Today on May 26, 2014 Examiner.com attended DuJour Magazine's Haley and Jason Binn's "15th Annual Summer Kick Off Party" in the Hamptons to celebrate the opening of Richie Notar's Harlow East. The sun was shining bright and the venue features gorgeous views of the water. The intimate brunch was presented by Gilt. Many Hamptons influencers mingled at the Memorial Day Weekend event like LuAnn De Lesseps, Whitney Fairchild, Lottie Oakley, James Lipton of "Inside The Actors Studio," and Ramona Singer, to name a few.
Guests enjoyed a wide array of dishes like oysters, salad, french fries, mini BBQ pizzas and mini macaroni and cheese balls. The family friendly event featured a clown who entertained children, too. We spoke with restauranteur Richie Notar exclusively about opening Harlow in East Hampton.
Tell me why you decided to bring Harlow to East Hampton.
I used to live out here and I run a few restaurants and there's just something wonderful about the area, and it's sort of like a double edged sword because people come out here to relax and enjoy themselves, but if you open a restaurant you're doing so much work, so there's no relaxing. But this business is like an addiction. I'm in the pleasing business and all these customers and family and friends live in the city and so you have them here and they are looking for familiarity. So once you see staff members and the food and the name you go "Oh, I feel so much more comfortable here" and already their dining experience has already increased and improved ... This is what I do and I think it's good for a) business and b) marketing, and I get to see everyone that I know from the city in one condensed area and I get to host them, so this is what I do.
Is the Harlow East menu different from New York?
The menu will be the highlight dishes from New York that everyone loves, but because of the area there's amazing farm stands that every couple of weeks something new is becoming available and we have Montauk and are surrounded by water, so as the season progresses and as things come into the market, we will alter the menu based on that.
Tell me about all of the great celebrity sightings at Harlow in New York.
I've been in the celebrity business for a long time, I used to work at Studio 54 and then I worked in Morgans Hotel, and then Nobu. I'm kind of used to that so maybe that's why a lot of them come to my restaurant because I treat them like people and I try to protect their privacy. I love it. You know what happens, I treat everyone the same the best that I can, but I see the reaction of other people when a Madonna or Bruce Willis walks into the restaurant. Their food tastes better and that's that thing of celebrity. If that fills the bill and they're having a good time, if someone around them sees and they're excited, then it's really theater and it's entertainment and it's a win win for everyone.
What are you looking forward to this summer?
Yes! Three o'clock in this restaurant to me is the best time, it's in the middle, and that was one of the reasons why I stay open throughout the day because it's sort of the time when restaurants are in transition or closed, getting ready for dinner, there's nowhere to sit and watch the boats have a glass of Rose and some oysters. I'm looking forward three o'clock in my restaurant just pleasing people!