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LA chowhound visiting the Hamptons

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I'm a LA chowhound, and I'm going to visit relatives and stay in Long Island, NY for a couple of days next week.

Since I'm already in Long Island, I figured I could make a day trip visit to the Hamptons. But, is there anything worthwhile or chowhoundish in the Hamptons other than Iacano farms?

As the Hamptons is located so close to the water, can I find something that serves honest, fresh fish and seafood? Anybody have any experience with Southfork Kitchen, which I've read a little about via their blog in the New York Times?

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  1. Depending where on LI you are, a day trip to the Hamptons may or may not be a good idea. If you're in Roslyn, for example, it can be 2 hours or more to East Hampton. Also suggest you don't attempt this on a weekend when Route 27, the only Hamptons thoroughfare, is bound to be jammed.

    If it's food you're interested you may want to try the North Fork instead of the Hamptons. Much more exciting from a culinary / oenophilic standpoint and if you can score a table at North Fork Table and Inn or Luce & Hawkins, so much the better. Lots of North Fork discussion on this board.

    1. Agree on the North Fork rec. Try asap to get a table at North Fork Table & Inn! Delicious!!! Kill some time touring all the wineries. Check out Old Field (my fave) which is just 5 minutes from the restaurant. Also, Corey Creek, Osprey's Dominion, Sparkling Point. If you need lunch, try Love Lane Kitchen in Mattituck or just grab cheese or a sandwich across the street at the Village Cheese Shop.

      -----
      Village Cheese Shop
      105 Love Ln, Mattituck, NY 11952

      Love Lane Kitchen
      240 Love Ln, Mattituck, NY 11952

      1. +2 on North Fork Table and Inn. It's a great meal and very locavore-ish. Are you looking for a fish shack though? I couldn't tell from your post.

        21 Replies
        1. re: roxlet

          So, if I went to the Hamptons next Friday morning and came back later that day, I'd probably hit a lot of traffic as well? It would not be funny to take a vacation only to have to endure the same traffic I face in LA every day.

          Aside from the food, what's the better tourist attraction, the Hamptons or North Folk? And, will I face the same traffic congestion if I went to North Folk?

          I'll be traveling with other relatives, for whom food isn't necessarily the highest thing on their list. So, while I'd love to try North Fork Table just to try Claudia Flemming's desserts, I don't think anybody else will want to pay those prices.(For whatever reason, I had trouble finding Luce & Hawkins menu but I assume their prices are going to be in that same price range.)

          The North Fork Table lunch truck sounds interesting, but is it any good? Will it be hard to find- I see a address for it but won't it be moving around all day?

          1. re: hobbess

            Next Friday is the beginning of Memorial Day Weekend. If you want to go any further east than Southampton, yes, you will hit a lot of traffic. As for tourist attractions, the main ones in the Hamptons are the lovely, fancy-pants towns and big mansions. Most of the beaches are not public. On the North Fork the attractions are cute (though less fancy-pants) towns and vineyards and farms and farmstands.

            The lunch truck is fantastic. Luce & Hawkins actually isn't that expensive--you can have a 5-course tasting menu or a burger. But there are many lower-priced options on North Fork: Love Lane Kitchen in Mattituck, Hellenic Snack Bar in East Marion, Grana pizza in Jamesport. There has been a ton of discussion of North Fork on this board; suggest you do a search.

            -----
            Hellenic Snack Bar
            5145 Main Rd, East Marion, NY 11939

            Love Lane Kitchen
            240 Love Ln, Mattituck, NY 11952

            1. re: hobbess

              Oh, the lunch truck lives in the parking lot of the North Fork Table.

              1. re: hobbess

                Yes, traffic will definitely be a problem in the Hamptons next weekend. Memorial Day is the kick off to the summer season, so everyone who has rented a house will be heading out on Friday. In general, the North Fork tends to be less congested. It is the more sleepy part of the east end. Like Montaulk Highway to the south, the North Fork has Main Road where you will find most of the wineries, NFT&I, and if you keep on going, Greenport, which is the biggest town on the North Fork.

