I have a confession to make.
Despite having grown up in New York, I’ve never been to the Hamptons.
Well, I changed that the weekend after Memorial Day – which is unofficially the start of NYers making their summer weekend sojourns to the Hamptons – when I was invited to be a guest at Southampton Inn. The property was gorgeous, the weather was amazing, and it was just an all around incredible weekend.
Thank you to Dede for your generous hospitality!!!
Part of the reason I was invited was, of course, to check out the newly revamped Café Oso on premises. Our first morning there, we arrived for brunch and were given free run of the menu. I chose the lox scrambled eggs with potatoes, and Gubs chose the classic eggs benedict. The eggs were tasty, but I have to admit that I was in love with my potatoes – perfectly crisp exteriors and fluffy interiors, yum.
One of the updates to the Café was the hiring of Chef Morgan Larsson as their pastry chef. Though I often mention how I’m not a big sweets person, the truth is that I’m exceptionally picky about which sweets I’ll ingest. Strawberry shortcake is one such thing – so when I saw this glorious creation, despite having eaten ALL OF MY POTATOES, I was super excited to try the cake.
I was not disappointed. Fluffy, moist, and a delicate touch with the sweetness – well, this cake brought me much happiness as I inhaled my slice and refused to share with anyone. (Hey, there was enough to go around!)
Café Oso, directly on the grounds of Southampton Inn, was a great place to start the day – and I look forward to returning to try their lobster roll.
After a day of wandering around town and window shopping, Gubs and I returned to pick up the car and head over to Sotto Sopra, where we had dinner reservations. The bright, airy space had all the doors open to let in the cool night breeze, and though I don’t tend to enjoy sitting outside, this let us have the best of both worlds: the breeze coming in, but still the shelter of walls and a roof (yes, I am weird).
We started off with two appetizers – the robiola crostini with grilled figs, spiced walnuts and orange vinaigrette. Notice I didn’t mention the prosciutto; while I found the prosciutto to be a wonderful compliment to the cheese on the perfectly toasted bread, the lack of that word on the menu would have upset me if I were say, a vegetarian. I don’t know if that was given to us special or if it is on every dish.
Our other dish, crab cocktail, didn’t particularly stand out either way.
Gubs was way more excited about ordering pizza in any case – his choice of the picante (sausage, pepperoni, ricotta) seemed a solid one. We both enjoyed the pizza, and when we couldn’t finish, we took it back to the room to munch on the rest of the night. Good, thin crust, and a pretty good rendition of Neapolitan style pizza – I was happy.
The vitello saltimbocca (veal with prosciutto wrapped around it), which came with mashed potatoes, spinach, and lemon confit, called my name and I answered. The veal was cooked perfectly – tender, sweet, and lovely. The potatoes were extremely well done – you may laugh because to you, potatoes are potatoes are potatoes, but let me tell you that is simply not true. The entire dish worked together beautifully, but even better was each unexpected little tart tang from the lemon confit buried and hidden around the plate. I loved that little brightness; your tastebuds would be lulled by savory meat and potatoes and then get a little ZING from the lemon. I really enjoyed my dish and was sad to finish it… and super full.
Since we were both so full, we originally opted to only have one dessert – the lemon tart on the left, which was tasty. But the owner came by to talk to us and was chatting for a bit, saw which dessert we’d ordered and insisted we try the mille feuille, crepe cake. I’ve had crepe cake at a number of places and generally don’t understand why people go nuts over it (and yes, I’ve had the famous one in NYC). But holy wow, this was delicious – light, airy, with a touch of barely sweet cream holding the layers together – this was a true masterpiece. I raved about the cake and thanked Paul profusely for insisting we have it, because it was that good. It was that instant that I totally understood why people go crazy for this cake, and why he insisted we have a slice.
(Both Paul and Rose came over to say hello, and were extremely hospitable to us.)
I also want to give props here – though I told Paul at the time, and emailed the press people as well – to our server, Jessica/Jess, who was super professional, nice, friendly, and a fantastic server. You know when you have bad service, it can ruin an entire meal; when you have great service, it can take an ordinary meal and turn it amazing. Jessica did everything to make that happen – at one point, a group of four extremely drunk men sat at the table next to us and proceeded to order massive seafood towers, bottles of wine, and let’s just say they were very sloppy. One of the men eventually dropped an entire bottle of red wine, which managed to splash onto my (bare) legs. He didn’t notice. Jessica came over and apologized, handled the situation with them deftly, without causing a scene or making anyone feel embarrassed or bad, and asked if I was okay, and after making sure I was fine (eh, it wiped right off, no big deal), continued about her job like nothing. (And yes, we made sure to tip her extra well.)
Thank you, Jess, for making our night that much better!
While I have yet to return to the Hamptons – it’s quite difficult to book rooms or rent houses without a bit of planning ahead generally – I thoroughly enjoyed my first time there. The hospitality of Southampton Inn along with its gorgeous grounds, the proximity to town (Gubs and I walked to the main shopping drag and just wandered everywhere) and the beach, the yummy food and gorgeous pastries at Café Oso, along with the great dinner and impeccable service at Sotto Sopra all added up to a very lovely time. I highly recommend checking all these places out the next time you’re out that way!
Thank you again for your wonderful hospitality!!!
Please note that I stayed and dined at Southampton Inn as a guest of the owner, and I dined at Sotto Sopra as a guest of their PR team. I did not pay for any of the accommodations nor meals (aside from gratuity of course). I am not receiving monetary compensation to write such a post and do so just because I feel like sharing my experience.