Simple, sunny, sublimely summer out East

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The beach — why we are here and the perfect way to end the weekend.

There are few restaurants in New York that feel like home. This is largely due to the vanishing hosts that are identified with their establishment, and vice versa. I’m thinking of Sirio Maccioni of Le Cirque, Elaine Kaufman of her namesake, Glenn Birnbaum of Mortimer’s.

Charles Masson has re-established that precious position with his pearl of a place, Majorelle. And his passion and precision is passed on to the staff, from Jacques all through the waiters and bussers. My friend Sela calls the Club Room (where you can get a great burger or salad, instead of the more formal dining room menu’s offerings) her “other living room.”

One recent evening, we celebrated my daughter’s graduation and birthday, with a fittingly grand dinner and dessert, decorated with well wishes in chocolate calligraphy. And that was about it for New York.


Serena’s celebratory swirls.

The energy and events have been rerouted to St. Tropez, Ibiza, Spetses and of course, ‘the season’ in London. Not everyone crossed the ocean though. The East End traffic astounds, and parking spots are battled over. Even if one wanted to battle that, there are far fewer top-notch restaurants in Southampton, than say, Sag Harbor or East Hampton.


About as light as the traffic gets.
Parrish Art, mimicking the lines of the road and field.

There is a theory that it’s because everyone has a private chef. Not true, though I lucked into that theory at Anne Hearst McInerney’s Ashcroft Farm, Friday night. A few ladies sipped rosè as the sun set over Anne’s bucolic property, home to, as in true Hearst tradition, an assortment of chickens, ducks, geese, birds and the true masters of the manor … her dogs. Kyle, chef extraordinaire, spoiled us with a medley of three virtuous yet delicious fish courses, and we floated home, sated and happy.


Anne’s Aviary.
Disturbed birds.
Contemplating the sunset at Ashgrove Farm.
Bella the beauteous refuses to be ignored.
Spoiled by chef Kyle’s halibut.
Towd Point. The chill, north coast of the South Fork.
Towd Points’ charming anti-McMansions.
If I lived in an apartment in Southampton, it would be up here.

Saturday greeted us with the news that Jesse Warren had beaten the incumbent, Mayor Irving of Southampton. Jesse, a former M&A guy in New York, now owns Tenet, a chic shop in Southampton. He canvassed door to door and cleverly, with the seniors at Southampton High School.


S & S’s owner, Mark Parash, and Andrew Pilaro, new Village Trustees, winning sign.
Jesse Warren, new Mayor’s sign and …
… his chic store, Tenet and …
… his go-to shirt (according to Hayley) and a dress I covet.

He was joined by new Southampton Village Town Board Members Mark Parash, proprietor of the beloved luncheonette, Sip and Soda; and Andrew Pilaro (yes, son of Tony, as in Duty Free), all of whom know a thing or two about retailing and how to bring it back to Southampton village, which is now sprinkled with the all-too-familiar empty storefronts.


Sip and Soda harkens back to a sweeter, simpler time. Plus homemade ice cream.

I fueled myself for a stroll around town with my morning hazelnut coffee from Tate’s. The cookies, while delicious, are ubiquitous, and baked in some huge facility somewhere, but the pies, cupcakes, danishes and cakes that give new meaning to butter cream are all still baked right here.


Tate’s — as stated, treats home made here, ubiquitous cookies, elsewhere.
Charm abounds outside, people, on-line, abound within.
There goes the bikini. The one piece, too.

I took some shots of my favorite old standbys, perhaps not all in the Michelin Guide, but better than that, they are authentic and have been around longer than most of us.


Shippy’s — where swells dine on Sauerbraten.
Shippy’s has served schnitzel, sizzling steaks and scotch (and more) since 1954.
It doesn’t get more authentic than Fellingham’s.
Fellingham’s was voted one of top sports bars in America by Esquire magazine.
La Parmigiana — my mecca. Best fresh homemade mozzarella in the world. Truly.
I’ve always loved hardware stores. Herricks is why. Solid, smart, honest. It should run for President.
L. to r.: Stevenson’s Toy-featuring carefully curated toys, minimal pink plastic; Proud proprietor (along with husband, Roy, who was playing golf) with Zoltar, who is working this year!

Saturday, I approached the Holiday Hamptons House, long, black dress flapping around my legs, thinking how charming it was that all the pretty girls at check in were in white. Upon entering, I realized everyone was in white, as it was a “white party”, and I had been told that. “Black is the new white,” a sympathetic guest told me.


Holiday House Hamptons, where I wore black, to a white party.

Iris Dankner, founder of the Holiday House Hamptons (New York and London, too), told me she founded it because while designers are very charitable, none had supported breast cancer. 11 years later (and 22 years of being cancer free) Iris showcased her fellow designers and raised funds for Evelyn Lauder’s Breast Cancer Research Foundation.


L. to r.: Founder Holiday House and designer Iris Dankner, with Barbara Ostrom; Roy Ostrom (yes, son), and fianceè Julie Bancroft (yes, niece).
Barbara Ostrom, dope in black, Julie Bancroft, and Roy Ostrom.
Cipriani on location with patient tuna tartare, posing and waiting to be consumed by me.

Cipriani on Location tempted us, successfully, and we moved between dazzling rooms, finally settling in Barbara Ostrom’s screening room which was glamorous, welcoming and functional, and “Bohemian Rhapsody” looping on the giant screen. Luckily, the blue velvet sofa was enveloping and cozy as poor Barbara twisted her ankle on the way in. So she greeted gazers with an iced foot, from the depths of her sectional.


Jeffrey Terreson’s Someone We know, honoring all who have fought breast cancer.
Bohemian Rhapsody never gets old.

I will admit now, that my dream eve, is La Parmigiana chicken parm, and Netflix, and so, after I removed my funereal attire, that’s what I blissfully settled in to.

Sunday was the first truly warm day we’ve had out East, and where better to enjoy it but at the beach. Simple, sunny, sublimely summer.


Heading to the beach, south on First Neck lane, the original Neck.
St. Andrews Dune Church hosts different religious leaders each Sunday, including Rabbis and Greek Orthodox Archbishops.
Beautiful Lake Agawam, just across from Dune Church and stretching to the village. Also in dire need of recovery from storm water drain off.

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