The second half of our New York vacation was in the Hamptons. I had read many things about the Hamptons, especially that this was the place where Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) began her food store and cookbook series. Also, the Hamptons is know for being filled with the very rich and many famous vacationing celebrities. All of that being said, I wanted to see it for myself and experience it first hand, a true Hamptons Vacation.
I rented a house in East Hampton through a small company online called Hamptons Vacations. Eric Kaufman was our rental agent and was well informed about the Hamptons and the surrounding areas. The 3-bedroom house was smallish in nature, but had a nice yard with a pool and fit our needs to explore and enjoy ourselves, while in the Hamptons. This house in particular was walking distance to East Hampton Village and the train station, which made it easy to explore.
The main beach was a 2-mile drive and had daily parking for $25 dollars, except weekends being more restricted because of the heavier crowds. I found the beach to be pleasant with not many people -restrooms, snack shop and life guards on duty.
We decided to cook a few meals at home and explore the local restaurants too. Our first dinner out was at a casual eatery that has been in East Hampton for years, Bostwick’s Chowder House. The food was not fancy, but hit the spot on our exploration for East Coast seafood.
The Crab Cakes were moist and tender and the Baja Fish Tacos were delightfully crunchy with a light tarter sauce on top. The Seafood Pasta had old school flavors and was freshly prepared in a tangy tomato cream sauce.
One day we headed to Montauk for a 1/2 day fishing trip on Lazy Bones. The boat was clean and the fisherman were prepared to help with bait, untangle lines and any questions we had about fishing. It was a fun day out on the water.
On our way home we picked up some Fried Clams at Clam Bar at Napeague, a small town west of Montauk. We served the fried clams as an appetizer, while we prepared some fresh salad and grilled fish for dinner. Farm stands are all over the Hamptons area, so you are never far away from fresh produce.
Sag Harbor was another cute town to explore with a Farmer’s Market on the weekends. The boat-side community is quite charming with cafes and shops to explore.
Our nicest dinner in East Hampton was at 1770 House. The 1770 House has been open for 250 years as an Inn and fine dining restaurant. The dining experience was top notch with Oyster on the Half Shell, Roasted Beet and Bleu Cheese Salad and my favorite – an Italian plate with Roasted Artichoke Hearts, Prosciutto, Parmesan & Fig Reduction.
1770 House has casual dining outside on the patio where you can indulge on a cheeseburger, but if you have kids in your group, they will bring one as a kids option. Yes, I know – it’s huge, but delicious!
For entrees, the Halibut with Risotto Wheatberries, 1/2 order of Pasta Primavera and Seared Day Boat Scallops were all perfection.
And a meal wouldn’t be complete without a little cheese. East Coast creameries are preparing some of the most delicious cheeses.
Other side tips if staying near East Hampton, Levain Bakery from NYC is in East Hampton – creating the same delicious over the top cookies, Race Lane Liquors was a delightful wine shop selling bottles at every price point and an Italian market & deli called, Villa Italian Specialties next door to the wine shop with sandwiches, salads and prepared food to-go.
I found the Hamptons to have wonderful charm and friendly people. I loved experiencing the quaint beaches and towns and I would definitely recommend it for a summer vacation spot.