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Entries in TRAVEL New York: The Hamptons (11)

Thursday
Aug162012

Let's 'tauk seafood: Dinner at Dave's Grill

  • Restaurant  Dave's Grill
  • Cuisine  American, seafood
  • Location  468 West Lake Drive (Montauk, NY)
  • Phone  631-668-9190
  • Directions  Hopstop
  • Atmosphere  dimly-lit, indoor/outdoor dining, casual elegance
  • Attire  smart casual
  • Ideal for  small to medium-sized group dining, 1x1, older bar scene, al-fresco dining, views
  • Price  expensive

For my last meal in Montauk, I wanted to go somewhere with a reputation of serving excellent seafood.  Not that most restaurants in Montauk don't serve amazing seafood, but I wanted the best of the best.  And, according to locals and tourists, alike, Dave's Grill was *the* place to go. 

Although the restaurant has been around since 1988, it wasn't until this summer that I had first heard of Dave's.  But, then again, Montauk was just a sleepy fishing village until the yuppies took it over in 2008.  And, because MTK is "the hottest Hampton" these days, getting a reservation at Dave's is no easy fete.  Get this:  Dave's only takes reservations day-of.  The phone lines open at 4:15pm, and you may get a busy signal for a half hour before someone answers (...this was the case for me, at least).  After about 45 consecutive redials, I was told that a 3-top would be available at 10pm.  "Great!"  I exclaimed, "We'll take it!"

Located right by the docks on Montauk Harbor, Dave's breathes an air of elegance in to otherwise casual surroundings.  Terracotta-colored walls are adorned with large windows and back-lit oil paintings.  Nautical tchotchkes adorn shelves that overlook perfectly-set white tablecloths.  Booth and table seating are available, and guests can choose from either indoor or al-fresco dining.

Sarah, Nicole, and I arrived at Dave's just before 10pm, and were seated immediately.

Photo: Daves Grill dot comEven at 10pm, both the restaurant and bar were abuzz with jovial guests of all ages.  The atmosphere, mood, and welcoming staff really gave me the sense that I was on vacation.  And *not* on vacation in New York.  I can't really explain it, but I felt happily far away and, for once during my summer dining experiences out East, at ease.  Why?  Because I knew that the folks who were running the show here weren't going to try to up-sell appetizers or desserts, or raise an eyebrow if I ordered the damn "grilled quesadilla" over the lobster.  Honestly, almost every other restaurant I've been to this summer has been chock-full of snobby, know-it-all snoots.  

From the get-go, Dave's just seemed to be a breath of fresh, briny, sea air.

~

To start, Sarah and I chose to split an order of the Clams Casino (clams on-the-halfshell baked with breadcrumbs and bacon).

A half-dozen clams on-the-halfshell were individually topped with a breadcrumb mixture, that consisted of chopped bacon, butter, garlic, and parsley.  The shells were served atop a pool of melted butter.  A lemon wedge and two seafood forks accompanied.

Upon first bite, each plump clam ruptured in my mouth, giving way to a briny flavor remnant of the cold Atlantic waters.  The warm and crunchy breadcrumb topping added a peppy textural contrast to the dense flesh.  While the lemon notes calmed the inherent flavor of the clams, the melted butter added a sexy, rich naughtiness that proved perfect for soaking up with bread.

"Which would you recommend?"  I asked our kind server upon my turn to order an entree, "Dave's 'Original' Cioppino, or Dave's 'Famous Fish Stew?'"  Since her answer was "both, it just depends on whether you want a tomato or a cream-base," I told her to surprise me.  Hell, I don't discriminate!

And the winner was...Dave's "Original" Cioppino.

A chunky tomato and wine broth, dotted with onions and fresh parsley, was chock-full of fresh shrimp, scallops, mussels, clams, lobster, and fish.  In true San Francisco style, the stew was topped with a heavily buttered piece of grilled sourdough garlic bread.

