Fri May 21 2010
Eat and drink
Perhaps adman Jerry Della Femina knows a thing or two about self-promotion, or maybe executive chef Michael Rozzi's superb seafood speaks for itself. Either way, the word about this Italian eatery has been heard loud and clear: It's near impossible to secure a table here unless you have the discipline to book two weeks in advance (the earliest the restaurant will accept a reservation)—or you're one of the patrons famous enough to have your own caricature on the wall. 99 N Main St (631-329-6666, dellafemina.com).
East Hampton Point
One of a handful of waterfront restaurants in the Hamptons, this yacht-club-themed eatery serves up glittering views of Three Mile Harbor alongside its contemporary American fare. Not surprisingly, fresh-caught fish is the specialty here, with a killer raw bar to prove it, though the weekend brunch buffet, where you can load up on smoked salmon and eggs Benedict for $29, is just as much a draw. 295 Three Mile Harbor Rd (631-329-2800, easthamptonpoint.com).
Nick & Toni's
Regular celeb spotting isn't the only thing that gets tongues wagging at this veritable Hamptons institution—just order the addictive fried zucchini chips ($11) and you'll really understand why all three dining rooms here are perpetually packed. The seasonal menu relies on produce from local farms as well as the restaurant's own organic garden, but you can always bank on anything that comes out of the mosaic-tiled wood-burning oven, like whole roasted fish ($38) or a crispy pizza ($16) (try the Prosciutto topped with tomato, mozzarella, arugula and salty strips of dry-cured ham). 136 N Main St (631-324-3550, nickandtonis.com).
Upper East Siders can continue to get their fill of spicy prawns and Peking duck at the fifth outpost of the upscale Chinese chainlet in the old Kobe Club space. The lacquered dining room continues outside to an al fresco bar from which to sip Philipptinis (Absolut vodka, lychee, triple sec, Chambord and pineapple juice, $19). For the right price, Mr. Chow himself will come to your manse or yacht to cater a private dinner, although it's not all about self-indulgence here: In honor of the late New York Post real estate columnist (and Chow friend) Braden Keil, a percentage of sales will be donated to the American Cancer Society through Labor Day during the restaurant's inaugural summer. 44 Three Mile Harbor Rd (631-907-0250, philippechow.com).
Though the crowd isn't quite as bohemian as the tippling artists who once congregated at the 18th-century boarding house it's named for, Rowdy Hall boasts an atmosphere that's significantly more laid back than most other Hamptons watering holes. Equal parts English pub and French bistro, this is one place where you can order moules frites ($17) and Guinness-battered fish-and-chips ($19.50) under the same roof. Grab one of eight draft beers ($6.50 each) served in 19-ounce Imperial pints and retreat to the fireplace in the back for some much-needed respite from the East End scene. 10 Main St (631-324-8555, rowdyhall.com).
Where to stay
The Hedges Inn
Originally a private residence, this historic 19th-century guesthouse allows you to live like the residents of the surrounding estates—pampering and all. Rooms are outfitted with antique replica furniture and, thanks to a recent renovation, come equipped with modern-day amenities like wireless Internet and flat-screen TVs. Once you tire of watching the swans glide around Town Pond from your post on the front porch, take a ten-minute stroll into town or hit Main Beach, about a half-mile away; you might as well, considering a stay at one of the 12 rooms gets you town beach passes, beach chairs and towels, not to mention a complimentary buffet breakfast. 74 James Ln (631-324-7101, thehedgesinn.com). $595--$750 per night.
The Mill House Inn
This pet-friendly B&B goes above and beyond what you'd normally expect from others in its category, what with gas fireplaces and DVD players (they'll supply the movies and the popcorn) standard in every room—all ten of which look like something straight out of an Ethan Allan catalogue. Spring for a suite and you can rock out to the in-room iPod dock. The breakfasts here are legendary, with whimsical items like green eggs and ham and eggnog brioche French toast on the miles-long menu. 31 N Main St (631-324-9766, millhouseinn.com). $650--$1,300 per night.
What to do
Surrounded by the exclusive enclaves of famous folks like Martha Stewart and Steven Spielberg, this 300-foot stretch of sand is remarkably low-key and scene-free (probably because the celebs have private beaches of their own). Stroll west on the beach to see where Georgica Pond nearly meets the ocean and to spot swans swimming gracefully on its waters. There are no concessions or food stands here, so plan ahead and pack a picnic. End of Apaquogue Rd and Lily Pond Ln (631-324-4150). Nonresident season pass $300 per vehicle.
This white sand beach lives up to its name with a see-and-be-seen vibe and the occasional celeb sighting. People-watching isn't the only draw: Main Beach has good surfing and even more impressive sand dunes, plus unbeatable fireworks on the Fourth of July. It's also the only area beach that has a pavilion where you can get food. End of Ocean Ave off Montauk Hwy. $20 pay-by-the-day parking on weekdays only.
Pollock-Krasner House and Studio
During the summer months on Thursdays through Saturdays at noon, you can take a one-hour guided tour ($10, reservations required) of the wood-shingled home where Abstract Expressionist painter Jackson Pollock once lived with his wife Lee Krasner. Those who prefer to wander unguided can do so from 1-5pm (Thurs-Sat) for $5. In addition to the two-story former farmhouse, which the couple purchased with the help of a $2,000 loan from Peggy Guggenheim, you can view Pollock's studio in a light-flooded barn, where he produced many of his most famous works. 830 Spring Firehouse Rd (631-324-4929, pkhouse.org).