Hamptons

Zum Schneider MTK

Zum Schneider in Montauk is one of those rare imports from Manhattan that actually fits into the neighborhood. The German beer hall – not a beer garden, since it is entirely enclosed – is luring in summer share house renters and local families alike for foosball, wiener schnitzel ($21), local scallops ($16/21) and German been on tap. (more…)

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Byron at the Surf Lodge, Montauk

Summer’s hot new restaurant openings used to be in Southampton, East Hampton or Sag Harbor, but this summer all the buzz has moved out east to Montauk. This formerly sleepy fishing and surfing town has seen openings like Ruschmeyer’s, the Sloppy Tuna and Zum Schneider, and in the Surf Lodge, the trendy hotel now under new ownership, is new restaurant Byron by Aussie chef Chris Rendell. (more…)

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Maria’s Kitchen, Shelter Island

The authentic taste of Mexico City has sprung up in a most unlikely place: the WASPy enclave of Shelter Island, New York. Across the street from a sleepy pizza shop that’s been there forever and down the road from the IGA supermarket is a little bodega with cheerful yellow shutters outside and racks of Polvorones cookies, Maseca corn flour and Jarritos soda within. The cars in the front parking lot run the gamut from soccer mom SUVs to flashy convertibles to landscaping trucks. The shop is a labor of love from Maria Schultheis, who worked in the juice bar that occupied this space last summer. Spending days at the juice bar and nights as a house cleaner, she saved up enough money to open Maria’s Kitchen, which introduces the food of her native Puebla to the Hamptons. (more…)

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Montauk Dining & Drinking

If you ever want to convince someone to like the Hamptons, take them to Montauk. Of course, they might claim that this fishing and surfing village is not actually a Hampton, since there are very few manicured lawns, polo players or designer boutiques in sight. But this naturally beautiful, windswept tip of Long Island could charm even the staunchest Hampton hater.

Exterior, Fishbar

Once just the site of fish shacks and red sauce joints, Montauk has been luring serious diners out here ever since Sam Talbot took over at the Surf Lodge several years back, right after winning Top Chef. He has since moved on to Imperial No. 9, but Montauk’s culinary caché lingers on. For one thing, it would be hard for a seafood chef to be much closer to the source, since lobsters, clams, oyster and fish are hauled in to the docks here every day. Unlike tourist attractions like Mystic, this is still very much a working fishing village.


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North Fork Table & Inn

Most New Yorkers wouldn’t think of fall as the season to go “out East,” which is exactly why it’s a great time to go. A tour of Long Island wine country during harvest time will take you to one of the best restaurants out East, in the Hamptons or otherwise. The North Fork Table & Inn in Southold is smack in the middle of vineyard-land.

Using local, seasonal ingredients from the myriad neighboring farmers, chef Gerry Haden, formerly of Aureole and Amuse in Manhattan, created an extensive but focused menu that leverages the bounty of quality vegetables, fish, and game available on the North Fork. Though it doesn’t come cheap – the average entree price is about $35 – the food at North Fork Table is worth it.

Unlike so many places in the Hamptons where you pay top dollar to get jostled at the bar and neglected at the table, North Fork Table has the ambiance and service to match its price point. The atmosphere inside the quaint old farmhouse is sophisticated and quiet, with a stripped-down, almost stark interior and ambient lighting throughout. Many of the diners are regulars with houses in the area. Everyone seemed particularly intent on the wine list, which is heavy on offerings from North Fork vineyards. Lest you worry you don’t know the terroir well enough to pick a bottle, sommelier and owner – with his wife Mary – Mike Mraz will steer you in the right direction, often offering a taste before you commit to a whole bottle. The Paumanok 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Vintage was excellent, and Jay McInerney’s Long Island favorite, The Grapes of Roth, is also on the list and all it’s cracked up to be.

If there were any misses on the menu, we didn’t find them on a recent Friday night. Cod and Yukon Gold potato cakes were light and fluffy, served with homemade tartar sauce laced with truffle oil. The assortment of K.K.’s biodynamic heirloom tomatoes were enveloped in a paper-thin slice of delicious Berkshire pork prosciutto. Apparently, K.K. is a local farmer who’s rather obsessed with tomatoes, bathing the seeds in all sorts of concoctions before planting them. “She puts a ram’s horn in the earth on the night of the full moon,” Mraz joked of her biodynamic methods, which are derived more from the Farmer’s Almanac than the bioengineering trickery of today. Ram’s horn or no ram’s horn, the results are amazing tomatoes.

