MY ANNUAL GUIDE TO THE JOYS OF SUMMER IN THE HAMPTONS (5/26/20)
Given the restrictions and rules of our current plague, I was conflicted about doing this column that I run every year about the joys of summer. But then I thought, we all have to be reminded of what life was like before coronavirus and what it will be again after we get rid of the virus, Bill de Blasio and Zoom from our lives. So read it again and remember that just about all the restaurants mentioned are now doing take-out meals and keep thinking, "This is the way it's going to be again ― if I live long enough." It's summer and you have been invited to a three-month-long party as your reward for living through another lousy winter. Here's what to expect for the next 99 or so days: Incredibly fresh, sweet corn from PIKE'S, that little farm stand on Sagg Main just south of Loaves & Fishes... Ice-cold beer, beefsteak tomatoes, clams, lobsters, a big beautiful steak marinating in soy, garlic and ginger, fresh-cut flowers... Jimmy Buffett singing "Cheeseburger in Paradise" on your car radio... Margaritas... Eating at LITTLE ESTIA'S in Sag Harbor, featuring the best breakfast in the Hamptons served by the nicest people whose smiles will light up your whole day. Lunch and dinner are great, too... The incredible sliced steak at BOBBY VAN'S in Bridgehampton. Charred on the outside, rare on the inside, it's the best steak in the Hamptons... While you're in Bridgehampton, get thee to CANDY KITCHEN. It's been the favorite breakfast and lunch place for the great and the near-great for years. Wonderful food and the best ice cream in New York State... Check out the great menu at HIGHWAY RESTAURANT & BAR in East Hampton. Treat yourself to the wonderful steamed pork buns, and you must taste John's Eggplant Parmigiana... A great way to enjoy a scrumptious Friday dinner in Bridgehampton is to go to PIERRE'S for its savory Bouillabaisse Marseillaise... Dreaming of the most delicious plate of mussels in the Hamptons? You'll find it at ALMOND in Bridgehampton... Grab yourself a perfect hamburger at ROWDY HALL in East Hampton. Nobody does it better... If you haven't tried COVE HOLLOW TAVERN in East Hampton, you're missing out on some of the most delicious food in the Hamptons... DOCKSIDE BAR & GRILL in Sag Harbor, where you'll taste the best spicy, sticky chicken wings you've ever had in your life... You can't go wrong eating at EAST HAMPTON GRILL and NICK & TONI'S in East Hampton, and at BEACON and LE BILBOQUET in Sag Harbor... Follow the best chef in the Hamptons, Michael Rozzi, who is running the kitchen at THE 1770 HOUSE. Michael used to run my kitchen at Della Femina Restaurant. He's a sweetheart of a person and a fantastic chef... My favorite restaurant for Italian food (the delicious clams steamed in white wine bring tears of joy to my eyes) is CAPPELLETTI'S. It's at 3284 Noyac Road in Sag Harbor. You're in for a treat ― this is an unpretentious treasure. Modestly priced, it's wonderful for families and kids. Luigi and Robin Tagliasacchi are the perfect hosts (he does the cooking) and, I swear, their made-on-the-spot cannoli is the best I've ever tasted. I had a cannoli there one night that was so big it had a first-class section and a coach section. Without a doubt, their wonderful cannoli puts Ferrara of Little Italy to shame... Get yourself to Sag Harbor, go into tiny CAVANIOLA'S GOURMET CHEESE SHOP. It's the best cheese selection in the Hamptons... Browse for a great summer book at BOOKHAMPTON in East Hampton. We need a bookstore in the Hamptons to thrive. Buy a book for your kids, too. For crying out loud, take that cellphone out of your ear and put some knowledge into your head... Treat yourself to a great, fast-moving mystery, "Masked Prey" by John Sandford, or give yourself a big laugh and read "Apropos of Nothing" by Woody Allen, a brilliant man who has been screwed by media exaggerations and "ugly divorce-time" lies... Get ready for traffic jams around Exit 31 of the LIE that last for a weekend... Orange traffic cones wherever you drive... Margaritas... Chubby people in their 50s wearing cut-off jeans and T-shirts with dumb inscriptions... Nasty hedge fund guys hopping off their own planes with a jaunty, arrogant strut. They have so, so much ― why don't they look happy?... The worst of the hedge fund guys is a creep who has earned the title "the neighbor from hell" from those who live near him. He recently paid a fortune for a new house. Some day he will figure out that the size of his house won't add anything to the size of his penis... Bike riders testing your driving skills and nerves on Further Lane... Little kids coming out of the surf so teeth-chattering cold that you want to hug the warmth back into them... Dumb drunks who should know better, aiming two-ton cars at innocent people. We need more Saturday night inspection roadblocks in the Hamptons. We need police cutting drunk drivers' licenses into little pieces right before their eyes... Three-charity, multi-party nights where the same 50 people jump from party to party. A conversation starts at one party and finishes two parties later. It does not matter, nobody's listening... Undressing at night, reaching into your pants pocket, and yelping as a cocktail toothpick is embedded in your palm. Check your blazer pocket, and you'll find a half-dozen cocktail toothpicks and God knows how many cocktail napkins... Enjoying a beach party on a moonlit beach while keeping a close eye on the little kids as they watch the marshmallow on the end of the branch they're holding go into a raging bonfire and magically turn from a white little pillow into a brown caramelized treat... Margaritas... Runners clogging up the roadway with their "I'm healthy and you're not" eyes... Adorable six-year-old kids (with profit-making skills genetically bred into them) selling lemonade on Lily Pond Lane at outrageously high prices... Hurricanes that never materialize. Then one that comes too close... Margaritas... Sipping a drink and taking in a beautiful sunset... More margaritas... Bluefish, nutty as fruitcakes, following their prey right into shore, right to their doom. Overhead, gulls fly in lazy circles, taking it all in... Grown men hiding behind their sunglasses as they sneak lascivious looks at their children's teenage nannies... Starring in your own romantic movie as you watch a full moon turn the ocean or the bay into a shimmering silver carpet... The East Hampton bees (smarter than the average bee) that stalk your cookouts and terrorize your kids all summer long... Basting your children with suntan lotion with the same care you give your Thanksgiving turkey... Lost sunglasses, flippers, goggles, youth, bathing suits, nose clips, romance, boogie boards that you never seem to find again... Falling into a 20-something hot new place in Montauk, feeling age-challenged and realizing for the first time in your life you don't belong... The Artists and Writers Annual Softball Game, where for a few hours the players can live out their childhood dreams of being Mickey Mantle. Watching guys who 20 years ago used to huff, now puff as they round the bases... The Sunday night Land Rover/Mercedes/BMW parade on 27... Feeling disappointed and awed at the same time as you see the first beautiful monarch butterfly of the year. They only seem to show up on the last week of August... Biting into the last hamburger you can possibly eat on the Monday night of Labor Day weekend and realizing that the potato trucks have started to roll and it's all regretfully over... HAVE THE BEST SUMMER!
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