Where to eat, stay and party

For some visitors, Long Island's East End is a place to get some fresh air on weekends before blowing off steam, shelling out $1,500 for a daybed on Montauk Beach or vying for a cameo by dining at 75 Main while filming the upcoming season of the HBO Max show. Selling the Hamptons spin off Serving the Hamptons.

75 Main during the filming of “Serving the Hamptons”

Zach Erdem, owner of 75 Main

But for many residents, the area is hallowed ground, physically just a few hours from New York, but spiritually a world away from the cacophonous city center with its crime and grime. That's why Hamptonites have never allowed their enclave to be accessed by more than a two-lane road. To them, the Hamptons are the antidote to a city that never sleeps.

When New York City nightclub Zero Bond, which has hosted the city's mayor Eric Adams as well as Elon Musk, Taylor Swift, Tom Brady and Kim Kardashian, announced its intention to take over the picturesque 18th-century Hedges Inn in the village of East Hampton, the news sparked a fierce backlash. It's a particularly idyllic area, just a stone's throw from the homes of Steven Spielberg and Martha Stewart.

In a series of town meetings led by the mayor, residents tried to put a stop to Zero Bond, and in May they succeeded in getting a 11pm curfew imposed on all hotels in the city (this particular property had been subject to a 10pm curfew for some time), effectively blocking the club for at least this season. Undeterred, however, Zero Bond owner Scott Sartiano quickly changed his mind. This week he announced that he would convert the space into a branch of his restaurant Sartiano's, whose flagship is the Mercer Hotel in Manhattan.

“Mr. Sartiano has watered down his proposal so that it will simply be an Italian restaurant, and if that is the case, we will roll out the red carpet, but if his ultimate goal is to open another zero bond, I think neighbors should be very cautious,” Marcos Baladrón, administrator of East Hampton Village, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Just up the road and across the quaint little pond from East Hampton, another historic inn, The Maidstone, was purchased by pharmaceutical and cannabis boss Irwin Simon along with hotelier Mayank Dwivedi. It is now operated by LDV Hospitality, the owners of Scarpetta, a stirring nomadic restaurant with a downstairs club, and a branch of Gurney's Montauk resort, known for its lively scene.

In Southampton, KyKy Conille, who ran New York nightclubs Provocateur, PM and Bijoux and whose following includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Gisele Bündchen, John Legend and Lionel Richie, has taken over the former Blu Mar restaurant and turned it into a branch of his New York club-like Italian restaurant Il Pellicano, helmed by TV chef Rocco Dispirito. “It will serve customers from 25 to anyone who can still walk,” he claims. But there will also be a club at the back that will be decidedly less democratic.

“We will select the clientele for the lounge,” said Conille. “My doormen will select them based on their clothing. We don't want people coming to the lounge in shorts at night. I want to bring back the elegance – that people like to dress up.”

KyKy Conille, whose New York nightclubs attract Leonardo DiCaprio and John Legend, is bringing his Italian restaurant Il Pellicano – with TV chef Rocco Dispirito at the helm – to Southampton.

Courtesy of Il Pellicano

Other events in the Hamptons:
Also in East Hampton, Cedric Vongerichten (son of Jean Georges) and his wife Ochi are hosting a pop-up of their popular Southeast Asian spots Made and Wayan, while Jean Georges himself will be opening a weekend pop-up of his Latin American concept ABC Cocina at the Topping Rose House Hotel in Bridgehampton, where he already has his eponymous restaurant. A sister spot to hip West Village American-Italian spot Arthur and Sons also just opened in that city, with Chris Cuomo, Matt Lauer and Donny Deutsch already spotted.

In terms of fashion, many new stores have opened this summer, including East Coast firsts like LA-based Grey/Ven, a favorite of the British royals, ME&EM, classic tailoring brand Veronica Beard, and Eric Emanuel, a favorite of Justin Bieber and Kevin Hart.

Los Angeles-based fashion line Libertine is hosting a sale this season at the charming Sag Harbor store Sage & Madison, where Oscar de la Renta just took over the barn and where Juliane Moore and Beyonce have stopped by. You can find everything from couture gowns to beautifully curated hostess baskets.

Sag Harbor is still a hive of activity: Baron's Cove, a mini-resort in town with live music on the lawn, has partnered with Veuve Clicquot and Wolffer Vineyards to offer cabanas with flowing sparkling wine.

The area west of Southampton has always been less expensive, but has become more attractive recently, especially since the Canoe Place Inn in Hampton Bays reopened as a chic hotel in late 2022 and hosts lectures by Naomi Watts and Candace Bushnell. This season, The Hampton Maid, a family-run hotel on 13 acres in Hampton Bays, opened a Spanish restaurant, R.AIRE, as well as a poolside restaurant.

Getting to the Hamptons from New York has always been a challenge, but Blade, which offers speedy seaplanes and helicopters to beat traffic, has just competed with the legendary Hampton Jitney ($49), its slightly more comfortable Ambassador ($72) and the Hampton Luxury Liner ($34-$60). Roomier seats on the new Blade streamliner coaches, outfitted with cashmere blankets, motion-suppressing reclining seats, select toiletry bags and a full bar, cost between $195 and $275, and passengers are served breakfast in the mornings by Pop Up Bagels, the behemoth behind Paul Rudd, Michael Strahan, Constance Schwartz Morbid and John Davis. And best of all, you can bring your dog.

Blade isn't the only one caring for dogs, who are notoriously spoiled in the East. Edward Alava and his Dog Store in Wainscott pamper them with swimming lessons and massages, Bistro Ete in Water Mill offers a dog truffle menu, and the hamlets host regular “Yappy Hours.” This summer, home-visit veterinarian Dr. Cindy Bressler decided to offer healing therapies to the area's furry residents and opened a dog sanctuary called Wave Wellness Center and Pet Boutique, which offers red light therapy and sound baths for the four-legged friends.

Wellness is also a big thing for people in the East. Salon Xavier in Sag Harbor, a favorite of Joy Behar, Julie Andrews and Alexa Joel, has added lymphatic drainage and microcurrent facials from cult provider Biologique Recherche; and a new spot called Blue Water Spa has opened in Southampton, offering slimming techniques like Cryo T-Shock therapy, the Icoone machine and fat analysis.

A major wellness club has opened in East Hampton. With a $35,000 initiation fee and a $250,000 lifetime fee, it offers social aspects like its opening party with lobster bakes for members. But it also offers sports like padel and pickleball, as well as cold water, red light and compression stations. It's called Bond Lifeclub and is definitely not to be confused with Zero Bond. That one was welcomed with open arms.