Buddha Berry- It’s about time!

yogurtdifference-232x300I’ve been saying for years that someone should franchise a DIY yogurt place in the Hamptons. They have them on every corner in the city, yet our frozen yogurt choices out east have been limited. Buddha Berry took that idea, ran with it, and then made it even better.
Buddha Berry is located both in Montauk and Sag Harbor. The owner, Nancy Passaretti, has also informed us that she will be opening a location in Southampton by next summer at the latest. Buddha Berry prides itself on being different, with 12 different flavors daily, all providing you with the cultures and probiotics you get from yogurt, in a delicious frozen way.
My favorite part about Buddha Berry was not their flavor selection, although that was excellent, but their choices of toppings. Have you ever seen chia seeds as a topping choice before? I haven’t. They have rows of tubes filled with granola, dried fruit, chocolate covered acai berries, sunflower seeds, various cereals, and more. Of course, the chocolate candy toppings we have all come to expect are plentiful as well.
Buddha Berry smells like a waffle house, but you do not have to feel guilty when indulging. Both locations are large with tables to sit and enjoy, and the staff are happy and helpful. Watch out Yummylicious, but you have just been beat.
Pro: The toppings are endless – healthy or decadent- that’s up to you
Con: I now have to eat more frozen yogurt
Pro: Supporting a local establishment

 

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Where to Watch the World Cup Out East

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Hello soccer fans! It has been four years and everyone is ready for some World Cup action. No matter which country you are rooting far, where you watch makes a difference. Here are our top picks for watching the games:

 5. Southampton Publick House- Southampton

SPH will have the games on in the T.V.s in the back. They are not doing any special promotions, but have great beers for the more casual viewing.

4. Zum Schneider- Montauk

Being that this is a German beirhaus, soccer, or futbol rather, runs through their veins. They are showing the games on all of their screens, and you can guarantee the crowd will be into it.

3. Southampton Social Club- Southampton

SCC is installing eight more 60 inch TVs throughout the club in order to make the viewing even more accessible.  They will be posting on their Facebook page which games they’ll be showing.

2. Sloppy Tuna- Montauk

The Sloppy Tuna has two projectors and eight T.V.s set up and will be showing every game. If you are in a share house and looking to drink more and watch less, this is the place to go.

1. Rowdy Hall- East Hampton

Rowdy is playing every game. They have installed TVs outside and inside and are have a beer promotion starting tomorrow (16oz cups and $5 refills). They also have an “Irish soccer guru” as the bartender. Out of all of the places we spoke to, no one was as excited for the World Cup as Rowdy Hall!

Go USA!

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LT Burger

img_ltburgerlogoHappy Memorial Day Weekend 2014! It is great to be back! This weekend was a whirlwind of people and activities and I was only able to eat in a restaurant once the entire weekend. Friday night we brought in La Parmigiana after driving for what seemed like an eternity to get out east. La Parm never disappoints. Gnocci in pesto? Yes. Saturday night we had a large BBQ supplied by the new Citarella in Southampton (more on that later). And when Sunday finally came, we were ready to leave the house.

LT Burger seemed like a great choice because we were looking for something low key, not terribly expensive, and something that would accommodate our party of eleven. LT took our reservation, but asked for us to come at 830. Sure, no problem!

It turns out that the kitchen closes at 9. If you were closing your kitchen at 9 pm, why would you ask people to sit down at 830? I understand that on a typical Sunday night, closing at 9 pm might make sense, but would you not adjust that on a three day weekend? Perhaps you could have told us that on the phone? I have so many questions, LT Burger!

So we sat down at 8:40 and our incredibly sweet and understanding waitress let us know we have to order immediately. I hate being rushed when I am paying to eat in a restaurant. It defeats the purpose of coming to dine in a restaurant. But I digress… Within minutes of sitting down everyone at the table was sweating. Our table was next to the kitchen and not near a fan. Layers of clothing were being shed, menus turned into fans, and we were officially schvitzing. We did convince our waitress to prop open a door which helped quite a lot.

