Edible is your resource for what’s in season and the place to let us know what you’re eating and drinking in this glorious month of a warm ocean, balmy days and overflowing farm fields. Send us your own September is the New August favorites for food, drink and other wonderful experiences. We’ll share them with other readers.
Backstreet banh mi. Because we believe farms, wineries and food businesses are especially valuable to have in your neighborhood, we lobbied extra hard when the new Harbor Market and Kitchen just behind the Sag Harbor Elementary School was fighting some neighborly pushback. We were also compelled by the serious chops of owner-chef Paul Del Favero, their sourcing of local produce in standard takeout fare and items never seen in these parts like their tofu banh mi.
Breakfast at Breadzilla. Breadzilla, the bread-forward sandwich and salad shop in Wainscott, is known for the Hippy Dippy, Roast Beastie, TMP, Spicy Tuna Jack, Southern Fried Chicken Finger Po-Boy, Blackened Cod, Simple Shrimp, Simple Tomato (still available in September with slices of a giant local tomato with mayo, salt and pepper on toast) Tuna on Squishy and more boldly named sandwiches that tickle the imagination and taste buds. But did you know they also make the some of the best old fashioned bagels around and serve them with all the usual toppings during breakfast hours? Enjoy on a bench in their flower garden or down the road at Townline Beach. (Pro tip: Check the menu online at 11 a.m. when a scan of the owner’s detailed penmanship is released. Phone orders are taken from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., and in person until 1:30 p.m.)
Seasonal lassies at Hampton Chutney. Gary and Isabel MacGurn have been gastronomic trailblazers ever since they introduced dosas and other Indian fare to East Enders at Hampton Chutney Co. in Amagansett in 1997. But one of our favorite offerings of the last few years has been the shop’s seasonal lassies. Alongside the standard mango, there is strawberry in early summer and peach in later summer. Watermelon juice rounds out the drinks case. Okra, corn, cauliflower and other seasonal vegetables show up on the vegetable thali plate.
Veggie sides at Bay Burger. In the parlance of tech startups, if you can’t pivot, you’ll probably die. Bay Burger has done its share of pivoting in the nearly 10 years since it opened south of Sag Harbor Village. The menu has expanded well beyond standard burgers and fries. The restaurant has a grass-fed burger add-on, lobster rolls, local beers on tap and, most ambitiously, a rotating cast of veggie sides often bought from the farm stand next door. Oh yes, owners Joe and Liza Tremblay also have a rocking ice cream brand and a new catering division, Joe runs the local oyster gardening club and he wants to grow kelp next. Food business pivots can be good for all of us.
More than milk and apples. This past spring we wrote about how the Milk Pail farm stand, our source for local apples, was selling Channing Daughters vermouth, Brooklyn granola and all sorts of comestibles and imbibables. Well, September is prime season for that farm’s real bread and butter: 20+ varieties of apples.
Local is the new beer standard. It wasn’t too long ago that you struggled to find a Long Island beer, even a beer brewed in the Empire State, at East End restaurants. Fortunately, a few things have changed. First, there was an explosion of Long Island breweries, including Spider Bite, which is poured at Pierre’s in Bridgehampton,which tips its beret toward Long Island brews. Next, it became the easy, obvious choice to pack your beer list with local pours. Nick & Toni’s beer list is heavily New York.
Harvest has begun! With the hot, dry summer, the grape harvest is coming a bit early in Long Island Wine Country. That’s often a good thing, because it protects the crops from fall storms and late season mildew. And it’s all the more reason to get ye to a winery. In our Sag Harbor-centric lives, we favor strolls through Channing Daughters‘ sculpture garden or Friday evening music at Wölffer Estate Vineyards. But we also love discovering new tasting rooms, new industry initiatives like Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing growing and the Long Island Latino Winemakers Association. And if you just need some bottles for dinner, we favor Wainscott Main Wine & Spirits (ask about their new personal sommelier delivery service) and Domaine Franey Wine & Spirits for their local picks. For a cheat sheet, get yourself a copy of Edible editor Eileen M. Duffy’s new book, Behind the Bottle: The Rise of Wine on Long Island, the definitive guide to the past, present and future of the region.