While we are all fully ensconced in our New York City lives, here at Manhattan we keep a lifeline to the Hamptons to support the local communities where our sister publication, Beach, lives during the summer season by featuring the year-round attractions that keep drawing us out there. In this issue, we celebrate the Hamptons International Film Festival with our third annual festival roundup. HIFF’s artistic director, David Nugent, shares his top 10 film picks and takes a look back on his decadelong history with the festival. We also highlight a dozen must-visit hotels and restaurants to enhance an HIFF autumn sojourn.
And there are a few spots worth noting that share our mission of local community support. With a Flatiron outpost, artisanal eatery Almond is one such place. Chef-owner Jason Weiner, along with Eric Lemonides, opened Almond 15 years ago in Bridgehampton, and it quickly became a local favorite for its French bistro fare featuring almost 100 percent locally farmed produce. The zebra wallpaper is reminiscent of my parents’ favorite Italian joint in the city—Gino’s, which was open for a half-century—so I always feel at home. The delectable hearty pairings, such as Montauk scallops with Pike Farms coconut creamed corn, bacon, cipollini, Amagansett purslane and spicy fennel, or a marinated hangar steak bordelaise with a side of every kind of french fry—cheese fries Mansour, cheese fries Québécois, gravy fries—are perfect fall comfort food. At the NYC location—where Weiner continues his support of farms both local and throughout New York—there are mains like Berkshire chops Milanese, sea-to-table catch of the day, Meatless Mondays and even more french fries. Other eateries in the family are Zigmund’s Bar in Bridgehampton, offering the best cocktails paired with Greek tapas made with goodies from the front-yard garden, and L&W Oyster Bar, also in the Flatiron District, where the menu is market-driven and features, Weiner shares, “raw things, cured things, smoked things, steamed things and fried things,” with more Hamptons-based products from Montauk Shellfish Company, Balsam Farms and Amber Waves Farm in East Hampton, Paumanok Vineyards on the North Fork and many others.
If you can’t get into one of the incredible art-house films in the HIFF before or after indulging in some oysters and a handful of fries at Almond, walk fast to your local theater to see the much-anticipated film based on acclaimed author Paula Hawkins’ thriller, The Girl on the Train, starring our cover actor, Edgar Ramírez. We are excited to introduce this rising star to you, our readers.