The fragrant, robust broth was seasoned so precisely that I did not even have to tweak it with salt/pepper.  Total shocker/rarity for me!  The bountiful array of shellfish was a true delight, and everything, aside from the "fish" (I couldn't tell you which type of fish), was exquisitely fresh.  Had it not tasted as if the fish was caught last year, this beautiful stew would have been perfect! 

C'mon, you *know* we didn't stop at entrees!  Obviously, the three of us ordered dessert...I chose the Homemade Crisp Du Jour.

Baked in a white ramekin was a melange of summer fruits:  Peaches, blueberries, and plums.  Bound by a lightly sweetened elixir, the fruit was topped with an ample mound of oat streusel.  The piping hot crisp was finished with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Although I prefer my pies and crisps cloyingly sweet, this version truly allowed for the natural flavors of the fruit trio to shine.  Instead of added sugar.  My favorite part of the dessert was the oat-y, crumbly streusel topping that magically soaked up the cold vanilla ice cream. 

The girls and I had a fantastic dining experience at Dave's.  From the location, indoor-outdoor seating, and proximity to the water - to the friendly staff and delicious food - Dave's is a Montauk gem.  I cannot wait to return in summer 2013!  I highly recommend this wonderful seafood sanctuary if, of course, you can score a reservation!

~~~

Until we eat again,  

The Lunch Belle

Wednesday
Aug152012

My Montauk ship has sailed: A 2012 Hamptons recap

After completing my final 'summer 2012' weekend in Montauk, I wanted to share some of my favorite FYI's - eats and drinks - and my overall bitchy, judgmental opinions:

  1. Trying to snag a seat on the after-work/5-something p.m. Montauk-bound LIRR (that's the train, for those of you who are not aware) takes almost as much physical and mental exertion as does experiencing sorority rush in the South.  Why?  Because, physically, you're competing for *one* seat with hundreds, if not thousands, of young folks.  And, mentally, because most of these young folks are behaving like newly-unleashed freshman co-eds who have just "shot gunned" their first beer.  I swear, if I hear the word "bro," or the song, "Call Me Maybe," one more time...
  2. ...to that point, it's much more civilized to travel via the 7:45a.m. train on Saturday morning.  Unless you're in your 20's, it's not that big of a deal to 'miss out' on a Friday night. 
  3. The Hampton Jitney, namely the Ambassador Class, is my preferred method of NYC-bound transportation.  Too leJitney to quitney!  It's quiet, the bathroom is relatively clean, and free snacks + bottled water are passed throughout the journey.  
  4. But, let's face it, if you have a car or access to one, take advantage of your situation and drive!  Trust me, freedom of movement in the Hamptons is the ultimate luxury. 
  5. ...if you don't have access to a car, however, have cash on-hand for cabs.  Lots and lots of cash.
  6. My cab company of choice is Lindy's:  631-907-1111.
  7. Montauk is really, really far.  No matter what method of transportation you use (Aside from a helicopter, of course, Mr. Trump.).
  8. ...it's also a really, really young crowd. 
  9. That said, I've decided that I am much more of an East Hampton girl.  I love the location, the shops, the restaurants, and the fancy 'hustle-bustle.'  Plus, there's a healthier mix of ages (...in other words, I'm not considered a geriatric out there.).
  10. I perform horribly in communal living situations with parties over 4-6.  Did I not learn my lesson at camp, pre getting kicked out?  Sigh. 
  11. ...Many times, I'm just not in the mood to make 'small talk' with randoms or wear a perma-smile.  
  12. I feel like a fat, wrinkled/freckled, buck-toothed slob.  Why?  Because everyone in the Hamptons is beyond gorgeous.  Model-esque.  Men, women...and children, too!  Barely anyone is fat (Plastic surgery!  Cocaine?).  No one has wrinkles (Botox!).  And everyone's teeth are straight and blindingly white (Braces!  Zoom!  Veneers!).  It's kinda' like LA...only with a Brooklyn accent.
  13. ...oh, and everyone works out religiously, too.  Thank you Exhale, Soul Cycle, Tracy Anderson, and Flywheel!
  14. I prefer a pool to the beach.
  15. The butteriest, most delicious glazed sugar cookies *anywhere* can be found at Montauk Bake ShoppeI'm a big fan of the lighthouse variety, as seen in the picture, below.   
  16. The frozen margarita at Cyril's sucks.  Like, really bad.  But the signature "BBC (Bailey's Banana Colada)," sans the rum floater, is delish.
  17. The frozen margarita at The Sloppy Tuna, however, is awesome.  Perhaps the best on the South Fork!
  18. I absolutely loved reading the breakfast menu at Babette's, which contained items that I would showcase if I had my own restaurant.  An example:  "Huevos Deluxe" Beer-basted eggs, nachos with cheddar, salsa, avocado, and sour cream.  YUM!!
  19. The scenery and landscaping in the Hamptons is immaculate and second to none. 
  20. If you must do the beach, invest in a damn beach chair.  Unless, of course, you enjoy finding/feeling sand in odd crevices.  Laying on a towel just plain sucks.  And hurts.
  21. Believe it or not, there is actually decent Mexican food to be had in the Hamptons!  Great cheese enchiladas at Blue Parrot; yummy chips + guacamole, pork tacos, Mexican Coca-Cola (made with *real* sugar instead of corn syrup), and 'Mexican wedding cookies' at La Fondita

 

