Tag Archives: Hamptons

The Hamptons: Alec Baldwin and Neighbors Feast at Peconic Land Trust Quail Hill Farm Event

Alec Baldwin with Scott Chaskey, the director of Quail Hill Farm. Photo: Peter Cobb

Alec Baldwin, looking a bit ruddier and beefier than the suave Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock, sat amidst friends and neighbors at an event Saturday night to support Quail Hill Farm, the Peconic Land Trust’s 30-acre tract in Amagansett. Baldwin is a major supporter of the event.

East End dining hot spots like Nick and Toni’s got to strut their stuff at the annual fundraiser August 23. The Grill and Foody’s were among five Hamptons eateries showing off locavore dishes like Pork Loins with Open Minded Organic’s Mushrooms and Quail Hill Potato Gratin. All together, 180 people  gathered at 22 tables, stacked end to end to create a 176 foot long “Common” table that snaked for about eight feet through an Amagansett farm field lit by lanterns on a glorious summer night.

Quail Hill Farm Common Table. Photo: Peter Cobb.

“It was tough to get the tables set up in a straight line,” said Peter Cobb, one of the volunteers who helped stage the event.

Quail Hill, in addition to being one of the nation’s oldest CSAs, gives Hamptonites a chance to dabble at farming. You can harvest tomatoes or arugula a couple of times a week and take your pickings home with you.

When I mentioned to a couple of folks that I hailed from the North Fork, I got a bunch of quizzical looks, as if to say, “Why would you choose to live there?” Clearly, that quieter agricultural area just on the other side of Peconic Bay is off the radar screen for the group of Hamptonites who showed up for the event.

Next week, the Peconic Land Trust is hosting a tomato taste-off.  Given how fabulous this year’s tomatoes have been, it sounds like it’s worth the trip—-unless of course you live on the North Fork. In that case, you can stop by the dozens of farm stands peddling tomatoes.  Sang Lee’s?  or KK’s?  Or the ladies who put a few tomatoes out on card tables in the hopes that passersby will purchase some?

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North Fork: Nello’s Owner to Open New Restaurant in Greenport

Is Greenport, on the North Fork of Long Island becoming unbearably gentrified?  You draw your own conclusions.

But one sign of the times is the looming presence of a North Fork version of Nello, the Upper East Side boite that’s home to the rich and hoping-to-be-rich. The Greenport eatery is to be called Seaweed and will be located in the white clapboard house at 314 Main Street that once housed restaurant Ile de Beauté.

Proprietor Nello Balan already has a beachead on the East End. He currently oversees Nello Summertimes, in Southamption, best known for its sky-high prices and glitterati clientele.

North Fork, LI farm stand

North Fork, LI farmstand.

Why is this epicenter of glitz dining locating in what’s still a low-key North Fork seaport village surrounded by farmland and vineyards? After all, Nello prices seem way beyond the day trippers and families with kids in tow who still make up most of Greenport’s tourist trade. The eatery’s New York menu features a $60 veal chop, a tad steep in these recessionary times. And the NY Times in 2005 called the prices at the Southamption place “obscene.”

For the Hamptons set, Nello Summertimes seems like a great fit. But will it work for Greenport?

The planned North For eatery, will be “different” than his other establishments, Balan insisted in a phone interview, adding that he wanted a place that’s  “accessible” to Greenporters, both natives and visitors alike. That includes “the rich and not very rich,”  he said. The prices for dishes on the “Mediterranean with Long Island hints” menu will “compare with everybody around there” who operates a restaurant, he said.

Across the street from the new establishment, Balan will also be in charge of the cafe in the new upscale hotel that’s taking shape this summer. It’s also set to open in May 2010.

For all his posh dining credentials, Balan appears to be trying to ease into the mellow Greenport groove.

“I love Greenport,” he said. “It’s very unspoied.  People are nice. This part of Long Island is very special.” He’s even looking for a house in the area.

And the Hamptons?

“In Southampton they live like they live in the city,” he sniffed, already assuming that North Fork ‘tude toward the more upscale crowd to the south.

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