The Last Hurrah: Or Five Places You Might Consider this Weekend

Emily Elsen and Toby Bannister of Four & Twenty Blackbirds in front of their pop-up shop on Village Lane in Orient Credit Vera Chinese

Emily Elsen and Toby Bannister of Four & Twenty Blackbirds in front of their pop-up shop on Village Lane in Orient. Photography by Vera Chinese for northforker.com.

Once you are done weeding through Labor Day barbecue advice, expending the last of your fireworks and realizing that making plans may be more complicated than simply staying at home, we have just a few more tips to send your way. Yes, there is a temptation to spend this official final weekend of summer at your favorite restaurant or watering hole —whether it be the Beacon in Sag Harbor or Almond in Bridgehampton, Nick & Toni’s in East Hampton, Noah’s in Greenport, the North Fork Table and Inn in Southold, or the Stone Creek Inn in Quogue — but realize they will be packed to the gills. (Consider showing up early and being flexible with your seating if you really do want to try.)

The good news is that summer doesn’t really end on Labor Day and nearly all your favorite joints (including those fleeting summer popups) will still be open after Tumbleweed Tuesday. Many stick around until Columbus Day or even Thanksgiving.

Here’s a list of five new (or newish) places that we give high marks and that you might try this weekend.

Four and Twenty Blackbirds popup in Orient. This beloved Brooklyn bakery and pie peddler has been operating way out in Orient all summer, enhancing the food options for Cross Sound Ferry travelers who have already grown to love Fork and Anchor. Why even go to Greenport at all? Pouring Stumptown java and serving all their pies by the slice, this shop will be open until at least December, according to northforker.

Matt Michel at 1943 Pizza Bar. Photograph by David Korchin for northfrkd.com.

Matt Michel at 1943 Pizza Bar. Photograph by David Korchin for northfrkd.com.

1943 Pizza Bar and Brix and Rye. It is a rare place where you can enjoy a world-class Sazerac and play a pickup round of shuffleboard. Throw in excellent wood-fired pizza and you have the delicious upstairs-downstairs ecosystem that Matt Michel created in Stirling Plaza in Greenport. Michel gained his first Edible chops with the much-in-demand Rolling in Dough pizza truck. As we reported, he won a small business finance competition to underwrite his first brick and mortar venture, where the top floor turns out pies (and incredible ice cream sandwiches for dessert) and the downstairs is a neo-speakeasy with a well-curated drinks list and also pizzas, salads and more.

Saaz Indian in Southampton. Yes, you read that right. Indian food on the East End. It’s one of our regular laments that what we enjoy in fresh ingredients, we lack in ethnic eats. We have heard excellent reports about the food, at lunch, dinner and during the $15 buffet. While details still remain murky, the cooking (or at least inspiration for it) seems to be from Chef Chani Singh, who developed a reputation at Curry Club in Stony Brook and also at Sen Spice in Sag Harbor, for his intensely flavored dishes (lots of ginger) and generous use of local vegetables. This location on County Road 39 has been a tough one for restaurants (both former Greek joints closed in short order), but it’s also awfully convenient on your way on and off Montauk Highway. Did someone say takeout?

Ruschmeyer’s in Montauk. While Montauk has no shortage of excellent eating options–from the Thursday farmers market to the expanded Naturally Good to South Edison, La Brisa, Harvest on Fort Pond and lots more listed here–we’ve had an awful lot of fun at Ruschmeyers tucked into a fairytale landscape off Second House Road. With a hammock-filled playground in back and a Catskills summer retreat atmosphere, the setting is plenty family-friendly. And the food, from talented chef Roy Wohlars–formerly of South Edison–is endlessly creative and jam-packed with picks from the dozens of local farms and fishers he knows and loves. From Bonac clam fritters to tomatoes and eggplants honored a million ways, from a Good Water Farms microgreens and grilled string beans, from toothsome pizzas to fried ice cream for dessert, Ruschmeyer’s will inspire you to eat there two nights in a row.

Station in East Quogue. As we described in our High Summer issue, Station is an “eclectic oasis.” With a kitchen staffed by chefs from Argentina and Uruguay, the menu includes the more vernacular lobster avocado salad, as well as gazpacho, grilled octopus, rib eye with chimichurri and salsa criolla and pork Milanese. “The feeling we try to evoke is not a commercial restaurant but a dining room,” says co-owner Rafe Worthington. “It’s our house that we’re welcoming people into.” The perfect recipe for Labor Day, and beyond.

Newsletter