TRAVEL & DINING
Bridgehampton features world-class restaurants helmed by talented chefs, upscale boutiques and venues, top notch wineries, and some of the most beautiful horse farms in the region. This is a great destination for all, no matter where your interests or desires lie.
This visit we head out to the Hamptons on a Thursday and stop by Wolffer Estate Vineyards in Sagaponack enroute to Bridgehampton and right on time for its The Barstool Series where you can head over to the Tasting Room once each month for an interactive and informa tive hour with Suellen Tunney. Explore all things food and wine while sampling along the way. March offers To Age or Not to Age? The ultimate question when it comes to wine. Guests will taste through and compare different styles and levels of wine and learn to identify key points that will help determine what to store and what to drink. This special class will use the 2015 and 2002 vintages our flagship wine, the Christian's Cuvee Merlot, among other varietals, to teach this subject. In April, look forward to their Pairing Cider course.
After Wolffer, we head over to The Bridgehampton Inn, which is within walking distance to Bridgehampton's boutiques, art galleries, and cafes. This inn, circa 1795, is a charming clapboard house, featuring six lovely rooms and an on-site cooking school, allowing for a great opportunity to brush up on skills in the kitchen. The following day, we enjoy a delightful English breakfast, served on the veranda. Then we head over to Mecox Beach, which has a volleyball set-up and dedicated court, ample facilities, and food stands. It is a glorious morning of fun, sun, and sand. For lunch we visit Almond, featuring contemporary French bistro fare served in a historic space. It has antique tin ceilings and a hand-carved bar, wood-topped tables, and dark wood wainscoting. We dine on delicious chicken and mussels paired with a cool and refreshing lemongrass Cosmo.
For dessert we take a ride over to the famous Candy Kitchen. This nostalgic luncheonette and soda fountain conjures up a simpler time by offering friendly service and basic and classic menu items. This is the perfect spot for a scoop of t homemade ice cream and a smooth cup of hot coffee. We learn that the seventh annual Great Food Truck Derby is returning to Bridgehampton this season when a caravan of New York City and Long Island food trucks park at the Hayground School. Some vendors have included Billie Jean's Grill, Blondie's Bake Shop, Chiddy's Cheesesteaks, and more. Look out for The Long Island Shucking Truck, ready to satisfy your raw bar cravings on the fly. Live music is provided often.
For dinner, we choose Calissa in Water Mill, one of the newest restaurants in the Hamptons and inspired by the design and cuisine of the Greek island of Mykonos. The executive chef Dominic Rice crafts an extraordinary menu of shareable plates of Long Island seafood, local seasonal vegetables, and other Grecian specialties. Highlights include traditional Greek dishes like salt-baked striped bass or lamb, as well as modern interpretations of Greek standards such as corn croquettes with spicy feta, chilies, and cilantro yogurt or pickled octopus, celery, carrots and grilled ciabatta. Calissa also has the largest selection of large-format bottles on Long Island, the most by-the-glass options, and plenty of roses. Calissa features weekly winemaker dinners throughout the summer months. New this year is Sunday brunch service for the summer; an aperol spritz bar; and Agora, an outdoor marketplace that will run through the season. Participating vendors include Pared Eyewear, Stephanie Gottlieb, and Tai Jewelry, among others. Calissa will continue to offer live music and hot DJs to pair live entertainment with great food. Another offering is Cellar Night, where you can bring in a special bottle from your very own collection and Calissa will open it at no charge, asking for a taste for their sommelier. This is offered from Sunday through Thursday nights. The policy is designed to allow guests to enjoy wines not readily available for purchase that come from their personal cellars or travels.
Another fabulous dining spot is Bistro Ete, featuring Chef Arie, whose preparations reflect his Cypriot heritage, formal training at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, and his years working under Michelin-starred chef Philippe Da Silva in Provence. This dining spot offers classics such as escargot and striped bass with champagne truffle sauce along with signature dishes such as wild-caught Spanish octopus with cherry tomato or duck wings confit with curry coleslaw, house bbq jerk, and roasted local Brussel sprouts with pomegranate seeds and tahini. Chef Arie's vegan and vegetarian dishes are tasty options as well. For seafood cravers, Hudson Blue Crab House features interesting seafood, including an array of crab-centric dishes such as Alaskan red king crab legs, Dungeness crab, snow crab, and Florida stone crab claws; East and West Coast oysters, including Kuma moto oysters; and dishes made with fresh local seafood. The bar menu includes 70 tequilas and 20 beers on draft, and a great selection of cocktails.
On our way home Saturday, we stop at Manna Restaurant in Water Mill to enjoy al fresco dining, which is available in both the courtyard terrace. On Sundays, Manna presents "Under the Stars;' live music for diners. This restaurant's celebrated chef, Marco Barrila, creates a multi-regional array of traditional, rustic dishes that change seasonally and focus on local farm-to-table, as well as imported Italian products. The menu includes signature dishes such as the char grilled octopus with chimichurri and the truffied veal chops.