An Interview with Chef James Tchinnis of Swallow East

I am honored to introduce my readers to Chef James Tchinnis, The Executive Chef and Owner of Swallow Restaurant in Huntington and Swallow East in Montauk. Chef Tchinnis’s cuisine focuses on casual, sophisticated new American fare with a dash of decadence and an emphasis on local ingredients. A Long Island Native, he has been around great food all his life. His mother cooked regularly at home, exposing Tchinnis to a range of eclectic cuisines and opening his eyes to new flavors and techniques. He is a French Culinary Institute graduate (now The International Culinary Center) and has since worked in some of the finest restaurants in New York, including Le Cirque, The Grand Havana Room and Aliah.

In October 2010, he and his wife, Julie, opened Swallow Restaurant (Little Swallow) in Huntington Village, which was instantly met with rave reviews. At the time, it was a cozy 20-seat restaurant with an open kitchen and an eclectic menu of New American small plates. The popularity grew so quickly, that an expansion was inevitable. In 2013, Swallow completed a renovation that tripled its size. It was in 2012 that Chef Tchinnis opened Swallow East. The restaurant quickly earned a reputation as one of Montauk’s best. Many with whom I have spoken to highly recommended I come to Swallow East. It truly is one of the best spots to dine not only in Montauk but on the East End and for many reasons: family-friendly, fresh local cuisine, and an exceptionally dedicated waitstaff.

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Midtown Oyster Bar

Located on Thames, Street in the heart of Newport’s harbor, Midtown Oyster boosts a warm, friendly atmosphere for dining for lunch and dinner year round. Ever since joining Newport’s bustling social scene in June of 2013, this tavern and restaurant has been a popular spot for their impressive raw bar selection, fresh seafood, and non-seafood selections such as steaks, burgers, and sandwiches for locals and visitors to the region.

Once we arrived on a Saturday afternoon at 12:30, the downstairs tavern had a significant amount of activity, with all of the bar stools occupied and the majority of the nearby tables filled with guests. The restaurant is a two story building with two bar areas, with the second floor as a Burgee Bar. There is a generous amount of dining space upstairs with plenty of room between tables, allowing for a private and relaxing dining experience.

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Cliffside Inn in Newport, Rhode Island

A romantic escape set in the historic, seaside town of Newport, The Cliffside Inn is a couple’s ideal luxurious destination with the comforts and senses of home. The Inn also serves as a perfect getaway for small groups,, families, and friends. This was my husband’s first visit to Newport and my second. The last time I explored Newport was nine years ago while on a holiday bus trip from Hartford, CT where I visited several of the mansions during the holidays. I had longed to come back for several years and was delighted that I had the opportunity to stay for the weekend.

We arrived to The Cliffside Inn late on Friday night. We were so pleased with the communication with the staff prior to our arrival, regarding where we could pick up our key and where to park. My husband and I stayed in The Carriage House, which has its own private entrance, its own parking space, and is just steps away from the main house.

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10 Best Things I Ate in 2016

What a year 2016 was! I had the pleasure of dining at the best restaurants in the Hamptons and North Fork as well as some notable restaurants in Manhattan, Connecticut and Washington D.C. It proved to be very tough to narrow it down to ten favorite dishes, but after careful consideration, I am thrilled to present the ten best things I ate this past year. I could only imagine what delectable plates 2017 will bring!

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Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer

Feast your eyes upon the king of burgers and shakes. Black Tap is living proof that good ol’ burgers, fries, and shakes still reign on. With three locations in Manhattan and more to open in the future, these are some serious burger joints. Famous through a hard-wired network of viral Instagram shots featuring their outrageous, ‘Crazy Shakes’, it is no wonder that Black Tap is top on the bucket list of New York visitors and residents alike.

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