Where to Have a Strong Start to Your Weekends in the Hamptons
Here’s a question: in our present day and age, is a weekend really a weekend if brunch didn’t happen? And did brunch really happen if it didn’t involve a drink or two, too? We’ve rounded up our Hamptons spots of choice for this form of a balanced breakfast, and culled our favorite cocktails to match.
Baron’s Cove (31 W Water St., Sag Harbor)
If ever there is to be an alcoholic American coffee (as opposed to Irish), Baron’s Cove has a strong contender. But this is only fitting for the waterside resort in Sag Harbor that’s a lesson in what the American dream vacation looks like. Once the hangout spot for national treasures like John Steinbeck and Paul Newman, it underwent a complete overhaul in 2015 to once again become the haunt of choice for vacationers looking to come and kick their Sperry-clad feet up for a few days of old-fashioned R&R.
Lawn games are played under a billowing American flag, tennis lessons are followed by swims in the saltwater pool, and nights are spent in Brunch is a grand affair on weekends rocking chairs on the fairy light-lit terraces sipping cocktails by the fireplace. Accordingly, brunch is a grand affair on weekends. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, the dining room fills with hungry guests and non-guests alike as sunlight and the smells of buttermilk pancakes pour in, and gourmet comfort fare like lobster omelets and eggs over cheddar cheese grits come hot and fresh from the kitchen. “Libations” listed on the menu include three different types of Bloody Marys, but for a harder kick, go for The Morning After: the aforementioned coffee concoction, served ice-cold and laced with bourbon and Frangelico.
North Fork Table & Inn (57225 Main Rd., Southold)
Even if you’ve successfully made it out of the city and into the Hamptons, some days can still bring an impending sense of wanting to get away from it all—the waiting lines, the packed parking lots, the crowds on the beach… To remedy, reserve a table at the elegant North Fork Table & Inn. In fact, North Fork wouldn’t exist if its founders hadn’t done exactly the same, leaving their jobs as chefs at elite Manhattan restaurants to come open their own endeavor out in a quiet corner of Southold, where they could source all of their ingredients from first-name-basis farmers and fishermen and create imaginative tasting menus that double as works of art.
And on weekends, if you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy brunch in an atmosphere more meditative than one of any Main St., North Fork is the place. You can start with caviar or warm spiced donuts before moving on to seasonal omelets with biodynamic greens or a Spanish-style chorizo version of steak and eggs. Drinks run simple to highlight the food— it’s mostly bellinis and mimosas poured at the bar on Saturdays and Sundays—but the classic Bloody Mary gets a twist in the Bloody Boar, infused with homemade bacon.
Babette’s (66 Newtown Lane, East Hampton)If you want to spend the day the beach, perhaps it’s best to first avoid the coma induced by a big, heavy brunch. Babette’s fits the bill, with its focus on organic and largely vegan, vegetarian, and raw fare. Having been a Hamptons staple since 2009, well before clean-eating was such a trend, it’s proven the point that customer satisfaction does not need to be compromised by food that’s “free” of so many things. The extensive menu boasts cage- free-egg omelets stuffed with all combinations of locally grown veggies, pancakes that can be made with whole-grain or gluten-free flour, and quinoa and granola bowls. And—as everyone knows that brunch is as much about the sides as the entrées—there are options of fruit, salad, and oatmeal in addition to the traditional bread or (deliciously herbed) potatoes.
Moving on to the cocktail menu, it reads like a juice cleanse list infused with booze. There’s carrot, ginger, and lemon with vodka; cilantro and ginger martinis and cucumber-lime margaritas; and a delicious watermelon mimosa. Your swimsuit will thank you, and you’ll have a buzz, too.
Estia’s (1615 Sag Harbor Turnpike, Sag Harbor)Tequila before breakfast? Some days just call for it, and there should be no shame when the sun’s out and your sunglasses can hide your eyes after you’ve thrown a few back— which just may happen while you’re waiting for a table at Estia’s. This homey joint in Sag Harbor gets packed for its diner-done-better breakfasts, offering all your vinyl-floor favorites made with much better ingredients and a bit of West Coast flair. There are chocolate chip pancakes and French toast, but the bulk of the egg-driven menu is served in burrito, taco, or bowl form (think a crab cake version of eggs benedict topped with avocado, bowls of tofu scramble, and mole-drenched eggs on tortillas).
But back to the drinking. The super- spicy Bloody Mary or mojito with fresh- grown mint are classics, but if you are ready to get the day started in a splashy way, go for the aforementioned Paloma Rojo tequila tonic. A stiff pour is mixed with fresh grapefruit juice and served with a salted rim.