LT Burger has a trendy yet approachable decor. The white subway tile on the walls and the lightbulbs with the filaments exposed are visually appealing. They write specials with dry erase marker on the tiles which shows they do not take themselves too seriously (unless you ask to sign one of the celebrity tiles, that was serious business).

Although the dining experience did not start off on the right foot, the food was a nice turn around. I will not say this is the best meal in the Hamptons, nor the best burger, but the meal was good. The fried pickles and kale salad for the appetizers were tasty and decently sized. The brisket nachos, although delicious, was poorly constructed. The bowl was too deep and not wide enough, and therefore the toppings were not evenly distributed. By the time you got passed the top layer, there was just a bowl of chips. I’ve eaten enough nachos in my life to know that a shallow, larger dish is the right move.

The burgers were all creative and well constructed. I had the Dirty Chicken which had smoked gouda cheese, fried onions, and cole slaw. It was a great alternative to a beef burger. The special burger was the Farmhouse, which was a beef burger with farm cheddar cheese, an egg, and truffle oil. It was pretty enjoyable, yet a little more truffle oil would have done the trick (doesn’t it always?). The burgers are tasty but not write home worthy. It will definitely satisfy a burger craving, but I plan to compare it to Bay Burger soon.

Unfortunately, I was only able to try one milkshake, a classic, all-American, vanilla shake. My father always told me that if a straw can stand up straight in the center of a milkshake, you have a winner, and this one met the requirements.

Pro: Great place for families and kids to go for an inexpensive meal in the Hamptons.

Con: Do not take reservations so close to closing time!

Pro: They have fried pickles and fried Oreos. Enough Said.

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Top 5 Restaurants for Dinner

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*this list does not include Montauk

5. Dockers Waterside Restaurant and Marina- Quogue

Dockers doesn’t have the best food in the Hamptons – not even close. But it does have other things going for it: it’s one of the only casual restaurants located west of Montauk that is on the water, boasts live music, decent seafood and a fantastic sunset. It does not accept reservations, but is able to handle large groups. While most restaurants out east try to be as New York-y as possible, it’s nice to remember once in a while we are, in fact, in a beach town.

4. Tutto Il Giorno- Sag Harbor and Southampton 

The food at Tutto Il Giorno’s Sag Harbor and Southampton locations is almost identical, but Sag Harbor is the better of the two. The chance of a celebrity sighting, people watching and coziness of the Sag Harbor location gives it the edge. They both have satisfying Italian dishes, good wine and outdoor seating.

 3. The Palm- East Hampton

The Palm is a Hamptons staple. As long as I have been coming out east, we have gone to the Huntting Inn to eat at The Palm. The food at The Palm is consistently great. Do you really even need a menu (Monday Night salad, NY strip, carrot cake)? The Palm is a place to see and be seen. You’re almost guaranteed to wait for your table, it does not take reservations for parties of two, but accepts walk-ins. No true Hamptons experience is complete without a visit to The Palm.

2. La Fondita- Amagansett

Mexican street food done right…well at least in the Hamptons. You would have no idea walking into La Fondita that it is owned by the people behind Nick and Toni’s (loses it’s authenticity a little, right?). Either way, the fish tacos at La Fondita are uncontested, the chipotle mayo is perfect, and it is worth trying each of their house sauces. The music, picnic tables, and Mexican sodas trick you into believing you’re in Mexico, that is until you have to get back on 27.

 1. The Beacon- Sag Harbor

I have done you a disservice by not writing a full review on The Beacon yet (I promise its coming!). It is, hands down, my favorite restaurant out east. The Beacon is owned by David Loewenberg, the man who is behind many other Hamptons classics such as RedBar, Little Red, Bell and Anchor, and Fresno. None of them hold a candle to The Beacon. The Beacon is located on the water in Sag Harbor over looking the marina. The sunset alone is worth the visit, but its the food brings you back time and time again. The shrimp salad, Portobello mushroom, tuna, and the halibut in parchment paper are a few of my favorites. Make sure to end your meal with their homemade ice cream sandwich; you won’t regret it.

