Fri May 21 2010
Baron's Cove Inn
Eat and drink
Perched above the Sag Harbor marina, this harborside spot is a romantic's dream, with unbeatable sunsets and gorgeous views. Refreshingly, the joint manages to strike a balance between classy and casual, and the food follows suit. If the sunset doesn't dazzle your date, dishes like sesame-crusted tuna with napa cabbage-jicama slaw ($32) and chopped salad with crispy shrimp ($14) will. 8 W Water St (631-725-7088, beaconsagharbor.com).
Blue Sky Restaurant & Lounge
After restaurateur Ed "Jean Luc" Kleefield's Grappa recently ran into money troubles, his entire staff (including executive chef Giuseppe Desiderio) picked up and walked out—across the street to this new moderately priced Mediterranean spot. Rotating art exhibits provide the background for chef Marco Barrila's crispy thin-crust pizzas ($15-$18) and hand-crafted lobster ravioli in roasted tomato lobster broth ($24). 63 Main Street (631-725-9353).
Estia's Little Kitchen
A mile outside Sag Harbor's town center lies this roadside restaurant that's got country charm with a Latin kick. It may be known for its hearty breakfasts, but items like torta ahogada (pork, avocado and queso fresco with red chili sauce, $14.50) and Ray's super Sagaponack Taco ($14.95) make this a worthwhile dinner spot as well. Come nightfall, the lights dim, the candles come out and bottles of locally produced Long Island wines get uncorked to create an entirely different atmosphere. 1615 Sag Harbor Tpke (631-725-1045, eatshampton.com).
Murf's Back Street Tavern
If the sight of all those popped-collar polos and madras shorts is driving you to take shots, Murf's is the dive you want to stumble to. Just your standard pretense-free watering hole, a mash-up of sailors from the nearby marina, townies and those with summer shares congregates here to play darts, ringtoss and hear classic rock on the juke. Yes, there's a chance you might spot a pair of whale-print pants in the crowd—that's what the cheap beer here is for. 64 Division St (631-725-3355, murfstavern.com).
Where to stay
The American Hotel
Holding court on Main Street since 1846, the three-story brick boutique hotel has been an area landmark for over a century. With just eight rooms, reservations for the classic Victorian-style accommodations go quickly, despite the fact that there are no TVs anywhere in sight (but Jacuzzi bathtubs, yes). The downstairs restaurant is renowned for its expansive wine list—over 2,500 selections—and is worth a stop for drinks and a spoonful of caviar. 49 Main St (631-725-3535, theamericanhotel.com). From $335 per night.
Baron's Cove Inn
If you roll with an entourage, consider booking one of the deluxe lofts, which sleep up to six. Regardless of what layout you choose at the 66-room hotel, make sure to request one facing the front for views of the pool and bay (as opposed to of the tennis court and parking lot). There's also a rooftop sundeck, and it's just a quick hop on the ferry to Shelter Island from here. 31 W Water St (631-725-2100, baronscoveinn.com). $130--$309.
What to do
Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge
Commune with nature at this 187-acre refuge, where you can spot piping plovers and shorebirds nestled among the marsh grasses and shrubs. A scenic hiking and running trail will take you past the ponds, kettle holes, tidal flats and grasslands and leads you to a beach on Little Peconic Bay. Don't show up empty-handed—the birds will be expecting birdseed, and plenty of it. 784 Noyac Rd (631-286-0485).
The calm bay waters at this secluded soft-sand beach are great for leisurely swimming or hopping gentle waves. There's also a swing set and playing field for the little tykes. Off Bay St near Hempstead St (631-725-0222).
Sag Harbor Cinema
For those rainy days (and there will be dreary ones), make your backup plan catching an independent or foreign film in this old movie-house setting. Marked by an iconic red neon sign and characterized by resplendent art-deco architecture, you won't care whether its hailing outside once you sink into one of the theater's plush red-velvet seats. 90 Main St (631-725-0010, sagharborcinema.com).