Headed to the beach and looking for a no-fuss, no-muss lunch? Here are five beach-ready options for Hamptons sun-seekers.
Michael Cavaniola’s temple of cheese is more than just dairy. The kitchen, which opened in 2009, provides everything from paninis to pre-made salads, sold by the pound. It’s a deli counter on steroids. See: cous cous jar with Kalamata olive tapenade; celery salad with dates, shallots, and almonds; and turkey, Asiago, artichoke, and roasted pepper on a panini. There are Montauk lobster rolls, too, as well as pulled pork sliders (the meat is all cooked in house). Of course, you can always pore over the cheese counter, where you’ll find an outrageous curated selection of the world’s best cheeses, olives, pâtés, and charcuterie. Personally, I’m not opposed to a little melty triple crème on a gorgeous East End beach. Cavaniola’s sells baguettes, perfect for ushering sun-warm cheese into one’s mouth.
Cavaniola’s Gourmet, 89 Division Street, Sag Harbor, open Wednesdays through Saturdays and Mondays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed Tuesdays.
You probably already know that the crew from the World’s Best Restaurant, Eleven Madison Park, has relocated for the summer and is operating a stellar pop-up in the East Hampton space once home to Moby’s. But did you know that they’re also serving fried chicken picnic baskets on weekends through Labor Day? Baskets are $135 and serve four people (truthfully, there’s enough food for about six) and include a KFC-style cardboard tub of boneless, dark meat fried chicken; a cucumber and watermelon salad with lime and pistachio; potato salad with mustard and dill; buttery biscuits; and a spicy aioli. Salads are stored in sealed tall mason jars (yours to keep, along with the basket and red and white gingham picnic “blanket”). All you’ll need is your own silverware and a beach to eat on.
EMP Summer House Fried Chicken Picnic, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., reserve online at empsummerhouse.tocktix.com.
Not to be outdone, The East Hampton Grill has released its own seasonal chicken basket. The Flying Chicken lunch to-go offers three chicken options: 2-piece with a biscuit ($14), 8-piece with 4 biscuits ($40), and 12-piece with 6 biscuits ($56). Chicken meals come with a buttermilk-garlic dressing and a crystal hot sauce. For $2 extra, beachgoers can add-on a drink: Dr. Brown’s Root Beer, Cream Soda, and Black Cherry, Coca-Cola products, or Hildon sparkling or still water. For $5, $8, or $12, you can add on tabouleh and cole slaw for one, two, or three people. This is bone-in chicken, delicately fried and not at all greasy. It’s a one-stop-shop for a quick, tasty lunch by the sea.
The Flying Chicken at East Hampton Grill, 99 N. Main Street, East Hampton, Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday to Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Few Hamptons take-out joints provide as many delicious options as Harbor Market & Kitchen. The cornucopia of good is often so bountiful that I have trouble making up my mind when I’m there. My picks for a grab-n-go summer outing on the beach? A salumi sandwich (Serrano ham, Manchego cheese, baby arugula, olive oil, and Sherry vinegar), roasted cauliflower salad (caramelized onions, pignoli nuts, and currants), tortilla Española (potatoes, onions, and eggs), and a Sweettauk lemonade. Prepared foods are already made and ready for immediate counter service, which means you don’t have to waste your perfect beach day waiting for something to roast. Don’t forget the homemade chocolate chip cookies—for later.
Harbor Market & Kitchen, 184 Division Street, Sag Harbor, open daily 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
If you haven’t met Pierre Weber, you’ve probably seen his car, a yellow Citroën, which is perennially parked outside his Bridgehampton restaurant on Main Street. Pierre is a true Hamptons character, with his signature red-framed glasses, wavy gray hair, and thick French accent. His flagship restaurant is an institution, but his market, on Sagg Main Road in Sagaponack, is still a newcomer, now in its second season. The sprawling space serves everything from fresh juices to made-to-order burgers and pizza, along with salads and sandwiches sold “by the pound.” For me, it’s Parisian ham on brioche with Dijon and fresh cucumber—but the creation possibilities are endless. A grocery at the back offers up pantry items you forgot you desperately needed. And if you’re tired of waiting on line, the market features pre-made sandwiches in a display toward the front. Pierre’s Market is just a hop, skip, and a jump from one of the Hamptons’ best beaches, Sagg Main.
Pierre’s Market, 542 Sagg Main Street, Sagaponack, open Sunday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.