Went out to the Hamptons this weekend. Just so nice being out there and relaxing. I made 27 jars of Strawberry Jam which is always a treat. When I go out there for a short period of time, like 2 days, I find we just go out to eat because it is easier. I am looking ahead to the summer months and plan on spending long extended periods of time out there, cooking.
This weekend, food wise, we hit up 3 different places. Rowdy Hall, which happens to be really good and probably one of my favorite places out there because my expectation is always low and they make a fantastic burger. We also went to Nick and Toni's. Walking in reminded me of why we don't go there. The scene is not one I enjoy. I could be on the Upper East side of NYC. Also, if you aren't in the know, they really don't take care of you. The food is mediocre. We even had one of the things I think they make best which is the whole fish and it just was okay. The salad, escarole, large beans and a pistachio dressing was nothing to write home about. We opted for dessert, a pecan/pine nut tart which was so sweet it was too sweet. This morning we went to Babbette's for brunch. Ridiculously overpriced and not good. Big omelette's, crappy coffee, sour orange juice and bad tasting turkey sausages on the side. Get this, 3 omelette's, 1 cup of OJ, 2 coffees and 2 double expressos ( the coffee was undrinkable) and a side of turkey sausage…. $100 with tip. Insane.
I have ranted on this before. Josh said it best, overpriced mediocre food defines the Hamptons. I am only committing to a few places to eat out there. Clam Bar, La Fondita, Mary's Marvelous for muffins, Goldbergs for bagels/flagels, Hampton Chutney, Rowdy Hall ( after the movies ) and perhaps a once year summer stop at Dave's Grill. I might give the new Mezzaluna a try when and if it opens and on occasion Meeting House if I am forced to.
Otherwise, I really need to either starve or fire up the grill.
Because the real estate is costly, the money must go to rent or ownership costs not the food or staff quality. This happens all the time in my hometown. The rents are expensive in Newton Centre so no one opens anything decent there. In communities where the rents are less expensive sometimes the food quality is much better.I wonder if any of your readers has tried L’Andana in Burlington, Ma. of all places. We were coming back from an antique auction viewing but they were closed when we passed by so we couldn’t have dinner there. The place certainly looked interesting for Burlington, Ma.
Hi Ellen — hope all is well. Haven’t been to L’Andana, but heard great things…friends have raved about it. They are owned by Mistral, Sorellina, etc.
Ellen makes a great point about the effect of costly rent on food and staff quality.Another thing that happens is once everybody knows to go somewhere out of habit, the restaurant doesn’t have to try as hard. They go on cruise control. This problem is magnified in the Hamptons because there are fewer options.Bad coffee is a dead giveaway that a restaurant doesn’t care. My favorite places in L.A. get the details right, and they’re well curated by owners who really care, no matter what the location or how expensive the place.I found this to be true in Austin at SXSW this year. The best stuff was hole in wall pizza, BBQ joints that have “been there forever”, or street food like the empanada truck. Every regular “sit down” restaurant I went to was terrible.BTW, recommendations for your next L.A. trip: The Taco Zone truck for late night tacos (I’m not kidding, BEST EVER) and Square One for brunch (Intelligentsia coffee, fantastic salmon benedict on potato pancakes).
Thanks Nathan. Will definitely check out those places in LA.I agree that bad coffee, particularly these days, is a dead giveaway for lack of interest. It is just not acceptable.joanne [email protected]