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BLT Steak vs. Delmonico’s- A Steak Off

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I don’t normally compare two restaurants in the same post, however, when two NYC transplant restaurants appear in the same town, the comparison is begging to be written.

I ate in BLT over Memorial Day weekend and I ate at Delmonico’s this past weekend. This undoubtedly gives Delmonico’s a leg up, for the sheer fact that it was opened more than two days when I visited. Both restaurants are offering the same meal at face value: A New York City steak house in the Hamptons. We already have one of these, Bobby Vans. Do we really need two more?

BLT Steak is in the old Nobu at the Capri Hotel. The décor changed very little, if at all, from when it was Nobu. Its beachy, its warm, its pretty. When you sit down they offer you chicken liver pate with your bread and with your meal you are given their famous popovers (with the most enormous salt shakers known to man). The popovers alone are worth the visit to BLT. The menu at BLT is limiting. If you do not want to eat steak you have very few other options; one fish and one chicken option. The steak portions are also huge, comically so. The meal is very expensive, however, you get a lot of food for your money. The caesar salad, tuna tartar, and the slice of double cut bacon were all great as appetizers. They refused to split the caesar in the kitchen, which seems like an easy request. The hanger steak was tasty and not chewy, but I am warning you, it is ridiculously salty. Coming from a family that salts everything, this was the saltiest steak I’ve ever eaten. I was drinking water all night. To me, nothing ends a meal on a better note than when the check is served with a small cookie. And man, did BLT surpass a little cookie. They serve warm blondie squares with the check and they were incredible bites of warm chocolatey goodness. BLT was pretty empty on Memorial Day weekend, but it was Sunday night and early in the season. As the season continues, I believe the crowd will pick up (if it hasn’t already).

Delomonico’s is in the old Savannah’s location. I was very sad to see Savannah’s go, so for me, it will be big shoes to fill. Unlike BLT Steak, I have never been to Delmonico’s in NYC, so this was a completely novel experience. Delmonico’s updated the décor and made it feel more “beachy-farm chic,” if that’s a thing. The menu at Delmonico’s has a wider range of non-steak items to choose from. It is still very expensive, but the portions are somewhat small. The tuna tartar was incredibly tiny. It was actually three bites. The caesar salad was an average size. The salmon, filet, and burger were all decent and we each enjoyed our meal. The food is certainly good enough, but nothing that exciting. There were a lack of waiters and our waiter was always in a rush and never stayed at the table long enough to answer a question. Overall, the meal at Delmonico’s was just slightly better than okay.

The winner of round 1 of the Steak-Off is BLT Steak. The extra perks when dining at BLT along with the portion sizes make dinner a better bang for the buck. At both places you will get a good crowd, good food, and a slight nostalgia for the restaurants that were.

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The New Hampton Coffee

3f90df5416245a2a4d7ac6f75ba0a6e2A West Coast Style Coffee Experience Store? What does that even mean?? Well, I’ll tell you. Its essentially a Starbucks, but with much better coffee.

The new Hampton Coffee opened a week ago next door to BMW on 27 going west. I am a huge Hampton Coffee fan. Their hazelnut coffee is my favorite hot cup of coffee in the Hamptons, hands down. So, of course, I had to stop by the new place… twice.

I have mixed feelings. There is no arguing with the coffee. It is great. And if you are a coffee snob (in the best way possible), they have added the opportunity for you to choose how your cup is brewed. They will also be offerring coffee brewing classes where you can learn the true art of making the perfect cup, and you can walk to the back of the coffee shop and see the roasting machines. For the true coffee connoisseur, you have hit the motherload. However, for someone like me, the one-cup-a-dayer, what I want is to feel  the warmth, coziness, and since we are in the Hamptons, the beachiness, when getting my coffee fix. These were lacking. The floor at the new Hampton Coffee is made up of large, grey, car show room tiles. The walls are black, the space is large, the tables are sparse. It all feels very industrial. Where as Hampton Coffee in Water Mill has wood floors and a beachy vibe, this emotes a very different atmosphere. Hampton Coffee does warm it up a bit with large wooden tables and wooden stools, another large table in the back, and two comfy chairs with a table in between up front. 