                1. re: roxlet

                  If I go next Wednesday, I should avoid most of those traffic problems?

                  I got the address of where I'm staying on Long Island, but its a bit further out than I expected- about 2 hours to East Hampton and about 1.5 hours to North Fork. (I also looked up chowhound for where I'm staying, and it doesn't like there's a lot of options).

                  Is it possible to go visit Hamptons, but go chowhounding at North Fork? I was looking at mapquest, and it doesn't seem feasible by car. But, isn't there some type of ferry in the harbor?

                  1. re: hobbess

                    I'm sure you're wrong about the distance from anywhere on LI to the North Fork being 1.5 hours. We live in Westchester, and it takes us a little less than that. In general Wednesday would be a better day to visit. I don't understand your statement : s it possible to go visit Hamptons, but go chowhounding at North Fork? I was looking at mapquest, and it doesn't seem feasible by car. But, isn't there some type of ferry in the harbor?
                    To be honest, I'm really not sure about what you are wanting to do.

                    1. re: roxlet

                      Obviously, you're more familiar with the area than I am.

                      But, what I did was type in the address in Manhaasset to one of the wineries in North Fork in Mapquest and that's how I got the info that it would take 1.5 hours.

                      Is there a better, faster route that Mapquest isn't showing me?

                    2. re: hobbess

                      You would be looking at an awful amount of car time if you do the Hamptons to the North Fork thing. There is a ferry from the Hamptons (Sag Harbor) to Shelter island and then you would need to get another ferry from Shelter Island to Greenport (the North Fork).

                      1. re: EM23

                        Yeah, that's the ferry I was asking about.

                        How long does that take?

                        I don't really mind that the Hampton beaches are private because I already live by the beach out here so we weren't planning on swimming or hanging out at the beach anyways.

                        Instead, the plan is leave Wed morning to the Hamptons to drive around and sight see the towns and mansions(my relatives loved that when I drove them around the ritzy areas of LA).

                        After that, take the ferry across to North Fork to grab lunch at something like Love Lane and stop at a farm stand on the way home to grab something to cook for dinner that night.

                        At the very least, I figured this would liven up the sight seeing if we're seeing two different views when we go and when we come back.

                        1. re: hobbess

                          Taking the ferry from Sag Harbor, driving across Shelter Island to the ferry that goes to Greenport takes something like an hour. The ferry rides are very short, and although they do run on a fairly continuous basis, there can be lines of cars waiting, and you may have to wait for one or more ferries before it's your turn to get on. I don't see you making lunch at LLK if you are leaving Manhassett, touring the Hamptons and then taking the ferry, and diving about 30 minutes from Greenport to Mattituck. This is completely doable as an itinerary, but it will take more time than you reckon. Maybe you'll get to Mattituck mid afternoon, which is ok for LLK since I believe that they are open all day.

                          1. re: roxlet

                            I think you are right Roxlet - LLK serves all day.

                            Hobbess - here are the ferry schedules:
                            From Sag Harbor to Shelter Island http://www.southferry.com/schedule.html
                            From Shelter Island to Greenport http://www.northferry.com/schedule.html

                            And there are a couple of restaurants on Shelter Island. The only one I have dined at (and it's been a few years) is The Ram's Head Inn which has a back porch with a lovely view of the bay. http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guid...
                            I don't know how the food is now. Has anyone else dined at Ram's Head recently?

                    3. re: roxlet

                      You really think the North Fork is less congested? We don't leave our house on weekends anymore, just like the Hamptonites. What a nightmare! Not just the traffic, but the general driving ability, it will take away your appetite for sure. Monday and Tuesday aren't so bad.

                      1. re: coll

                        I do, coll. We use the north road a lot, and find that the congestion only happens in certain spots and then clears. In the Hamptons, you're stuck on that conga line forever and there's no place to go.