The white asparagus and fava bean salad was out of this world. Somehow the combination of this cool vegetable crunch, the delicate green onion buttermilk dressing, and the campfire scent of applewood smoked bacon made for an incredible trio. When asked where they got the bacon, Mraz said, “Just the local butcher in Southold.” Who knew?

Black Angus strip steak was as good as any you’ll find in a steak house, and the accompanying glazed baby carrots and truffled potatoes were on another plane entirely. Fresh fig sauce pooled around the succulent duck breast, giving it a similar sweet tang as a traditional cherry sauce, but with an almost grape-y flavor much better suited to a meal served with fine wine.

The piquillo pepper “gazpacho,” made entirely with peppers and laced with shrimp, avocado and cilantro, lacked any of the harshness you might expect from a soup made entirely with peppers, because they had been roasted to a point of falling-apart sweetness.

Kudos go to pastry chef Claudia Fleming too, who makes cinnamon beignets light as air and the triple-threat dessert of chocolate mousse, a brownie, and dulce de leche ice cream.

The best you can expect from most restaurants is an attention to detail. The North Fork Table exhibits an attention to minutiae – microfarming, the microclimate of Long Island wine country, and micromanaging everything that appears on the table. If the fall menu, due to debut any day now, is anywhere near as promising as the summer one, we say please, manage away.

North Fork Table & Inn
57225 Main Road
Southold, New York

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Bridgehampton Polo, Part Two

Some of the most arresting looks at the match were those that flew in the face of traditional polo attire.

very Thom Browne
rockabilly dresses

surfer chic

plain old rock ‘n’ roll
on the cusp of the fall sequins trend
’60s love child

a cowboy…
…and his wife
short shorts are suddenly everywhere

polo kids

celebrity presenter Brooke Shields, looking radiant

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Bridgehampton Polo, Part One

Guests struck a pose at the see-and-be-scene Mercedes-Benz polo challenge at JetOne Jets field, sponsored last Saturday by the St. Regis Residences.

detailing in white

seeing red

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Super Saturday, Hats Off to

Forget dogs and children: the must-have accessory in the Hamptons is the sun hat. How else to survive hour after grueling hour of outdoor social events?

Long on purple? This color played a big part in
Catherine Malandrino‘s fall collection.

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Super Saturday, The Men of

Three cheers to the men who made it out to support this cause. They were rewarded with lots of goods from Steven Alan, Turnbull and Asser, Brooks Brothers and more.

This dapper guy was actually waiting for She Who Must Not Be Named on This Site.
rock tees for kids

linen shirt paired with Keens

I’m not sure how I feel about these oversize Polo logos, but they sure were popular. Paired here with Gucci loafers.

brightly colored Havaianas

pink still in for guys
camouflage shorts and Havaianas
What did I tell you about madras?

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Super Saturday, Prints vs. White Dresses at

Prints and white dresses battled it out for primacy on the fashion field.

Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman, looking very couple-y.

One of the girls from London Misher PR, which ran the event. Keep an eye out for these elastic cinch-waist belts in August and September.

Donna Karan, founder of Super Saturday, arrives with daughter Gabby.
Donna Karan, firmly in the white camp.
And the next wave in fashion: Donna Karan’s very pretty granddaughter.

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Super Saturday, Best of

High heat, high humidity, and high fashion: Super Saturday, the annual Hamptons shopping event that benefits the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, has always been an oasis of style in the midst of summer doldrums.

Of all the hundreds of fashionably dressed people at the event (more photos to come), here are a few who stood out as truly chic.

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East Hampton

The jeans-and-Izod uniform of summers past has been replaced by bold prints and dresses. At times Newtown Lane looked more like the south of France than the Hamptons. It’s Calypso‘s easy breezy chic, gone mainstream.

two in maternity

Mexican tops

Julie Macklowe

a little bit of Little Edie

retro glasses
“local” headbands, not for sale
nautical stripes

camo shorts
lady with lapdog
woman’s best accessory

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