Meals and Deals in the Hamptons Off Season

food picture of lamb chops over a display of sauteed vegetablesLong Island Restaurant Week is coming up in a couple of weeks, which is always a great time to hit up Nick & Toni’s where a reservation during the summer is nearly impossible to come by. But here’s a secret: You can get similar deals on almost any weekday offseason at dozens of restaurants in the Hamptons–without the hype or the crowds. And chances are, you’ll have better service, more choices of entrees, and a far better experience.

Here are some of Chris’s and my favorites:

Plaza Cafe (Southampton) As much as I love Chef Doug’s signature Seafood Shepherds Pie, I can never finish it. So I love that Plaza is offering Half Portions/Half Price during the week! (Besides, if I’m really hungry, this option allows me to try two different entrees!)

Le Chef (Southampton) Famous for its Prix Fixe option. I never miss the chance to have their housemade Country Pate with toast points.

Bistro Ete (Water Mill) SO glad to see that Chef Arie is doing a prix fixe in this lovely restaurant. Especially love his escargot! AND the fruit-filled square ice cubes that grace the water glasses. A class act!

Bell &Anchor (Noyac/Sag Harbor) This lovely place, off the beaten path on Noyac Road overlooking a marina, is always a wonderful experience. The Duroc Pork Chop on the Prix Fixe menu is exceptional, but I also love their fish.

Fresno (East Hampton) Another restaurant “off the beaten path” behind East Hampton train station, and well worth finding. On a recent visit, Chris and I both had a stellar orecchiette that was so good, it was dinner the next night too. And this was Chris’s yummy wedge salad:

food picture of salad with tomato and cucumber garnish

Bobby Van’s (Bridgehampton) Prix Fixe menu with eight entree options offered all night Sunday through Thursday, and Chris orders the 21-oz ribeye Every. Single. Time. It’s a killer deal at $32.

Rumba (Hampton Bays) One of the most fun, laid back, Island Time restaurants on the whole East End. But take note: “Island Time” as it relates to the midweek Prix Fixe ends at 7:30 PM. So, to quote Rumba’s tagline, “Get here fast…then take it slow.”

Sundays on the Bay (Hampton Bays) One word: LOBSTER. Sunday’s “Twins” special, Monday – Thursday all day, is renowned: Two 1-1/4 lb. lobbies, plus a veg, for $32. On the nights we can restrain ourselves from eating everything on our plates, I bring home the leftovers and make my own yummy lobster salad (a far cry from neighbor Loaves and Fishes famous $100/lb. lobster salad).

Caveat: Offseason, few restaurants are open seven days a week. However, they tend to stagger days off so that there’s always a place to eat! Double-check online, or ask us when you arrive, and we can give you the most up to date information on what’s available during your stay.

So score your favorite room at A Butler’s Manor (check out our our FALL20 special) and join us offseason when there are wonderful deals to be had, and meals to enjoy!

Open for the 2014 Season!!

Anyone on the East Coast can attest that it has been a long, cold snowy winter. So last week, when Chris and I returned from vacation and prepared to reopen for the 2014 season, we were so gratified to find only this little remnant of snow left at A Butler’s Manor. Hey, we may not be out of the winter woods yet — I have pictures somewhere of snow-laden trees in early April, but I also have pictures of a freakishly warm April when we served breakfast on the patio. After the first winter where meteorologists actually named the storms, like they do hurricanes, I figure we’re due for a warm Spring. Bring it on!

We opened this past weekend to a full house of people who probably thought the same thing, and I’m wondering if the unusually high number of pre-bookings for the upcoming year reflects a lot of folks who just want to have a vacation somewhere warm and comforting to look forward to? It’s only March, but things are booking fast, so if you have a date in mind to come visit the Hamptons, check out our availability calendar today!

Spring formally arrived yesterday about 1 PM and we were cheered by bright sunny skies and crocuses peeping through the winter debris in the garden. I was greeted by a robin perched on our mailbox. Hooray!

Hamptons Restaurant Week begins this Sunday, a favorite event for both locals and visitors alike, where dozens of restaurants on both North and South Forks present three-course prix fixe menus for $27.95. It’s a great time to sample some of the restaurants that are difficult to get into once Summer arrives. (The Sticky Toffee Pudding dessert offered at The Living Room at c/o the Maidstone in East Hampton is worth the visit all on its own!)

Coming up on the calendar is the annual Parrish Art Museum Spring Fling, always a fun, well-attended party to benefit the children’s programs at the museum. This year, in addition to the food, drink, live band, and silent auction, they are featuring a scavenger hunt, advertising it as your chance to become an art detective. Fun!

In other local news, the fascia is being completed and interior work is continuing on the much-anticipated opening of a Southampton branch of Citarella Markets. Citarella is a New York City-based foodie market known for their great meats and seafood. The Southampton store will bring to three their presence in the Hamptons (they also have markets in East Hampton and Bridgehampton). Speaking as someone who visits the supermarket every day (whether I plan to or not!), this will be a welcome addition to our current grocery options. Now, if we could only get a Southampton Starbucks….

Off to start cleaning up the garden in anticipation of a bright, warm Spring!

Quote of the day: Every spring is the only spring–a perpetual astonishment. –Ellis Peters

var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : “http://www.”);document.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src='” + gaJsHost + “google-analytics.com/ga.js’ type=’text/javascript’%3E%3C/script%3E”));try {var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-8775946-1”);pageTracker._trackPageview();} catch(err) {}

Spring ahead

Oh, were the rainstorms brutal this past weekend! As I write this, there are still towns upIsland that still do not have power, and all over Long Island, the tree crews have more work than they can handle, cleaning up the downed trees and fallen limbs. The wind howled at almost hurricane strength and the rain pelted against the windows, but luckily, on the East End, we were spared the flooding and major damage…and at A Butler’s Manor, with guests in residence (and daylight savings time springing forward!) we didn’t even lose power. Whew!

Today the sun came out, and around the (nicely watered!) garden, we see the first peepings of Spring in the little lavender buds of crocus and daffodil foliage peering from beneath the leaf mulch. I walked down to the beach this week to see the ocean, and it is angry…lots of whitecaps, and lots of waves. A long winter has stripped some of the sand from the beach, unveiling some of the old wooden revetments that were built long ago to contain the sand drift. I saw a gaggle of geese poking around Agawam Pond near Gin Lane beach –not Canadian geese, but the huge Greylag geese, which are the size of a really husky swan, and every bit as aggressive This gang, though, is so used to being fed bread scraps all summer long that they probably believed I was going to pay for the photo above with some food.

Speaking of food, Hamptons Restaurant Week begins this Sunday — three-course prix fixe meals for $24.95, what a deal! Participating restaurants include all of our favorite recommendations, such as Plaza Cafe and red bar brasserie and Tuscan House in Southampton, Muse in Water Mill, Bobby Vans in Bridgehampton, Oasis in Sag Harbor, and Stone Creek Inn in East Quogue. For us, however, it will be a chance to sample restaurants we haven’t tried or those that are too far for us to go to during high season (anywhere in Montauk, for example). I’ve warned Chris that the only meal I’m firing up the stove for next week will be breakfast!

Quote for the day: If only I may grow: firmer, simpler, — quieter, warmer. –Dag Hammarskjold 

var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : “http://www.”);document.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src='” + gaJsHost + “google-analytics.com/ga.js’ type=’text/javascript’%3E%3C/script%3E”));

try {var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-8775946-1”);pageTracker._trackPageview();} catch(err) {}