Elly Truesdell, the local forager for Whole Foods Market Northeast and our go-to source for the food trends everywhere, tells us where to shop in the Hamptons and on Long Island's North Fork.
LONG ISLAND, New York – One of the best parts of my job is the travel, and, of course, the food discovery that follows. I'm out East a few times a year to see our growers (we buy from dozens of Long Island farms) and to visit the production facilities and kitchens of some of our smallest suppliers. Naturally, people who make food know the best food, so I like to find out their favorites. Whether it's a restaurant, farm stand, food truck, or bakery, no detour or unpaved road deters me. The little experiences often become the most memorable. Those little experiences lead to new products on our shelves.
131 Pantigo Rd., Amagansett; +1-646-496-8364
While driving along Montauk Highway in East Hampton, you're sure to notice the cute organic farm stand that dot the road. Bhumi has an inviting yellow and white color palette: In the summer, the stand is lined with buckets of sunflowers, creating a lovely aesthetic! A hearty bunch or two will brighten up your home for a week or more.
All of her breads are delicious, but Carissa's salty sour rye is unusual and surprising in the best possible way. A dense and hearty loaf, this bread is totally distinct. Pureed pickles are added to the dough and a generous dusting of caraway seeds finish it off.
65 Tuthill Rd., Montauk; +1-631-668-2410
Undoubtedly one of my favorite spots on the East End. The setting is phenomenal and the food is no-frills, mostly from the ocean, and generally involves lobster.
I love finding spice in unexpected places and the microgreens from Good Water Farms pack it in the tiniest vessels! Brendan Davison grows a variety of greens in his houses in Sag Harbor, among them arugula, mustards and shiso. Cut very young and small, these microgreens are incredibly flavorful and taste wonderful in salads, smoothies, and as garnish.
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Tink (and husband) offer a new take on the classic appetizer accompaniment: cocktail sauce. Her version adds a layer of spice, with red ginger as a substitute for the typical horseradish. Great with shrimp cocktail and lemon, Tink's sauce also works as a marinade for poultry and fish.
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146 Montauk Hwy., Amagansett; +1-631-267-5555
While not specific to the East End, the Amagansett outpost of the NYC-based coffee house is among their best with — yes, great coffee — but also a nicely curated selection of goods from Long Island food producers. As an iced coffee drinker 365 days a year, the stir brew mason is one of my favorites.
855 Mecox Rd., Bridgehampton; +1-631-537-0335
All of the cheeses at Mecox Bay Dairy are standouts. The one I can't get enough of is Sigit, an Alpine-style raw milk cheese, aged for 60 days. Coming from a single herd, the milk quality is what really makes the cheese great — such depth and texture for a hard cheese!
Local oysters known as "Montauk Pearls" live up to their name. Farmers/owners Mike and Mike pride themselves on a "grow-out" technique that results in an especially meaty, full oyster. They're available all months of the year, in the Hamptons and all over New York. Don't pass them up if you see them on a menu.
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97 School St., Bridgehampton; +1-631-324-4438
There are a lot of good pies out east. Some of the best are baked at Round Swamp Farm Market and Bakeshop. Any of their seasonal crumb offerings will make you swoon, but the key lime and coconut cream pie are my personal picks.
34 S. Etna Ave., Montauk; +1-631-668-5681
This lemonade is one of the freshest and coolest products to come out of Montauk in the past few years. With a nod to local surf culture, the bottle screams summer. But the Oh My Meyer variety is great no matter the season.
65 Tuthill Rd., Montauk; +1-631-668-2772
One very cool spot to meander (espeically after lunch on the deck at Duryea's) is Whalebone Creative, a screenprinting and clothing shop. Their tee's are soft, have great designs, and are printed on site.
THE NORTH FORK
25180 County Rd., Peconic; +1-631-734-7001
It's amazing how satisfying raw vegetables can be when they've just been picked and tossed together with a simple vinaigrette. The composed "to go" salads are beyond delicious, featuring a variety of greens and spicy veggies (like cabbage, radish, bok choy) and accompanied by a fresh and bright sesame dressing.
2000 Oregon Rd., Mattituck; +1-631-804-0367
One of my favorite wineries to visit and learn from. A gorgeous setting, tucked away on a side road in Cutchogue, the beautiful winery is owned by a couple of passionate winemakers that care about their land and grapes. They make both whites and reds, all bright and delicious. The most interesting and fun is the sparkling brut. It's an ultra-dry and proper substitute for champagne.
Main Rd., Southold; +1-631-765-0177
is a wonderful destination: great tasting menu, lovely setting. But maybe even better is the food truck sitting in their parking lot serving seasonal midday eats most days of the week. The menu is concise and focuses on the best of the North Fork (seafood, veggies, and breads from ). Try the lobster roll if you want a classic. If you are in the mood to experiment, try the chicken pozole.
28700 Route 25, Cutchogue; +1-631-734-6441
Wickham's has an incredible history of farming their land since the 1600s. The stone fruit and apples are fantastic, but it's the apple cider doughnuts of which dreams are made.