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Long Island, NY

Long Island, NY
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    Post #1 - September 3rd, 2018, 4:44 pm
    Post #1 - September 3rd, 2018, 4:44 pm Post #1 - September 3rd, 2018, 4:44 pm
    The following might read a tad wild without the accompanying pics, but, the links are worthwhile.

    Sex, drugs, and lobster rolls

    For those averse to travel photos, and, or, the dreaded 8 mm reels of childhood vacations in the 70's, look away, look away. Also: today's word is: choogle.

    And, I think I might have seen Bob Bert(he was wearing a Chelsea Light Moving t-shirt, would he do that?) on the street today. Also, I learned in the past 24 hours that I am two degrees of separation from both Sade' and Dave Arnold.
    Our visit to Greenport, NY in pictures:

    I begin with a picture from two years ago of Beyonce' at the Domino Sugar Factory Kara Walker Installation, because, everything is better with Beyonce'(just like bacon).
    We caught the Hampton Jitney at 96th near my old workplace, kind of. The three hour trip to Greenport was fine, but my lower back sciatica(see: getting old) shit was a special kind of hell. Kate and Justin's place is beautiful, (a work-in-progress, but beautiful). The boys(the dogs) were out of control, Arthur, dude!, Arthur, the adults need quiet time, there are hangovers to nurse, you are the cutest thing on earth, but, dude, take a chill pill(is that too 90's a reference?). Your mommy and daddy were not happy. Your uncles just drank more wine.

    That first afternoon we went to the sailmaker, Wm. J. Mills & Co. for satchels, bags, and I bought a ball cap. I don't know what it is lately with me and ball caps. I wear them at work, maybe it is also a form of early-onset dementia?

    Then we stopped for lunch at the food truck behind the barn at 8 Hands. They offer a finite menu of fucking incredible shit like the NY Cheddar double patty burger Justin and I had and the pulled pork sammy that Kate and Tom got. My burger was lusciously-greasy and onions were seared into the patty like the wet dreams White Castles have when they aren't sobbing in the shadows. The former White House chef, Sam Kass and his wife, journalist Alex Gardner(rocking a Yeezus t-shirt) were there as well. Also, chickens eating fried chicken off the ground. Kate was like, "Bob." She called one of the roosters, "Bob." "Bob, no, don't do that, Bob, come over here, listen to me, Bob, oh fuck, Bob, no."

    Afterwards, they drove us over to Horton Lighthouse, where this landscape happened and they keep a whale skull in a locked shed.

    Kate and Justin drove us out to Orient to an estuary. Then we stopped in at the literal last ever weekend of the Long Island I just wanted a delicious berry iced tea. Tom got an ice cream sandwich where you get to choose your cookies.

    We then went to the only winery I have ever been to on the water. Great sloping lawn down to the cliffs above the bay. We all just got glasses, I thought Kate's viognier was on point. I had no idea Long Island has such a burgeoning wine industry. Winery upon winery. You just don't get them in the city. Upstate, yes, but not Long Island, and, unlike the Midwest which specializes in local varietals hybridized with European vines, New York actually does the great grapes.

    But, the piece de resistance, our reason for planning this trip and excuse to visit with our friends at their weekend place. Sid Gold's Request Room pop-up at The Sound View Hotel.

    After hanging with Paul, the impresario of Sid's and an accompanist, John, new to me, at a bar on the water in Greenport. And, dining on delicate housemade cheese-stuffed, tempura-battered noshes and fluke in a caper, lemon, butter, sauce at Barba Bianca. Where the view of the wharf from the men's room as you piss is spectacular. After that, fashionably-late, we arrived in a dark, oaken room festooned with moody, empty paintings of the sea and a baby grande in red leather. Packed room, but no one was singing except the pianist. Paul, was all, in typical Paul mode, Chris, get your ass up up there, let's get this thing started. When the founder of Beauty Bar tells you to do your thing, you do your thing. I did my thing in front of Rene' Risque' which is a thing in and of itself, The former Rene'(NY kingpin) told me I sounded awesome. Awesome sounds more like aowessome.

    I sang No One is to Blame, My Funny Valentine(a sop to the Sinatra heavy list), and Tainted Love(dedicated to Kate). By my first round at the mike I got people engaged and by the time we left it was going past set hours. I weave a bit of magic when I get up there. I can be fragile and off-key, or, I can knock shit out of the ballpark. My falsetto can crack, or I can let it focus laser like. It depends on what the crowd needs. It depends on how much I have had to drink. It depends if my flop sweat is in effect or tanning in a desert somewhere. See Lynchian pic of lady in good voice, below.