~~~

Until next summer,

The Lunch Belle

Tuesday
Jul312012

The Hamptons: Lunch at Cittanuova

  • Restaurant  Cittanuova
  • Cuisine  Italian
  • Location  29 Newtown Ln., East Hampton
  • Phone  631-324-6300
  • Directions  Hopstop
  • Atmosphere  casual-chic, indoor/outdoor seating
  • Attire  smart casual
  • Ideal for  small to medium-sized group dining, 1x1, bar scene, great location
  • Price  affordable to moderate

When it rains during the day in the Hamptons, there's not much else to do, aside from a) curling up to a good book, b) catching a flick at the movie theater, c) going shopping in East Hampton, or d) eating/drinking.  I prefer the latter two, thank you very much.  I mean, I just don't have the attention span for theater movies (Duh, there's no pause button!), and I kind of hate to read.  So, I'll take window shopping at East Hampton's gorgeous boutiques and leisurely lunching at one of Main Street or Newton Lane's best.

Sure enough, I arrived in Montauk last Saturday to, what seemed like, a never-ending rain shower.  So, the girls and I decided to drive to East Hampton and make a day out of shopping, eating, drinking, and whatever else we could get ourselves in to. 

We arrived at Cittanuova around noon, and were surprised to find that the restaurant was not completely packed with fellow Hamptonites dodging the rain.  "Can we have one of the tables in the bar area facing a TV?"  Emily asked the hostess.  "We really want to watch swimming (Olympics)."  Sure enough, we were seated at a cozy 4-top - what we considered to be the best table in the house - just beyond the bar.  With the perfect view of the Olympics to our right, and a picturesque image of a rainy Newton Lane to our left.

What is described as sleek, sexy, and Milanese in style (whatever that means), Cittanuova evokes a casual sophistication that mingles seamlessly with its chic, seaside location. 

After all, when summer-izing in the Hamptons, isn't the option of *either* indoor or al-fresco dining key?  I'd like to think so.  

Because it was Saturday - because the weather sucked - because I was on vacation - because, because, because, I kicked lunch off with a margarita.  And a damn good one, at that. 

Aside from the fact that, visually, the glass was taller than most - perfectly salted - and was rimmed with extra limes, the margarita, itself, was delicious.  I always appreciate when a restaurant uses freshly-squeezed lime juice and agave nectar or house-made simple syrup.  None of that fluorescent green, store-bought shit.

