Hamptons Happenings: February 7 & 8


Need to speak your piece to local government about The Hills high-end resort being proposed in here in the Hamptons? Tonight is the night for the fourth and final public meeting on the East Quogue-based project. The gathering to discuss Discovery Land Company’s bid to build a luxury resort–complete with 118 homes, a golf course and country club–will be held at Southampton Town Hall, starting at 6 p.m. 


Those interested in food, farming and fascinating conversation should head to Almond’s in Bridgehampton this evening at 7 p.m. for Artists & Writers Night featuring Scott and Megan Chaskey of the Peconic Land Trust and the healing arts. The night will feature family style three-course menu created by executive chef Jason Weiner. The cost is $45, which includes a glass of local wine or craft beer and gratuity, tax is not included. Reservations are required.

noyac-candle-jpgOr head over to c/o The Maidstone in East Hampton for Ladies Night at the Maidstone from 6 to 8 p.m.  The evening will include socializing, shopping and happy hour discounts. Confirmed vendors include: HAMPTONS Handpoured (which makes my very favorite candle in the world), Stella & DotRodan + Fields , Sea Glass & SunsetsJustine Moody Designs, Rustic Lady Bug, LuLaRoe, VELO2 Cute Designs
and Chloe + Isabel by Patrena.


Speaking of ladies and shopping, Sophie Kinsella of “Confessions of a Shopaholic” series fame has written a new book called “My (Not So) Perfect Life” and it’s really terrific. I got my copy last week and ripped through it! On bookshelves starting today, the British author is making a few rare American appearances and kicking off a mini tour here in the U.S. starting with a signing up in White Plains tonight. Get your tickets here. Can’t make it up to Westchester? That’s okay. She’s also doing a live chat on Facebook with USA Today at 1 p.m.  My favorite of all her books, this standalone novel is part love story, part workplace comedy, and part witty critique on the judgments we all make in a social media-obsessed culture. If it were summer I’d say it’s the perfect beach read.

helen-simonson-credit-nina-subinCloser to home, bestselling author (and Brit-turned-Brooklynite) Helen Simonson kicks off the Spring Writers Speak Wednesdays Series at Stony Brook Southampton tomorrow night at 7 p.m. Ms. Simonson’s talk will include her experiences earning her MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook Southampton; turning her thesis into her big debut novel, “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand,” which was a New York Times bestseller; and her latest novel, “The Summer Before the War,” which came out last year.


Hamptons Art News & To Dos

Congrats to our friend Durell Godfrey, whose next great book has officially happened! Durell will be signing copies of her adult coloring book, “Color Your Happy Home,” which she created with Barbara Ann Kipfer, at Book Hampton in East Hampton on Saturday, February 4, at 4 p.m.


I pulled this image from Laurie’s website. Go visit it, you’ll be glad you did. 

Cheers also to Laurie Lambrecht, whose Artists & Writers Night dinner at Almond tonight sold out swiftly! Bummer that we’re missing this talented lady but no fear, there will be plenty of chances to view her fantastic photography soon enough. And of course, there will be more of these terrific events scheduled at the Bridgehampton restaurant before we know it.


Jimmy Buffett, who is not a friend but could be if he asked nicely, is fulfilling a big personal dream. His “Escape to Margaritaville” musical is coming to Broadway in spring 2018.  Good for him! The show is kicks off in La Jolla, California in May and then takes a pre-Broadway tour to New Orleans, Houston and Chicago in fall 2017. I’m sure that East End Parrotheads wouldn’t mind catching a more intimate preview at the music legend’s North Haven home. Can we make that happen?

Speaking of East Enders out and about in the world, have you taken a ride on the new Second Avenue Subway in Manhattan yet? If you get the chance, be sure to be on the lookout for art by Chuck Close, including portraits of the artist and of the late, great Lou Reed.

Chuck is one of only four fortunate artists–the others are  Sarah Sze, Vik Muniz and Jean Shin–to have work permanently grace the four stations on the line, which is currently the largest permanent public art installation in New York State history. That’s pretty freakin’ sweet! The stations opened on January 1 and connect via Lexington Avenue and 63rd Street, Second Avenue and 72nd Street, Second Avenue and 86th Street and Second Avenue and 96th Street. It’s taken decades, and billions of dollars,  for the work to be finalized and there’s still more afoot. Once completed, the Second Avenue line will run a total of 8 1/2 miles, Hanover Square in Lower Manhattan up to 125th Street.

