A Presidents’ Day Weekend Foodie Adventure on the South ForkWhere to Shop and Eat
If you don’t necessarily think of the Hamptons when the February calendar is spread out before you, you are not alone. The South Fork, with its idyllic beaches and stately homes, sometimes feels best suited for a summer weekend away, not a winter one. But with each year, more and more people are calling the East End home for more than just summer, which means an increase in demand for great stores and restaurants.
Come to the South Fork in mid-February and you will not be battling August crowds (although more and more people are catching on to the virtues of an unobstructed East End). Start your food lover’s adventure with a donut from Sag Harbor’s Grindstone Coffee and Donuts, where the brioche-style confections are prepared fresh daily. Flavors change constantly, keeping the surprise alive. Grab a donut for now and a dozen for later. It’s a holiday weekend, after all.
Since donuts are a paltry breakfast for the food-obsessed, take a long stroll around Sag Harbor’s Main Street, which should whet the appetite enough for lunch at the 2017 newcomer Lulu Kitchen & Bar. The restaurant is a decorator’s dream, with leather banquettes and a galvanized bar (the space, which was originally Doppo, underwent a massive renovation prior to opening). The food, however, is the main attraction—almost everything is cooked in the restaurant’s wood oven, imparting the smell of campfire to the space. Pizzas are remarkable, the massive cauliflower a showstopper. You will, however, want to leave room for dinner.
Down the street, Sen Japanese Restaurant is celebrating 25 years. For this Sag Harbor stalwart, known for its authentic Japanese food, the anniversary meant a renovation last spring, which extended into early summer. The newer space can now accommodate more guests and more chefs. Sushi is always expertly prepared, and ramen—admittedly some of the only in town—is sure to warm any cold February traveler’s heart.
On Sundays in winter, East Hampton’s Nick & Toni’s adds brunch service to their menu. Wood-fired pizzas are offered, as well as more traditional brunch fare (eggs, for instance). You can also opt for pasta, should the mood strike. But the best part about the restaurant’s brunch menu is their Bloody Mary board, a collection of pickled vegetables, hot sauces, tomato-based mixes, and other assorted accouterment, all served with a choice of vodka. The board serves two, in theory.
To pick up everything you need for a long, relaxed dinner at home, head first to Wainscott Main Wine & Spirits, where, under the knowledgeable guidance of Chimene Macnaughton, even the most undecided wine drinker can careen toward greatness. Also in Wainscott, The Seafood Shop sells some of the freshest local fish available on the East End. East Hampton’s Red Horse Market makes their own creamy, near-perfect mozzarella, fresh every day. Then hightail it to Carissa’s Bakery on Newtown Lane for a loaf of baker-proprietor Carissa Waechter’s outrageously crusty olive bread, studded with salty, savory green and black olives. The weekend will seem like it ended too quickly—and next February, you won’t think twice.