Because so many of the menu items caught our eyes, Emily and I decided to split two salads and a pizza.  

Rucola (salad)

Arugula greens were tossed with white beans, red onion, cherry tomato halves, and sliced grana padano (cheese).  The greens were dressed with lemon and olive oil. 

Aside from its "toss ins," I found this salad to be pretty damn boring.  Because there was not enough dressing, the arugula greens remained rather dry and difficult to maneuver.  Yawn and meh.

Burrata

An ample mound of creamy burrata cheese was drizzled with olive oil and plated atop sweet balsamic vinegar.  Three slices of toasted crostini and a trio of blistered cherry tomatoes accompanied.

The burrata, itself, was outstanding:  The exterior had a similar texture and density to that of a hard-boiled egg white.  And, like an egg, the burrata's "crust" gave way to a creamy, molten, yolk-like interior. 

I appreciated the chef's use of sweet, rather than sour, balsamic vinegar, as it's not something I see often.  On the flip side, I was disappointed by the too-crunchy, tasteless crostini and those damn, outfit-destroying cherry tomatoes.  Have you ever tried to cut in to a cherry tomato?  Juice squirts out EVERYWHERE.  God forbid you're wearing white/pastel linen or poplin.  I mean, come on, Cittanuova, how many guest's dry-cleaning bills will you have to pay before you switch over to sliced tomatoes? 

Special pizza of the day:  Meatball

A griddled, flatbread crust was topped with crushed San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella + grana padano cheeses, and sliced meatballs.

Enveloped by a smoky, griddled char, the pizza's shell revealed a chewy, toothsome body and a crunchy crust.  Topped with the perfect amount of tomato and stringy cheese, the only component that dumbed the pie down were the meatballs, which tasted of similar quality to those found in $1-slice shops across the city. 