Lastly, just for funsies. Did you know that Simon Doonan, a Shelter Islander, isn’t the only East End notable who’s made his mark on the art of window dressing. Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns were at the forefront of that particular type of artistry way back in the 1950s. According to this interesting feature in the New York Observer, the two Hamptons habitués created work at Tiffany & Co. that “helped revolutionize the art of window display as we know it today.” Well that’s pretty darn cool.





Ring In a Hamptons Happy New Year

Wondering where to go and what to do to ring in the New Year? You’re in luck. Here are my top picks for those in the mood for some South Fork celebrating the end of 2016 and/or the beginning of 2017.
rogers-mansion-in-snow-by-tom-edmonds-2014Not much of a night owl? That’s okay; Rogers Mansion in Southampton can be seen today from 4 to 5:30 p.m. by candlelight. Celebrate the end of the year with a candlelight reception at the Rogers Mansion and take advantage of the last opportunity to view this year’s exhibit. The parlors and sitting rooms will be festooned with garlands of fresh winter greens and flowers. Colorful antique holiday decorations can be seen on the many trees that decorate the reception rooms in the Mansion Enjoy light refreshments before or after one of several guided tours, which will begin every 15 minutes.



For a bit more of an all-day/all-night affair, check in to c/o The Maidstone Hotel in East Hampton. The eclectic, Scandinavian-inspired boutique hotel features special two-night minimum packages for New Year’s, including an automatic late checkout at 1 p.m.

The dog-friendly hotel, with its 19 individualized rooms and cottages, is set to ring in 2017 in style with a decadent three-course prix fixe dinner and party. Complementing the dinner is a Great Gatsby-themed party where guests will enjoy a champagne toast at midnight. There are no fireworks, so the dogs will love this party! Dinner and party is $95 plus tax per person.

gurneysGurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa is also hosting a big shindig. Starting at 5 p.m., the $150 per person celebration includes a “favorite era” costume party in celebration of Gurney’s 90 years in business, plus live music by Kim Sozzi Creations Music, Gurney’s Beach Club DJ Nicole Leone, dancing, 4-hour open bar, hors d’oeuvres, complimentary midnight champagne toast & more. There are also two pre-fixe dinner seatings tonight at Scarpetta Beach. The first starts at 5 p.m. and the second seating is at 8 p.m. Cost is $105 per person, plus $45 wine pairing option offered. No worries about driving home if you don’t want to; Gurney’s is also offering special New Year’s lodging packages.


The Southampton Inn is also offering up a special celebratory occasion, starting at 7 p.m. The 19th annual New Year’s Eve Gala includes cocktails, dinner, open bar, dancing to live music, special room rates for those partaking of the festivities, breakfast in the morning and late check out for those who need a bit of recuperation time.  Oooh, and Brent Newsom is cooking the New Year’s Eve dinner. Always a treat!



Just want to get out for some New Year’s Eve fun ? Then head to Zigmund’s Bar in Bridgehampton, which is hosting a New Year’s Eve Party with DJ Drop D from  9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Or pop in at Indian Wells Tavern in Amangansett, which is hosting its New Year’s Eve party tonight featuring a 10-foot projector playing music videos all night long, drinks specials and a televised ball drop.

Almond Restaurant in Bridgehampton will host a special locally sourced four-course prix fixe menu in celebration of New Year’s Eve on Saturday, December 31, beginning at 9 p.m. Guests will receive party favors and a champagne toast will be offered. Cost for the evening is $105 per person, plus tax and gratuity. For a more casual option, the bar will offer bar snacks and specialty cocktails. The a la carte menu will be offered earlier in the evening alongside holiday specials.

red|bar brasserie in Southampton is also offering a special New Year’s Eve menu tonight. Yum!

And Nick & Toni’s in East Hampton will offer a la carte specials for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The restaurant will be open for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and will serve a special New Year’s Day Brunch on Sunday, January 1 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Imbibing? Then please be responsible. Cheers to a happy, healthy and productive 2017!



Love, Sex, Anarchy, and Some Great Writing


As we are getting ready and girding our loins for the opening of the Hamptons International Film Festival on Thursday, there are still a few really great things to go do and see today and tomorrow.

Tonight, Tuesday, October 4, head to Guild Hall in East Hampton to catch a reading of “Love, Sex, Anarchy” by Melissa Bell at 7:30 p.m. As part of the John Drew Theater Lab, the performance, directed by Luke Tudball and featuring Heather Bagnall, is free.

