Crushed Ice, Pizza, Coffee and East End Restaurant Memories

I did not often eat out as a kid. This is probably a good thing, because I actually ate my vegetables. When I was in school, the few places where I ate outside of home became really important spots to me. Keep in mind; this article contains some bias because I grew up mainly in Sag Harbor. Actually, it contains heaping loads of bias.

On the good days after attending Pierson High School in Sag Harbor, I would make the “long” walk to Conca D’Oro and eat a slice or two with friends. While the conversation was good, it was really only a side dish—Conca D’Oro serves the freshest, most delicious thick-crust pizza in the Hamptons. Other pizzerias simply don’t compare. In fact, of the late Vincenzo’s—now Pepalajefa—the wisdom went: If it’s a Monday and Conca’s closed, go to Vincenzo’s. I honestly haven’t found a better pizzeria than Conca in the world, but I’ll keep looking.

Virtually every other day, I would visit Espresso, just a block from school, and get some waffle fries, or, if I had been good that day, the No. 8 sandwich—the coveted Chicken, Brie and Pesto. Other Sag Harbor favorites include the No. 299 with cheese and bacon and barbecue chicken and pleasure, and the monstrous muffins.

I must try to move you with a woeful story of a Sag Harbor eatery lost. That’s the late, great Java Nation. Well, you might say not “late,” considering they moved to Bridgehampton. But, for a great deal of my student career here in Sag Harbor, I made my way over to Java’s to get a deal on a great cup of joe. Though the location remains a coffee shop (SagTown), never again will the aroma of roasting coffee beans greet people as they walk through my favorite Sag Harbor alley.

Moving much further back, I can remember favorites of mine from my elementary school days in Southampton. If it’s still standing, Ted’s used to sell Hostess hand pies. In cherry or apple, these were the best pastries to ever get glazed—at least to my seven-year-old self. La Parmigiana—the deli with adjoining restaurant/pizzeria down the street from the popular Golden Pear—used to serve me better- than-momma’s garlic bread and the biggest slices of pizza around. Something to note: their pepperoni is delicious.

A couple doors down, the Sip’n Soda will always hold a place in my heart. This has less to do with their food—which is, by the way, pretty good—and more to do with a traumatic experience.

I was taken out of school one day on account of an in-ear bee sting. Still crying my eyes out, with a block of ice to my ear, my mom took me over to the Sip’n Soda. The guy behind the counter, manning their soda syrups, gave me crushed ice for my ear and some kind words, and that’s why I’ll never forget the Sip’n Soda.

My guiltiest Hamptons pleasure can actually be enjoyed in several towns around here. And across the East End. And in the city, actually—it’s Citarella. I remember spending my mom’s money at Citarella in Bridgehampton as she worked away on the next issue of Dan’s, when the headquarters were next door.

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