                        1. re: roxlet

                          Someday after I stop driving through the Hamptons so much, maybe I'll reveal all my secret by passes, but not just yet ;-) I ONLY go on North Road, but by us in Baiting Hollow seems to be the worst for some reason. Mondays aren't bad......

                          1. re: coll

                            We never go to Baiting Hollow, so maybe that it why we have not experienced the NF traffic nightmare you have. Also, we are no longer out there in the fall, which I think is supposed to be the worst with winery tour busses, etc. I know a couple of short cuts in the Hamptons too, but they seem always to inevitably lead back to the conga line! BTW, coll, did you ever see that I had posted the Easter bread recipe you wanted? I didn't see you on the boards much around that time, so I was wondering.

                            1. re: roxlet

                              Thanks SO much, I haven't been on Home Cooking much since my husband had a stroke in February. I am eating terribly and hope that with the summer season, and the farm stands starting to open up, I can get back to normal soon. That is so kind of you to remember, and I may just make a loaf for the two of us this holiday weekend. We could use some comfort food!

                              1. re: coll

                                Oh coll! I am so sorry to hear this about your husband. I hope he is making a good recovery!

                                1. re: roxlet

                                  Thanks so much, he is well enough that we have eaten out more since he got home last month than in the whole year before. As I said, I really have to get back to home cooking!

                                  1. re: coll

                                    Well then, you must report on any wonderful finds out on the east end!

                                    1. re: roxlet

                                      So far we've been going to old favorites to celebrate his liberation, but the two new restaurants in Riverhead are next on our list.

                                      1. re: coll

                                        Great. I'd love to hear your take!

                2. IMHO heading out there is largely a waste of time unless you have access to a beach or plan to hire a guide, go on a charter or other expedition like kayaking. The towns are small and as other have said, the beaches are private. And the nicest part of the "hamptons" IMHO is the stretch between East hampton and montauk. Cocktails at Cyrils while the sun sets over the dunes. And the traffic is a nightmare.

                  1. Based on the particulars you describe I think that you (and your relatives) would enjoy a North Fork day trip much more. Less crowded (although getting more and more crowded every year), more laid back and charming. Loads of great farm stands, wineries, fish markets and restaurants to choose from. I would drive straight out to Greenport and stroll the waterfront and the little shops. Then back in the car and head west for lunch at Love Lane Kitchen http://www.lovelanekitchen.com/ in Mattituck as a few others here have recommended. Or, my current favorite lunch spot is the Southhold Fish Market where they cook the fish fresh to order and you sit outside at picnic tables overlooking Peconic Bay. That's on Rt. 25 in Southhold and I have posted a bit of a mini review from Newsday (paid subscription only) below.
                    After lunch, cross north over to Sound Ave. and continue west (lots of farm stands and wineries). The largest of the farm stands, Harbes is at 715 Sound Ave. in Mattituck. Fresh eggs, fruits & veggies at TY LLywd Farm (my favorite) http://tyllwyd.wordpress.com/ (hard to find - it would be on your left if you are headed west. Then, for pies (and fruit & vegetables) there is Briermere Farms at 4414 Sound Ave., Riverhead, NY.
                    And, if you still have any energy left, there is the Riverhead Raceway for some car crashing, Tanger Outlet in Riverhead for shopping and an aquarium too I believe. Here is a map of the places I mentioned starting w/ Greenport http://maps.google.com/maps?q=240+lov...

                    That said, search this board for recommendations from Coll - the East End is her area and she posts lots of good recs. Have fun!