Based on the life of activist/anarchist Emma Goldman, this multi-media theater work in progress incorporates a fluid set, choreographed transitions, an original musical score and sound design, along with archival media to explore ways in which ideologies conflict with emotions. Want to make a big night of it? Then head to the 1770 House down the street before the show and enjoy a special $27 two-course, prix fixe dinner. Just make sure to tell your server the secret code. Pssst, it’s “JDTLab.”


Iris Smyles photo from her website. Love it. 

Also tonight, it’s Almond’s Artists & Writers Night featuring Iris Smyles, the clever and supremely interesting author of “Iris Has Free Time” and “Dating Tips for the Unemployed” who also happens to be an East Hampton Star editor. The evening, which starts  with a reception at 6:30 p.m, will be the first of many new “Artists & Writers Night” events of the season at the Bridgehampton-based restaurant. The evening will feature a family style three-course menu created by executive chef Jason Weiner. Cost for the night is $45, which includes a glass of local wine or craft beer and gratuity, tax is not included. Reservations are required.


Kim Addonizio will kick off Writers Speak Wednesdays at Stony Brook Southampton tomorrow night.

On Wednesday night, October 5, head to the Stony Brook Southampton campus for its first Fall Writers Speak Wednesdays of the season with two-time Pushcart Prize winner Kim Addonizio. The author will talk about her recent projects, including her newest poetry collection, “Mortal Trash,” and a memoir in essays, “Bukowski in a Sundress.” The free author talk will begin at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall. Upcoming events in the series include talks by: Dani Shapiro, October 19; John Knight in conversation with Emily Gilbert, November 2; Lia Purpura, November 16; and Ruth Franklin and Susan Scarf Merrell, November 30.

Interested in becoming  a better writer? Then show up early for  an Open House and informational session, which begins at 5:30 p.m. for prospective MFA in Creative Writing and Literature candidates. Program Director Julie Sheehan and other faculty members will discuss the MFA workshops in fiction, memoir, creative nonfiction, poetry, playwriting, and more, all taught by distinguished working writers. And for those who would like to learn about writing books for kids, there will also be a presentation on the one-year Children’s Lit Fellows program by kids’ lit Director Emma Walton Hamilton. All those interested in attending are asked to email rsvp_mfa@stonybrook.edu.


Hamptons Restaurant Week & Other Tasty Food News


Bostwick’s is opening in two days! Woohoo!!!

Hamptons Restaurant Week is upon us again. Yippee!
This year’s promotion runs through Sunday, April 10. All participants will offer a special three-course prix fixe menu, with three options per course, for $27.95. Participants include: Nick & Toni’s, Fresno and 1770 House in East Hampton; Baron’s Cove, Page at 63 Main, Bell & Anchor and Wolffer Kitchen in Sag Harbor; Red Bar and Shippy’s in Southampton; 1 North Steakhouse, Rumba Cowfish and Sundays on the Bay in Hampton Bays; Dockers and Stone Creek Inn in East Quogue; and The Patio in Westhampton Beach. Ooh, and there’s even more on the North Fork. Click here for all participating eateries. Now, where shall we make rezzies?

Can’t get enough of a great thing? Have no fear. Long Island Restaurant Week will be held from April 17 through April 24. Enjoy!

More good news. According to the North Forker, Claudio’s will be back! The Greenport institution, which has been reportedly purchased, will open for the season on Tuesday, April 1. Here’s more info from past posts.

Oooh, and Bostwick’s Chowder House opens for the 2016 season on Thursday, April 7. Best fish tacos ever.

Come next Tuesday, April 12, Almond in Bridgehampton will throw a party celebrating 15 years in the Hamptons. The milestone will be marked with a cocktail party from 7 to 9 p.m. Passed hors d’oeuvres, highlighting favorite items from the last 15 years, and cocktails will be served featuring donations from Amber Waves Farm, Southern Wine & Spirits, Channing Daughters Winery and Paumanok Winery. Tickets are only $40 in advance or $50 at the door. All proceeds will benefit local photographer Eric Striffler who recently lost his home to a fire.

The Golden Pear has two new reasons to celebrate. The East End restaurant chain has been named as a charter member of the Fred Bollaci Enterprises and Global Healthy Gourmet international family of healthy gourmet destinations. I’m not really sure exactly what that means but it’s happy news, they say. Additionally, all four locations–Southampton, Bridgehampton, Sag Harbor and East Hampton–will now offer a Healthy Kids Breakfast & Lunch Menu. Good.