Cittanuova is a great place for a bite + a glass of wine/cocktail during your shopping break.  Or, in our case, escaping the summer rain.  While I wouldn't necessarily call it destination-worthy, Cittanuova is a solid Newton Lane staple. 

~~~

Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle

Tuesday
Jun262012

Dinner at South Edison (Montauk, NY)

  • Restaurant  South Edison
  • Cuisine  American, seafood-centric
  • Location  17 S. Edison St., Montauk
  • Phone  631-668-4200
  • Atmosphere  bright, airy, beach hues, relaxed sophistication
  • Attire  smart casual
  • Ideal for  small to medium-sized group dining, 1x1, bar scene, oyster happy hour,
  • Price  moderate

South Edison is a seafood-centric/American restaurant that has been on my "must try list" for a little over a year.  Originally, I had planned to dine there last August but, just a day or two before our reservation, my group decided to attend a charity event in Southampton, instead. 

"Can we change the party size from 4 to 8?"  Within hours, 8 people had morphed in to 11.  But, by the next morning, our party had shrunk back down to 8.  Ultimately, on day-of, we were merely a table of 3.  Sigh.  A big thanks to Emily, South Edison's general manager, who could not have been more patient/flexible with my crazy, multiple reservation amendments (via email)! 

The three of us - Em, Jane, and I - arrived at South Edison at 8pm and were seated immediately.  Within seconds, our water glasses were filled and we were each handed food and cocktail/wine menus.

While awaiting the arrival of my margarita, I couldn't help but notice how relaxed I felt.  Oddly at peace and at ease, which is quite the rarity.  Blame it on South Edison's tranquil, casually sophisticated, coastal-chic atmosphere:  Orange and turquoise-blue hues - big, unobstructed windows overlooking Montauk proper - vaulted ceilings adorned with fans...

My relaxing "trance" was positively interrupted by the arrival of my Meyer Margarita, which consisted of:  Milagro Tequila, fresh lime and Meyer lemon, agave, and salt.  Although the citrus flavor was delicious, I found the 'rita just a tad too sweet. 

Photo from South Edison dot comMeyer Lemon MargaritaTo start, Em and I decided to split an order of local Jonah crab claws.  Additionally, I ordered four "Montauk Pearls" oysters all for myself.  There's just something about being in such close proximity to the Atlantic that makes me constantly crave seafood!

Since poor Jane is allergic to shellfish, she began with the Day Boat Fluke Sashimi.    

Local Jonah crab claws"Montauk Pearls" oystersJane's order of 'Day Boat Fluke Sashimi,' with glazed baby turnip, crispy shallot, chili jam, fresh serrano, and micro cilantro.I was torn between three entrees:  Black & Blue Local Diver Scallops, South Edison Fish 'n' Chips, and the Lobster Roll.  "You know what?"  I responded, when our server asked what I'd like to order, "I think you should surprise me.  Pick the best dish of the three.  I trust you."  Emily and Jane both looked at one another - then at me - and gasped.  Simultaneously.  "What, guys?  It's not like he can go wrong!"

And the winner was..................Black & Blue Local Diver Scallops

Four perfectly grilled, local diver scallops were served alongside spring peas and pickled lime quinoa that was topped with a wedge of charred Treviso radicchio.  Fragrant and colorful parsley oil finished the dish.

Everything on my plate was cooked and paired, both in flavor and texture, exquisitely.  I was in heaven...until I tasted Jane's Lemongrass Local Porgy a la Plancha.

I mean, come on, as if her entree wasn't gorgeous enough to look at...it tasted even better!  Porgy, a local white fish, was prepared skin-on and served over fragrant jalapeno sauce, corn puree, sauteed peppers and maitake mushrooms, and finished with whole corn kernels and micro daikon. 

As much as I hate to say it - because I reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally hate the train - this dish would be worth the 6-hour round trip trek to Montauk, alone.  (Whoever said "getting there is half the fun" must have been high.)  Transcendent.  Truly transcendent.

Shared side dishes

Smoky Potatoes 

It was love at first sight.  While these oven-roasted, multi-colored baby potatoes looked almost too pretty to eat, ultimately, I prefer my potatoes...fried.  :)

Hand Cut Fries

OK, we went a bit "potato heavy."  So what?  We finished every last fry in the damn bowl. 

Our batch of fries was perfect, aside from the stingy serving of ketchup:  Each fry contained the ideal amount of skin - was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside - and was doused with just enough salt to get the job done, but not overwhelm.  Bam!

Fried Olives

Prior to receiving this "side," I assumed that the fried olives would come stuffed with, not served alongside, piquillo pepper goat cheese.  Although I was wrong, I was not disappointed.  I appreciated the fact that the pungent goat cheese acted as more of an optional "dip" (for the olives) that could be consumed by those who like it.  Because, in my opinion, fried, salty green olives do not need any accompaniments.  They're delicious and calorically-scandalous enough on their own!  Completely naked.

Desserts

Campfire S'Mores Pie

Although we had every intention of splitting both of the desserts we ordered, Jane and I didn't care too much for this particular one.  Frankly, I found it too "mousse-y" and one-dimensional.  Em, on the other hand, loved its abundance of toasted marshmallow fluff and chocolate mousse.  

Special dessert of the eve:  Blackberry Mousse

Perched on a bed of crunchy, toasted coconut crisps was a cylindrical dollop of blackberry mousse that was crowned with a scoop of tangy passion fruit sorbet.  

While the tropical, summery flavor combination delighted, it was the contrasting textural components that truly excited.   

...

I'm thrilled to have finally dined at South Edison!  But, what's more, the meal far exceeded any of my expectations.  Additionally, I found the service, the staff's knowledge of food/wine, and the atmosphere to be very impressive.  I look forward to returning again before the summer of '13.  Bravo!

