First Hamptons Trip and What I Did

April 12, 2021

Within just a two-hour drive from the City, the Hamptons is looking like a great weekend getaway destination to destress from city living. It has lots of valleys where you can rent a house far away from the main road, and the proximity to the beach is more than ideal. Being an island girl, I can tell you objectively that this public beach in particular has no hint of plastic and other trash that one would normally see in beachfronts--what a pleasant surprise!

I grew up watching American TV shows and movies and the Hamptons would always be name-dropped if the show is set in New York City. And now I can see why. 

Seared tuna with pineapple fried rice
Before going, I was also curious what can you actually do there when it's not summer. Unsurprisingly, the food scene was thriving, with most restaurants getting booked out, up to allowed capacity based on Covid-19 regulations.

To start off the trip, we stopped by at Cowfish at Hamptons Bay to grab lunch before driving 30 more minutes to the Airbnb. The seafood was well-seasoned and cooked and it was my first time to try wine made in the Hamptons/Long Island. 

I took the Friday off so technically I was not supposed to be working but I brought my laptop with me to do some last-minute addition to my presentation for a client. Again unsurprisingly, no one in that restaurant was on work mode because it is, after all, the Hamptons, where people come and unwind. I slowly tucked away my laptop as soon as I finished sending my email and enjoyed this seared tuna with balsamic-base dressing.

For dinner, we went to get takeout from the Italian restaurant called Cappelletti for some nicely toasted pizza crust that is perfectly soft in the middle and one lamb dish I forgot the name of. Then we dropped by the wine shop nearby to try a bottle of Leo Family 2015 Red Wine, and the only reason I can remember the name is because the wine label was so cool, I wish I got more to take back home. This wine is also locally produced in Long Island, New York. 

Takeout from Cappelletti's

The next day, the itinerary was going up to the public beach and of course before getting there, we got lost in a dirt road of what is apparently Private Property. A rich old white man got out of his car and waited for us to turn around. On the way out of that dust road, the man flagged us and said "This is a private property, " we said we got lost looking for the beach, and then he said "Riiiight." 

So what is the point of this mini anecdote? Well, nothing really. But it speaks a lot about what the Hamptons is, which is an enclave of many rich people that have their own private areas, not just residences. There were many other roads that were blocked and had a marking that they were private property.

Seared scallops as a starter

For dinner that day, we went to another Italian restaurant called Nick & Toni's. The Google Maps caption says "Longtime eatery offering wood-oven Italian-Mediterranean fare in a fashionable farmhouse setting." and the place is really lovely but I probably won't describe it as fashionable farmhouse. We almost didn't go here because it means we'd have to drive back while it's pitch dark in the evening, but the cancellation fee for not going through a reservation is $75 per head, which is basically the average price of a meal per person.

I had no complaints with the food. The serving portions are unlike the usual American upsized portions, but that's more likely to do with the restaurant's fanciness level. The scallops above were phenomenal, and for main course I had pan-grilled swordfish. For dessert, we took back home a pint of their homemade gelato, which was priced well within reason.

On that Sunday, before heading back into the city, we stopped by at the Wolffer Estate Vineyard, one of the many vineyards there to eat some lunch, more like tapas, and tried a flight of their homegrown wines. I ended up getting a bottle of the Umbra Merlot 2010 to take back home.

It seems like an uneventful weekend despite being out and about at the same time. It's great to have to opportunity to walk around on the beach, drive under the trees during sunset while the sun's rays are piercing through the leaves, eat good food and drink great wine. It's definitely going to be a different experience come summer when most people have been vaccinated and can do what people do during summer in the Hamptons.

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