    Got back, hung out, drank a little more, retired, slept soundly, got up not too early, had a coffee which is rare for me, took 2 Aleves for my sciatica. Then, we journeyed into town to wander some really cool vintage and furnishings stores while waiting on our reservation at Bruce & Co. a former cheese shop turned brunch place. Wide, high-ceilinged, pale, inviting space, what I like is that they could pack so many more seats into it, and, they choose not to, they under-utilize the space in an interesting way. Very good cookbooks on shelves 10 feet above the patrons' heads. Lovely, simple food. Like Barba Bianca was how Italian most is(simple ingredients, simply-prepared, with thought) so, too, Bruce & Co. Tom had a tomato sandwich with za'atar mayo. Boom! I had a BLT, Booyah! The tomatoes were such a quintessential shade of yellow, I kept squinting at them as I brought that delicious bitch to my mouth and thinking, cheddar, is this cheddar, wait,, tomato! Of, course the stiff tequila watermelon cooler had something to do with that cognitive short wire. Then, I kept begging for bites of Justin's side order of cumin-redolent chicken sausage patties. This is when Justin's uncle and his wife just happened to pop in and then sat with us long enough to learn that the wife is from Essex and went to prep school with her friend-to-this-day Sade'.

    Stuffed, but not too, we rolled over to Catapano Farms where, having not been around goats for a long time, was deliriously-reintroduced to their tiny, nibbling ways. Like the best goat kisses ever and their showoff-y head butting. Oh, and, the goat boat, where the goats go to sleep off concussions on the placid grasses of the fields. Also, chickens and Shetland ponies and sheep, so, basically, so much adorable in one place you will explode with joy in a shower of confetti hearts. Yes, the cheese deserves the ACS award it received a few years ago.

    We met more of Justin's relatives at Lieb Winery
    And, they were all much fun. We did a flight of decent rose's. But, lemme tell ya, the front of house, especially, the hostess are real humdingers. See You Next Tuesday kind of people. But, hey, the room they put us up in,
    "The Library," was nice, and we had it all to ourselves for awhile.

    Afterwards it was time to head back and have some quiet time with a bottle of rose' and a hunk of parmigiano, some figs, and toast points. Then off to catch the Jitney back to the city. Oddly, which, the bus was full of douches this time. But, we got in at a respectable hour and I even was able to hit the head at Eli's Night Shift and in so doing say hi to some of my old bartender and chef friends working the night shift.
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #2 - September 12th, 2018, 1:41 pm
    Post #2 - September 12th, 2018, 1:41 pm Post #2 - September 12th, 2018, 1:41 pm
    Love Greenport, esp. eating on the piers. Nice report.

    I've been doing North Fork wine/wineries for 20 years. I suspect that their two grapes are viognier and cab franc. Their winemaking is still a bit exploratory, but they're oriented correctly.

    And yes, Midwest wineries tend to use modern grapes rather than traditional ones–they have to. But so does Ontario, Québec, Nova Scotia, Finger Lakes, and, yes, North Fork from time-to-time. If you're looking for a really quaffable light wine, try Pindar's Winter White, which blend some classic varieties with the modern variety Cayuga White.

    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #3 - October 14th, 2021, 12:29 pm
    Post #3 - October 14th, 2021, 12:29 pm Post #3 - October 14th, 2021, 12:29 pm
    I had a conference in NYC that got canceled so Mrs Willie & I decided to take a trip out the Hamptons as we had not been before.

    Stayed at Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton (part of the Hyatt program if it matters to anyone)

    Breakfast was included with our room and was quite tasty, so we dined each morning at Topping Rose. An excellent lox benedict was my choice 2 out of 3 mornings. Avocado toast was also tasty (with the addition of bacon :D )

    Goldberg's Famous Bagel, a number of locations in the Hamptons
    I had a pastrami & corned beef Reuben, I assumed the corned beef and pastrami would be home made, was not the case and sandwich was just ok. Goldbergs does make their own roast beef in house and Mrs Willie chose a hero made from that, Great stuff. Roast beef is the deli meat to order here. Did not try the bagels.

    The Seafood Shop in Wainscott. Mostly a market but they have a good variety of take out. There are a couple of outdoor tables alongside the building. Their Thai red curry seafood soup was outstanding, we went twice just for that. Mrs Willie's crab cake banh mi was a let down, just not the right proportions and lacked ingredients that we are used to. My fresh local sea bass grilled tacos were terrific. If one is staying nearby and has a kitchen, this is definitely a shop to stop by for seafood items to cook.

    There is a Chef Jean Georges restaurant in Topping Rose, so dined there one evening. Starters: crispy salmon sushi would have been a stellar item had either the piece of salmon been larger or the crispy rice component been smaller as it overpowered what salmon there was. The tuna tartare w/spicy radish was outstanding. After so much seafood, we were in a carnivore lust mode so chose the dry aged ribeye for two. A terrific tasty cut of meat. Side of creamed spinach was forgettable. Desserts: my pannacotta with figs and a rosemary granita was outstanding, a bowl of the rosemary granita would have been terrific. Mrs Willie's apple pie was just ok. ... rges/menu/

    Almond Restaurant. 100' from Topping Rose House. We really enjoyed our meal, sat outside as it was beautiful out.
    Starters: Shucked clams (outstanding), local oysters (decent but clams were the item to get). Crudo of scallop (outstanding). Octopus & potato served chilled, a bit heavy on the potato, didn't allow the excellent/tasty octopus to shine. Curried mussels were delicious.
    Chicken Liver Toast, do I really need to explain this one? Terrific.

    Seared duck breast w/ kabocha puree & fennel/habanero glaze
    Grilled Sea Bass ... gehampton/
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.