~~~

Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle 

Monday
Jun252012

Let's 'tauk Hamptons: a recap of my weekend in Montauk

One down, four to go.  Weekends in Montauk, that is.  I just returned from my first 48-hour Hamptons jaunt of the summer season.  And, yes, it was everything that I had hoped for:  Plenty of sun, debauchery, gorgeous scenery, fantastic people-watching and ogling, delicious seafood, and multiple hours spent at the beach.  Both in and out of the water!  Needless to say, I returned home with a sunburn from head to toe (literally), and celebrity-worthy "exhaustion."

...

Friday

Jane, Justin, and I hopped aboard the 6:17pm Montauk-bound LIRR (train).  With an ETA of 9:07pm, this made for quite a long journey; especially when you consider that we put in a full day at work.  But, luckily, the train arrived in Montauk on-time, and we were at our share house by 9:30pm.   And, by 10pm, we were sipping cocktails al-fresco at The Surf Lodge.

Saturday

Having woken up before anyone in the house, I walked down to the beach with my camera...

On my way, I spotted this gorgeous backyard - with a dark-bottom pool - and could not help but snap a photo.  I love how the "pool deck" is grass, instead of some sort of concrete.

Although it's been eight years, I'm still blown away by all of the vegetation that grows *naturally* in this part of the country.  Hence why I took a picture of this ivy-encrusted telephone pole.   (...You do not see this kind of stuff in El Paso, Texas!)

Perfectly-manicured lawns and violet hydrangea "pom poms" abound

Private beach

For a quick breakfast, we drove in to town and picked up some goodies at Montauk Bake Shoppe.  I enjoyed an iced coffee and an egg white/veggie breakfast wrap.  I highly recommend the glazed butterfly-shaped sugar cookies!  

After we returned home to get ready for the day, we headed back towards town and parked ourselves at the public beach (...conveniently located next to The Sloppy Tuna, a beach bar and restaurant).  Between drink runs to 'Sloppy and trepidatious dips in the chilly Atlantic, we enjoyed hours of 'fun in the sun.'

For a pre-dinner cocktail, Emily, Jane, and I headed to Navy Beach.  

For dinner, we went to South Edison, a restaurant that I had been eager to try for about a year (click here for my review).  All I'll say is that it did not disappoint...

What did disappoint, however, was where we went for cocktails post-dinner:  Ruschmeyer's.  OK, so I get the draw of this nautical/summer camp-inspired hotel (with a very popular bar and restaurant), but I have never been anywhere - Times Square and Hong Kong, included - that was more crowded.  In my entire life.  Just because I live in and love Manhattan does not necessarily mean that I love being sandwiched between wall-to-wall people.  Drunk and sweaty ones, at that.  Bottom line:  The space and atmosphere here is fantastic.  The crowd-control is NOT.           

Sunday

Jane, Emily, and I woke up around 9am and went for an abbreviated beach walk.  Upon our return to the house, we packed a day bag and headed back towards town, to the public beach.  For a quick breakfast, we grabbed some coffees and egg wraps at local favorite, Joni's, and then made our way towards the water.  Because Sunday was such a gorgeous day, we decided to take advantage of the perfect weather and catch a 5:30pm NYC-bound train (as opposed to leaving earlier).

For a late lunch, we made it a point to stop by Duryea's Lobster Deck to enjoy one of Montauk's best lobster rolls and waterside views.

Photo: www.localknit.comLobster roll on a sesame-seed bun, cole slaw, potato salad

Restaurants mentioned in this post:

Nightlife/bars mentioned in this post:

