We spent Labor Day weekend with the Hirschtritts in their new summer palace in Quogue, in the Hamptons. We flew Southwest on a new route from Providence to Islip, Long Island, $49 each way, a 40-minute flight. Joel picked us up, and we were at their house in 40 minutes. Quogue is a quiet, rustic old town, rather like Osterville on the Cape, on the south shore of Long Island, on the water. Their house is a charming farm house with a large add-on on a huge parcel of land, beautifully landscaped and maintained, with a huge living room, large dining room, and a screened porch to die for with wicker furniture that looks out over a humungous heated swimming pool. There is a small house at the pool with an additional bedroom.
After hugs and kisses, we immediately began
to do what Ingalls do best: eat. Nancy prepared a gorgeous salad plate
with tuna salad, fresh mozzarella, native tomatoes, and fresh basil from
her garden. The wines were an excellent Zaca Mesa Chardonnay and a drinkable
Mondavi Woodbridge Chardonnay. We spent the afternoon at the pool.
Jonnie came in with a friend from school.
Late in the afternoon we went to the home of a friend of theirs who is a venture capitalist. His home, situated on a couple of acres, is right on the beach.
And what a beach it is--comparable to South Beach on Martha's Vineyard. And when you have a house like that, like Jackie O., the beach is completely private. No one on it but you.
The water was warm, the surf awesome, a bit scary, really.
We stayed until sunset. The owner is selling his home and has bought 30 acres down the road of beachfront property--30 acres of beachfront property!!--on which he will build his next house. I think he is the richest man I ever met.
We returned home for hors d'oeuvres, and then
a late supper. Nancy outdid herself.
In fact, Nancy outdid herself all weekend. First, ayshet hayil for Carol.
Then a cold soup which they told me was made with celery, cucumber, fresh mint and onion. It was one of the most delicious soups I've ever had. Afterward, they told me it was made with honeydew melon, to which I have a deathly allergy!! If I had known there was honeydew in it when I ate it, I would surely have died.
Then, some fabulous high-grade grilled tuna, a delicious salad, burnt eggplant, brown rice, and a delicious compote of marinated oranges, onions, and olives.
The wines were a good Round Hill Cabernet Sauvignon and an positively undrinkable kosher Alfasi Merlot from Chile. Fresh fruit for dessert.
In the morning, after a breakfast of homemade
strawberry muffins and West Hampton bagels, Yael, Eric and Marjorie arrived.
Joel, Marjorie, and I went for a bike ride along the beach
and returned to find Gilda and Sam, who arrived while were out. Now we were ten. Nancy served lunch under the tree in the yard: bruschetta with diced tomato,
Forest Glen Chardonnay, cookies that Marjorie brought from an Italian bakery in the East Village.
We spent the afternoon at the pool, and the end of the day at the beach.
Then back for hors d'oeuvres and wine.
Neal and Andy arrived with Neal's father, Marty,
and his friend Elaine Kimmel.
Marty fit right in. He is gregarious, with a dry sense of humor, and can be outrageous as I. He told a story of bluffing his way onto the field of a major league baseball game by impersonating a press photographer. He picked up baseballs from the field and threw them to kids in the stands. I proposed that we form a joint venture with Marty and Farklempt that would astonish the world. Elaine is a lovely person, as well, warm and comfortable to be with. Now we were 14, but this did not faze Nancy, who made delicious barbecued chicken (very moist),
salad, a great mélange of chick peas, onions, olives, and red peppers with olive oil and vinegar, marinated cucumbers, couscous, beautifully grilled (by Sam) vegetables, grilled tofu.
The wines were a Gamla Chardonnay from Israel (80 points), a Fetzer Sundial Chardonnay (85 points), and the Round Hill Cabernet Sauvignon from last night (84 points). For dessert, a pareve strawberry shortcake, blueberry torte, old fashioned black and white cookies, and delicious biscotti.
Sunday morning, after a breakfast of strawberry
and cinnamon-pecan muffins and coffee, we read the Times and hung around.
In the afternoon, Nancy and Joel went out to a party in a Southampton mansion.
They refused to take us, saying that we were not fit to mix with the likes
of Alec Baldwin and Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg.
Neal and Andy, who had no hesitation about slumming with us, picked us up, and we drove to the North Fork to do some Vineyard hopping. We tasted some great wine at Paumanok and Bedell and bought a few bottles.
We stopped at Marty's favorite corn stand and had a snack of some ears of roasted corn.
Andy and Neal went off to Sag Harbor to see "Sunshine," and seven of us went out to a late dinner at Stone Creek Inn in East Quogue. It was pricey, packed and noisy, but the food was superb. We had wonderful rack of lamb, exceptional grilled wild striped bass, and penne with shrimp, all beautifully plated.
The wine was a very good Channing Daughters Merlot from Southampton. For dessert, gorgeous tarte tatin with apples and apricots, crême fraiche and vanilla ice cream, and a layered napoleon of dark and white chocolate mousse. Good coffee.
Monday morning, I biked to West Hampton and
found Marty and Elaine's condo on the bay. Marty was out, but I had coffee
with Neal and Andy and Elaine.
The biking here is superb--miles of flat ocean road with very little traffic and a wide shoulder. Nancy returned to the city to tend to Marissa, who had a wound infection, and Joel dropped me at the airport, taking Carol on to The City.
A lovely weekend!