Tag Archives: brunch

75 Main in Southampton

Dinner, seafood, Hamptons

Lauren enjoying the atmosphere at 5 Main in Southampton

75 Main desert in the Hamptons

Raspberry Creme brulee looks good enough to eat.

steak, Hamptons, dinner

Lauren can’t wait to dig into the strip steak at 75 Main

sesfood in the Hamptons

Broiled Branzino and asparagus at 75 Main

seafood Hamptons

Enjoying a glass of pinot noir before the littelneck clams

Salad Hamptons

Lauren is ready to dig into the shisshito peppers and chopped salad

salad in the Hamptons

Iceberg, romaine, radicchio, roasted cauliflower, chickpeas, salami, all chopped and dressed in Marco’s salad

Great Place for Apps

Isn’t it nice to be pleasantly surprised? Like the time you return to a restaurant after years away and find that it is better than you remember. Doesn’t happen to often, does it? But it happened to us the other night when we had dinner at 75 Main in Southampton.

For those who don’t know , it’s a pleasant spot with a front that opens right on the Main Street, so you can watch all the fabulous people strolling by as you dine. Inside, a full compliment of servers hustle about in their skinny white pants and tight white T shirts.

Not long after we were seated, one of those aforementioned servers came by for our drinks order. The wine list is small, but serviceable and i ordered a glass of Rodney Strong pinot noir, while Lauren, tea-totaler that she is, asked for sparkling water.

Then we pored over the menu. We decided that we were in an app kind of mood so we splurged on the first page. We were also feeling kind of fishy, so we selected the ceviche and the little neck clams as well as a chopped salad and shishito peppers.

The ceviche came heaped in a martini glass, garnished with a lemon wedge. The jumble of shrimp, calamari, cucumber were as fresh and sweet as my date. There was so much we barely finished it. Then there was the heaped-up bowl of little necks clams in the shell, submerged in a delicious broth of chardonnay, garlic, tomatoes, and cilantro.

We could have been satisfied to stop right there, but we still had entrees coming. Strip steak for her, roasted branzino for me. The steak was very flavorful, while the branzino was covered in a garlic and lemon mayonaise.

We were smart enough to have saved room for desert: raspberry creme brulee and tartuffo.

75 Main
75 Main St
Southampton, NY 11968
631-283-7575

 

 

 

Red Rooster Gets It Right

 A Hamburger in Harlem

photo(15) photo(14) photo(16)What is it about hamburgers? What’s all the fuss? Come back from trying any new restaurant in town and someone will invariably ask: “How are the burgers there?” Every food-centric magazine, web site, and blog does a best hamburger list at least once a year. Like any other carnivore, i like my burgers. And Shake Shack is at the top of the list. But today i decided to try someplace new. A restaurant not particularly known for its burgers: the Red Rooster in Harlem.

I had just finished a very trying visit to St. Luke’s Hospital uptown and needed to treat myself to a burger. i realized i was within walking distance of Harlem and the Red Rooster, so i took a chance. Now, the Red Rooster is more known for its soul food such as catfish, fried chicken, shrimp and grits and the like. I had a hunch the burger was pretty damn good too.

I arrived late in the afternoon when there were plenty of open tables in the streetside patio on Lenox Ave. So i got myself a table and ordered at Dogfish Head draft to quench my thirst and chill my nerves.  Ah! I gave the menu a cursory go-over, but i knew what i wanted: The Triple Double Burger with bacon, jarlsberg, and rooster sauce, medium rare please with fries and an order of pickled vegetables to start.

The carrots, onions, radish, and cauliflower were lightly pickled and came with two zesty dipping sauces. By the time i finished, the burger and fries had arrived, and it seemed a suitable time for another beer. Let me talk about the fries first. They were shoestring style, and everything that a McDonald’s fry aspired to be when and if it ever grew up. They were crisp on the outside, pillowy on the inside and generously covered with sea salt. Great fries! The burger was equal to them. Two delicious patties, perfectly done, criss-crossed with bacon and seasoned with a subtle sauce. Delicious!

Now, my best burger list begins and ends with the Red Rooster Triple Double.

 

A Satisfying Summer Meal

At Sotto Sopra in Amagansett

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Delicious Caesar Salad at Sotto Sopra in Amagansett

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The Salumi plate is a great way to start at Sotto Sopra

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Zuppa di Pesce. Yum!

photo 3 Ice cream Tiramisu I was on my own this weekend and decided to stuff my face at Sotto Sopra this Thursday in lovely Amagansett ! ( I’m such an early bird I went at 5pm. Well I take my teeth out by 8 anyway!) I was greeted by nice hostess, then had gorgeous Jessie as my server. I decided to sit in the garden, which was lovely quiet and would have been romantic if my significant other was here! I ordered a bunch of yummy plates! I started off with some cured meats, which were great, and a Caesar salad (one of my all time favs), then went on to zuppa di pesce. The Caesar was good—a bit light on the dressing, but I liked it. The cured meats plate was a meal in itself. It came with roasted peppers, artichokes,  some mozzarella,  and a bit of salad. Generous portions were served! I like that! My eyes are always bigger than my stomach. Mom used to tell me that too.

I was so full when my zuppa di pesce came, but since that’s my fav fav fav I chowed it all down with gusto ! Little pieces of chorizo, mixed with shrimp, clams, oysters, and different types of fish. Very tasty. Then of course there is always room for dessert. Ok then since dessert is fav part of meal I had to have two: tiramisu,which was creamy and excellent,  then as a chaser caramel Oreo ice cream. Sooo good.

Well there you have it. When your next out in Amagansett check out Sotta Sopra.

—Lauren Ezersky

 Sotto Sopra
231 Main Street
Amagansett, NY 11930

(631) 267-3695

 

 

 

Refined Italian at Villageo

Lauren enjoys dinner on Central Park South

Getting Social

1st Floor Back 1 The Ultimate Pub Experience in Hell’s Kitchen

There are plenty of bars, restaurants, and pubs along Manhattan’s 9th Avenue, But Social, 795 Eighth Avenue, is the pub of all pubs, the platonic ideal of pubs. It has a well stocked bar with plenty of beers on tap, and exactly the kind of food you’re looking for in such a place.

The menu is deep, broad, and inexpensive. The night we were there we went a little crazy, sampling as many of the dishes as possible from the starter, salad, and sandwich sections. The pulled pork slider (with just the right amount of barbecue flavor)  were a big hit with both of us, as was the chicken naan—juicy chunks of chicken wrapped in charred naan bread with sweet chile sauce and avocado. But we were just getting started. We also tried the crispy and refreshing iceberg stack, a fresh twist on the classic wedge salad as well as hummus with pita bread and vegetable crudite. We couldn’t quit without trying something from their extensive burger menu, so we ordered the Big Blue. It’s a hefty hamburger, stacked with onion rings and bacon and covered in blue cheese dressing. Hard to imagine that anyone could stack any more good tasting things on top of a bun. We washed it all down with a strong bloody Mary and a couple bottles of Dogfish Head

Before we left, a trivia game broke out and we joined in and learned how little we know about Pop Culture. Oh well, the food and drinks were good. Service was fast and friendly.

24 Hours in Beantown

A Short Post-Christmas Trip to Boston

Last year, my wife and i spent the week between Christmas and New Year’s in Boston, visiting family, sampling restaurants, getting some culture at the Gardener Museum, getting some History at Paul Revere’s House.  We stayed at the Boston Park Plaza in one of the biggest hotel rooms i ever saw. This year, i went solo and booked a “petite” room at the same Park Plaza—with some trepidation. I like this hotel though. great location, just a few blocks from the Boston Common, Boylston st, Newbury street. what i don’t like is the $12 surcharge PER DAY for WiFi.photo(1)

But the petite room turned out to be fine and after i dumped my stuff off, Emme and i drove off to pick up Zea at South Station. She was coming in from Maine, where she spent Christmas with her in-laws. Where to eat? that was the question on everyone’s lips. The answer? The Gallows. I had been there once, for brunch and didn’t require any arm-twisting. At the Gallows, we started with their pulled pork stuffed corn muffin to share. Well, i use the term share loosely. Zea pretty much claimed it. Fabulous! then it was on to the main course.

Earlier, we had decided we would “eat light” after the excesses of Christmas. But by now we had worked up an appetite and when confronted with the menu, i knew it was burger time. I opted for the Carpetbagger with fired oysters atop. Zea chose the Maleson Melt with chanterelle, and porcini-morel butter. Emme, though, zeroed in on the poutine. specifically the daily Out of Control poutine, tonight made with bone marrow gravy. Wow!

Friday night, we hit another, small, beer-centric pub of the type that seems to characterize Boston. This time it was The Five Horses Tavern in the South End. Our mantra again was
“Eat Light!,” but that didn’t happen. not after i got a look at the menu.As son as i spotted it i knew i would have the k.f.c.g.h. With Kentucky fired Cornish game hen, jalapeno mashed potatoes and pork belly mac and cheese, it was comfort food times three. And it did not disappoint.

Fried Cornish Game Hen, Jalapeno Mashed Potatoes and Mac & Cheese

Dinner at Five Horses in Boston

Both of these fine establishments had amazing beer menus–bottled and on tap. And Five Horses happily seated our party when only  four of  six were present. When’s the last time something like that happened in New York?

 

 

Sotto Sopra Scores

 Worth a Visit in Amagansett

Sotto Sopra

Sotto Sopra offers fine dining in Amagansett.

The owners of Sotto Sopra (who also own Bobby Van’s) are bold and courageous. Brave and true. They have opened a classy restaurant in a spot where nothing ever lasts that long, even though it’s right on Montauk Highway in the heart of Amagansett. This new incarnation, Sotto Sopra, should change the fortunes of that location. There are a lot of reasons why it should succeed… from the welcoming light and airy space to the thoughtful menu, to the food itself.

We stopped in  for a late Saturday lunch recently and snagged a table in the pleasant and quiet back terrace. Of course, it’s the staff that presents the first, and lasting, impression of a restaurant, and here we were greeted by a cheery and attractive hostess who turned us over to our solicitous waiter. He didn’t miss a beat in delivering a basket of fresh bread and bowl of olive oil. We each ordered a glass of wine for the nifty wine list, Pinot Noir for Lauren and Riesling for me. We were given the choice of ordering from the brunch or lunch menu. We weren’t feeling very brunchy so we opted for lunch.

Portrait of Lauren with Pinor Noir

Lauren enjoys a glass of pinor noir at Sotto Sopra

The first (and only) disappointment of the afternoon occurred not long after we were seated. Lauren was bummed  to learn that the lobster roll was sold out.

No matter, we started with a crostini for Lauren and a arugula salad for me. I swear, I had never seen a bigger heap of arugula. With match sticks of fresh apple and a few delicious cherry tomatoes, with truffle dressing on the side, it was a great start.  Lauren enjoyed her steak sandwich with aoli. While I fell in love with my Linguine Mollusco: tender little neck clams in the shell or pasta with a lovely garlic sauce dotted with chiles. I emptied the breadbasket, sopping up the sauce after the clams were gone.

insalata fresca  with arugula, tomatoes, and apples.

The insalata fresca at Sotto Sopra is a magnificent heap of aruglua.

On to desert. We had a crazy layered crepe kinda thing and some knock-your-socks off chocolate mint gelato.

It turned out to be a wonderful, relaxing meal. We’ll be back.

Sotto Sopra

231 Main St.

Amagansett, NY 11930

(631) 267-3695

 

 

 

A Vermont Weekend

Great Fun for a Burlington, Vermont Weekend

We had a great reason to travel to Burlington, Vermont, the weekend before Memorial Day—My daughter Zea was graduating from Med School! Any reason is a good reason to get back to Burlington in the Spring, but this was special. We left NYC after work on Thursday and drove to Ballston Spa to visit my Mom. The next day i managed to get Lauren up early and we set off for Vermont–a trip of just under three hours. We go to Burlington in time to meet her old college friend Sally, who now lives in White River Junction.

Restaurant

Normally the Chef’s Corner in Williston is bustling for brunch

We met Sally for lunch at the Chef’s Corner in Williston. You know, right next to Lenny’s shoes on the Essex Road. (right around the corner from our motel, too, the something or other extended stay suites. Now i had heard plenty about this cafe from my ex-wife, but had never been.

What took me so long? it was totally charming. You get in line and order from the blackboard behind the counter. then have a seat, indoors or out and wait for the server to deliver.I had the tuna salade Nicoise which was delicious. can’t recall what Lauren and Sally had, but both raved about it.

Then we checked into our room. (now i remember, it was Townplace Suites. Nice place. Our room had a queen bed plus sofa bed and a full kitchen with a large fridge. They have an indoor pool – not that we had any time to use it. There’s no cafe but they offer your standard continental breakfast and pass out 20% off coupons for our new favorite—The Chef’s Corner.

outside burlington

Townplace Suites, just outside Burlington, was the best place we could find for UVM grad weekend

After a leisurely and uneventful check-in we headed off to Costco to do some party shopping. Boxes of wine! Sacks of sweet onions. Meat! Chips! Beer! It’s party time!

The next morning i crept out of the room as Lauren slept and walked to Chef’s Corner for breakfast, where i kept it simple: two eggs over easy, the best home fries ever, and bacon. take off the 20% and i feasted for under 10 bux. Then off to Zea’s to make German Potato Salad and lots of frenzied running around to buy last-minute supplies, until it was time for the party at Burlington’s Oakledge Park.

Oakledge Park in Burlington

Susan, Zea, Emme, Warren, and Casey enjoy the perfect weather on the shores of Lake Champlain.

Saw lots of friends and family at the party. Ate burgers, drank beer. What more could you ask for?

But i wasn’t just eating, drinking, and partying, no. that weekend was also dedicated to finally clearing out my storage shed that i had been supported for too many years. It was a slog down memory lane with college notebooks mashed up with wedding pictures and tax returns—all the phase of my adult life mixed up together.

from Man's Life magazine

Look what i found in my storage shed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(to be continued… A Vermont Weekend)

Lauren Lunches at ‘Lunch’

Lauren Loves Lunch aka the Lobster Roll

She also loves lobster rolls, which this place on the Napeague stretch of 27 between Amagansett and Montauk touts as the best around. She loves a whole steamed lobster most of all. But this Saturday, she said she knew she just didn’t’ have the energy to do the whole cracking and extracting thing. That’s how i knew for sure she was sick. And indeed, she’s fighting a wicked cold.

Lauren Lunching at Lunch

Lauren loves the fresh seafood at Lunch on Route 27 in Napeague

So, following the adage of “Feed a cold…” or is it “Starve a cold?” Regardless soup is always good when you’re not feeling well, so she ordered the Manhattan seafood chowder. I managed to steal a spoonful or two from her and i have to say, it was delicious—full of shrimp, clams, and all kinds of stuff. Lauren followed that with a shrimp roll, which disappeared as soon as the plate hit the table. I didn’t get to sample that, but no worries, i was completely satisfied by my tuna steak sandwich, cooked perfectly and served with some of the best fries I’ve had lately. Sick or not, Lauren wasn’t about to skip desert and so she ordered a slice of their famous, homemade raspberry pie. All in all it was a memorable early spring Lunch at Lunch.

Lunch

Lunch aka The Lobster Roll on the Napeague Stretch

The Day the Dogs Tied the Knot

Bravo Was There When the Dogs Tied the Knot

Chef Roble didn’t quite know what to make of Lauren when she came to her to request catering for the wedding of Carmen and Harpo. Why? They’re dogs! Chihuahuas to be exact. But he was game and he and his sister put together quite a blowout in the Hamptons. The bride and groom were resplendent in outfits designed and created by famous designer Gemma Kahng.

There were plenty of doggie guests and the canines ate better than the humans. They enjoyed duck meatballs and steak and eggs among other treats, while we had salad and fish. i do admit nipping a couple of he meatballs. they were excellent.

It was a fun day and was broadcast in January as part of the Chef Roble show on Bravo. I can’t believe they left out the only little bit of conflict, when a dog peed on my jacket and i had a little sparring session with its owner.

Lots of excitement when the dogs tied the knot.