  • Navy Beach  great cocktails, chic-nautical theme, imbibe waterside, relatively less crowded than Ruschmeyer's or Surf Lodge
  • Ruschmeyer's  spacious property that utilizes both indoor/outdoor space, twenty-something friendly, becomes overly-crowded on weekend nights
  • The Sloppy Tuna  beach-side bar and restaurant, live music, frozen drinks
  • The Surf Lodge  this is the spot that put Montauk on every young person's radar back in 2008 - good cocktails - lovely outdoor space

~~~

Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle

Tuesday
Aug232011

The Travel Martyr's guide: how NOT to give yourself a stress-induced coronary in the Hamptons

Summer.  The beach.  Sun-kissed hair and skin.  Lazy Saturday afternoons.  I want you to close your eyes for a second and picture/think about those words and phrases.  OK, now open your eyes.  Do you feel more relaxed?  I'm assuming that most of you nodded your heads "yes."  For those of you who didn't, I can only assume that you've just returned from a weekend in the Hamptons.  So did I.

Look, I'll be the first to admit that I'm a sucker for the East EndThe Hamptons is town after town of the most fabulous, unique beach communities in the country, atleast in my opinion.  Where else can jaded New Yorkers, who seem to turn their noses up at any city other than "the city," go to that is: beach-y, green, spacious, nearby, chock-full of fabulous shopping - comparable if not better restaurants - a bar and club scene - etc., etc., etc.  The list literally goes on...and on...and on, people.  To answer my own question, there isn't anywhere else!  Many folks will agree, the Hamptons feels like a tranquil "home away from home."  If NYC is your home, that is.

Photo: Vanity FairWith all of that being said, however, there are some draw-backs about the Hamptons:

  • Traffic on the 2-lane, desperately-in-need-of-paving Montauk Highway
  • Expensive, lackluster hotels (or shall I say "motels"): if you think that there are a slew of 5-star properties out here, think again.  Most "hotels" are about as fancy as your town's local Motel 6.  And, no, I'm not exaggerating.  Here, it's all about the homes. 
  • Yuppie central: this can be viewed as either good or bad, depending on your personal point of view.  If you're in search of a little culture or flavor, you're not going to find it in the Hamptons.
  • Beach parking permits: for most, if not all, beaches, you need a "beach parking permit," or else you run the risk of getting slapped with a $200 ticket, just as yours truly experienced first hand in 2009.  Oh, and bring a wad of cash, because you'll likely have to pay an entry fee just to spend the day at the beach.  Think upwards of $40/car. 

So, for those of you planning to head out East this weekend, Labor Day, or not again until next summer - grab a pen and take some notes!  I've compiled a short list of my tried and true tips to prevent or, at the very least, lessen your chances of having a stress-induced coronary from some of the triggers that the Hamptons will throw your way.  Just call me your personal "Travel Martyr."

  1. Where are you staying?  Make sure to keep the address and Hamptons town that it's located in on you at all times.  This leads perfectly in to point #2...
  2. Cabs: fares are negotiable - don't ever pay full price.  Always have cash on-hand, as taxis are not equipped with credit card machines, a-la-Manhattan. 
  3. Car rental: bottom line is to pickup and drop-off in the Hamptons, not NYC.  Instead of driving out of Manhattan, take the LIRR/Jitney to Southampton Station.  From there, take a 5-minute cab ride to either the Avis or Hertz agency in town.  On your way home, drop your rental off there, as well!  When doing so, plan ahead: call a cab 3-hours prior to your scheduled LIRR/Jitney departure, and have them fetch you from the rental agency.  Ask to be dropped off at the train or bus station.
  4. LIRR eastbound (train): if you have an hour to spare, I highly suggest that you avoid beginning your East-bound trip at Penn Station at all costs, especially on a Friday.  Instead, take the Queens-bound E train to Sutphin Blvd. and transfer to the Montauk-bound LIRR.  Believe me when I tell you that this will make your commute much more relaxed.  And, take it from me: you're less likely to be provoked to want to beat up a fellow passenger.  Seriously.

I hope I haven't scared anyone.  But, if I have, I'd like to share something that this random gal told me after she overheard me complaining about that infamous two-lane highway: "They choose to keep it small, with only two-lanes, in order to keep away the riff-raff."  Alrighty then. 

Only in the Hamptons...

~~~

Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle