by Brittany Winter
On your typical evening in May, you can walk around the streets of the Hamptons seeing and hearing very different sounds than you might after Memorial Day. The locals understand what I am describing. During the winter and early spring months, when the air is still crisp the small Hampton’s towns are quiet and resting, patiently waiting for the summer buzz to begin again.
It felt like summer arrived early this year as I stepped inside 230 Elm, for the Taste of Tuckahoe Event. The venue was crowded and yet there was room for dancing that is if your stomach could handle that much movement after indulging in the all the delicacies these Hampton’s premier restaurants had to offer.
Although we were indoors the atmosphere and decor gave the illusion of a summer’s night. String lights, paper lanterns and stars filled the ceiling as the DJ spun hit songs that people of all ages were enjoying. Encompassing half the room were tables piled with luxury gift bag items and raffle prizes, but it was the other side of the room that caught my attention.
It was my nose and trusty sense of smell that made me turn my head, and when I did my mouth began to water at what was before me. Across the room in every direction were tables, upon tables filled with every type of food I could imagine. From classic Spanish and Mexican dishes, Italian and French delicacies and even fresh raw oysters and Jamaican jerk ribs, I was overwhelmed and the foodie in me took over.
My first stop was Ketcham’s Seafarm producers of Peconic Gold Oyster, who were busy shucking fresh oysters with a variety of sauces and lemon. Now I am no oyster connoisseur, but I know a good, fresh shucked oyster when I have one. These were the absolute freshest oysters I have ever tasted. I was so blown away I felt the need to convince a woman next to me to try them, little did I know it was her first time. Although she was hesitant at first Lynn Blydenburgh, reluctantly gave them a try. “I don’t usually like raw fish. This is my first time eating oysters, they are very fresh and I’m actually going to have another!” I was satisfied knowing I had changed her opinion on raw fish, but also fully convinced now that these were in fact the best oysters I have ever had.
My next stop was DeJesus Deli & Grocery, but before I could make it I became side tracked by a keg tap I had not seen before. Naturally I had to stop, because what better to wash down a pork taco with, then a cold beer! Twin Fork Beer Company got the name from the twin brothers that started the company. The name is a reflection of that as well as the Twin Forks of Long Island. Twins who made beer that represents my beloved Island…what’s not to love!
The Ale they had on tap paired perfectly with my Pork taco, topped with onion and cilantro and some house made guacamole.
By this point you think I would be about ready to burst, but as a true foodie I refused to let my stomach get the best of me. Southampton Social Club was my next table. Their pulled pork wonton was the perfect blend of crunchy and tender. They informed me that they will be putting in a bier garden this summer, as if their night life could get any better they somehow managed to top it.
Somewhere between the amazing meatballs, the creamy lobster bisque, and the French smoked salmon I found myself at a familiar table. Rumba & Cowfish two restaurants I frequent in the summer months. Naturally I had to make room for their Louisiana style ribs. These bad boys are slow cooked for 9 hours, grilled and served with a sweet chili and ginger soy glaze. How it got their name says it all; the “Dominican herbs” got the name from the herbs that they use to finish it with consists of cilantro, green onions and basil just to name a few shared with me by Steven Tross, the Executive Chef at Rumba.
By this point I was stuffed and very satisfied. As always the fabulous restaurants of the Hamptons surpassed my expectations, and had me looking forward to summer nights dining with fellow foodies and friends, sharing with them the culinary work of each of these restaurants. Each and every sample and taste of these dishes had me curious and craving for the entire plate. Before I left for the night, I took a look around at everyone dancing and dining around me in awe, and it was in that moment that I realized the Hampton’s had awoken.
Photographs Courtesy of Evan Cambra
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