Eats at Topping Rose will officially pass. The former Tom Colicchio-run restaurant will change hands to Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Sad about one and can’t wait to try out the other!

Sadly, we’ve lost a few local boîtes, including  Winston’s in East Hampton, Fresh Hamptons in Bridge and Harlow and Doppio in Sag Harbor. It’s always a bummer to hear about when something that people work so hard for fails. Gossip is that Michael Gluckman and Shane Dyckman will be opening up a joint called The Service Station in the old Winston’s/Nichol’s spot and Ron Perelman will create an East End outpost of Le Bilboquet from the city in the former Harlow/B.Smith’s waterside space. No word on the Fresh or Doppio spots yet.

Lastly, here’s some news from the East Hampton Supervisor’s Office:

Four staff members from Ruschmeyer’s restaurant in Montauk pled guilty on March 28, 2016 to charges stemming from a staff beach party this past summer that left litter strewn about Navy Beach in Montauk. As part of the plea arrangement, each defendant was fined $1,500 dollars by the Honorable Steven Tekulsky in East Hampton Justice Court.

“This was an egregious transgression by the staff of a local business,” said Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell. “These significant fines, totaling $6,000, are a testament to the fact that the Town will not condone such reckless disregard for our natural resources.”

Other defendants had previously pled guilty and paid smaller fines on camping and littering charges, but the four who pled guilty on March 28—Tyler Aposhian, Fiona Bourke, Johnathan Crowley, and Dylen Power—were the ringleaders responsible for the party.

“To their credit, the management of Ruschmeyer’s addressed the situation as soon as they became aware of the actions of their staff, but honestly, it was too little, too late. There is no excuse for the beach to ever be placed in that condition,” Supervisor Cantwell said.


More Tasty Restaurant Morsels


I took this picture of Jason Weiner as he prepped for a Harvest East End event a few years back.

Have you seen the terrific article that Bon Appetit magazine just did on Jason Weiner and Almond in Bridgehampton? Well, it’s a real masterpiece. So nice to see our local folks shine in the national culinary spotlight, especially when it’s about something as important as sustainability and some seriously tasty food!

Montauk’s Dock to Dish and its owner Sean Barrett were heavily featured in the piece too. Also mentioned in the feature: Amber Waves Farm in Amagansett, Browder’s Birds on the North Fork, Mecox Bay Dairy in Bridgehampton, Milk Pail in Water Mill, Quail Hill Farm in Amagansett, Marilee Foster’s farm in Sagaponack and chef Eric Ripert.

You know I like to focus on the positive but I do have one teensy tiny gripe. Why can’t big New York-based magazines and newspapers learn to spell things like “East Hampton,” and the actual names of the featured businesses, correctly? Well, I guess only us local insiders will ever get that stuff right. : )

Hamptons Party Girl’s Hot Picks

Hamptons Party Girl's Hot Picks

I know this will be controversial but I’m going to come right out and say it. I’m an animal lover and I strongly oppose a deer cull here on the East End. Therefore, my biggest pick for the near future is hands down the anti-cull demonstration planned for Saturday, January 18, at Hook Mill in East Hampton at 1 p.m., hosted by the East Hampton Group for Wildlife. http://www.easthamptongroupforwildlife.org

Two new community theatrical productions open tonight. “Heroes” will stage in Quogue and “Sex: What She’s Really Thinking” will stage in Southampton. I’ll be in reviewing them both this weekend so stay tuned. To learn more about “Heroes,” visit http://www.hamptontheatre.org. To learn more about “Sex,” visit http://www.southamptonculturalcenter.org.

Shelter Island’s own Margaret Garrett will show her “Tuning Fields” exhibit, opening tonight at Birnam Wood Galleries’ Chelsea location in Manhattan from 6 to 8 p.m. One of her pieces is also on view at the East Hampton Birnam Wood Gallery. http://www.birnamwoodart.com

Dancehampton in East Hampton is hosting a new dance lineup kickoff party on Friday, January 10, starting at 5:30 p.m. Zumba, LaBlast and a hi-intensity cardio tap class–with my friend Anita Boyer–will be offered. I hope I can make at least part of the festivities before I’m off to don my drama critic hat. http://www.dancehampton.com

Artist Christine Sciulli will host an Artists & Writers Night at Almond in Bridgehampton on Wednesday, January 15, at 7 p.m. http://www.almondrestaurant.com

* Deer photo snapped by me, through a window, in a friend’s front yard in Sag Harbor.