                    Southold Fish Market
                    Published: September 21, 2010 5:12 PM
                    By Erica Marcus
                    Newsday
                    For some reason, the North Fork lacks a proper "seafood shack," a restaurant where you can get simple, fresh, local, straight-ahead American seafood classics such as steamers, fried clams, lobsters and lobster rolls. Thankfully Southold Fish Market has stepped into the void.
                    I had three lunches at Southold Fish Market. There’s no indoor seating, but in sunny weather the picnic tables overlooking the marina are hard to beat. Southold’s terrific lobster roll contains big hunks of freshly picked meat of a 1¼-pound lobster mixed with mayonnaise and celery and comes with skinny, salty, hand-cut French fries, a bargain at $16.95. For my second lunch I ordered the fried whole-belly clam platter ($11.95) and they were so delicious that I made them my third lunch, too.
                    You’d be nuts not to peek into the actual fish market at Southold Fish Market, where owner Charlie Manwaring simultaneously helps customers, confers with fishermen and breaks down fish. There’s no place on the North Fork (or on the Island, for that matter) to see a better selection of just-landed local fish. Over the course of a week I bought littleneck clams, swordfish steaks and one 7-pound striped bass from Manwaring. They did my, respectively, spaghetti and clam sauce, Sicilian-style stuffed swordfish and whole roasted striped bass very proud indeed.
                    Southold Fish Market is at 61850 Main Rd., Southold, 631-765-3200

                    -----
                    Briermere Farms
                    4414 Sound Ave, Riverhead, NY 11901

                    Southold Fish Market
                    61850 Route 25, Southold, NY 11971

                    Love Lane Kitchen
                    240 Love Ln, Mattituck, NY 11952

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: EM23

                      Hobbess, I think you can probably tell that LI locals have a certain amount of contempt for the Hamptons. We feel like the North Fork is "ours," and the Hamptons is more of an appendage of Manhattan. I just wanted to remind you that if looking at mansions is your family's cup of tea, you don't have to drive very far from Manhasset. North of Great Neck is Kings Point, north of Port Washington Sands Point--the West and East Eggs of the Great Gatsby. Driving around Muttontown, Old Brookville, Locus Valley--all in Nassau County, about 20 minutes away from Manhasset--will give you your fill of gorgeous houses. Stop in Locust Valley for an overpriced lunch...or an armoire.

                      1. re: EZ Pass

                        In Locust Valley, lunch doesn't have to be overpriced. Try The Brass Rail, a fine gastro pub where you can get small plates, salads and sandwiches. Amazing burger.

                        -----
                        Brass Rail
                        5 S Main St, Oneonta, NY 13820

                        1. re: Dyna

                          Is the Brass Rail still around??? I remember eating there as a child! How about the John Peel Room? That was the other place we ate at for a big occasion.

                          -----
                          Brass Rail
                          5 S Main St, Oneonta, NY 13820

                        2. re: EZ Pass

                          No contempt here:-) But, if you aren't interested in going to the beach that leaves touring through the traffic-congested towns full of trendy, high-end shops, restaurants and night clubs where the rich and famous gather. Hey, that sounds sort of like LA! That's why I recommended the North Fork - it's a different vibe.

                      2. I am an east ender and for what you have planned you will spend way too much time in the car to look at fancy hampton houses, explore the south fork AND the north fork esp if you are planning on doing the 2 ferry thing from sag to shelter island and up to greenport. You COULD possibly get it all in if you left early and drove to Southampton, went down to meadow lane and back into southampton village and then headed back west and up route 24 then route 105 to route 25 east (or sound ave east) and hit a bunch of wineries and do a late lunch. In addition, DEF do not plan on doing it any later in the week than Wednesday of memorial day weekend which pretty much starts on thursday afternoon......otherwise the food and wine recs sound great. good luck on your adventure!

                        1. Check out the pizza at Pizzetteria Brunetti. It's phenomenal and the shopping in Westhampton Beach is the best! We like Love Lane Kitchen on the NF too!!

                          -----
                          Love Lane Kitchen
                          240 Love Ln, Mattituck, NY 11952

                          Pizzetteria Brunetti
                          103 Main St, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978

                          Pizzetteria Brunetti
                          103 Main St, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978

                          1. The NY Times has an article about where to go in the Hamptons:

                            http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/26/fas...