Hampton Coffee is set up like a Starbucks, and has a similar glass window with muffins, sandwiches, croissants, and other treats. They do not have a kitchen, but have soups and oatmeal. They do not have a menu displayed, so unless you know how much things cost ahead of time, you won’t find out until you order. They have outdoor seating, tables and chairs with umbrellas. I love Hampton Coffee, and I will continue to be a loyal patron, however, I prefer their Water Mill location.

Pro: You can’t beat a great cup of Hampton Coffee

Con: Too much city for a beach town’s coffee shop

Pro: You really can have quite the coffee experience if you choose to

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Robert’s- An All Year Round Comfort in Water Mill

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Since the closing of Paradise in Sag Harbor, my family, especially my dad, has been looking to fill the crispy chicken hole in his stomach. Word on ‘27 was that since Robert’s is the same owner as the former Paradise, they would now carry their famous chicken. With Mother’s Day weekend being held out east, is was a no brainer as to where we would head for dinner on Saturday night.

The best thing about eating at Robert’s during the off season is the warm and inviting fireplace, a luxury one avoids during the summer season. There was the right amount of chill in the Spring air to enjoy the fireplace. From the outside, Robert’s looks like a home rather than a restaurant, and when you walk in, it feels just as inviting. The wood beams, the low ceilings, all make you feel like you are walking into a familiar and comforting space. The Maitre d’ was formerly at Paradise, and was  funny, kind, and let us know the chicken was on the menu. The only difference, he informed us, was that the herbs were fresh, rather than dried. But will it be as good? <Cue family debate.>

As some readers are aware, I am not a fan of when bread is served but no bread plates are given. This was the case, but at least there were white table clothes to eat off of. The bread was warm, bread plates were given when asked, and the menus were large. In bold letters on the bottom of the menu states NO SUBSTITUTIONS. As a patron, this always bothers me. Even if I don’t want to. I can’t help but think of all the things I might want to substitute. The maitre d’ did let my father know that he was allowed to substitue the polenta, which came with the chicken, for the shoe string potato fries. This was customary with the chicken from paradise. Phew. Crisis averted.

The appetizers surpassed the entrées for everyone in my family. My appetizer was a warm mushroom salad, with shallots and bitter greens. I eliminated the chickpeas (eliminations are allowed). My family enjoyed their appetizers as well,  asparagus with shaved parmesan, and  prosciutto di parma with zucchini. Our side dish, the Brussels sprouts with bacon, arrived with our appetizers, and then were too cold to eat with our meal.

Our main dishes took a turn south. My mother and I ordered the crispy duck. It was served in a red wine broth with fennel and olives. It was well cooked and neither dry nor fatty, but only moderately seasoned. It was tasty and I would recommend it. Although I am not a big fan of fennel, there were no substitutions allowed. My father and brother both ordered the chicken. Granted, the chicken had a high standard to live up to, according to my father the chicken expert, it did not quite meet it. The chicken was crispy and also not dry, but bland. The French fries on the other hand, were soggy and a big disappointment. My sister-in-law’s pasta with wild mushrooms, parmesan, truffle oil, and oregano was extremely tasteless. It required a lot of doctoring up with salt and pepper to have any flavor.

Biscotti is the way to please my family for dessert, and Robert’s did not disappoint. It was crispy, not chewy, chocolate chip biscotti. The apple pie was a lot more apple than crust, and as long as you don’t mind a thicker, less pastry filled apple pie, you will enjoy it.

Overall, Robert’s is a consistently good restaurant in Water Mill. It has yet to replace the crispy chicken from Paradise, but those are big shoes to fill. I would not recommend the mushroom pasta, but the setting, staff, and food, are all worth a visit.

Pro: Warm and inviting atmosphere.

Con: Pasta was bland, chicken didn’t meet the hype, and No Substitutions.

Pro: Serves consistently good food all year round.

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