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June 2021

Best Kept Secrets Beyond The City

I’m looking for somewhere new and different to eat, shop, & play. Where should I go in my free time this summer?

With summer just around the corner, New Yorkers start to crave fun, sun, and something new. It’s the perfect time to explore the Tri-State area. So, we’ve opened our little black books to share some of our favorite undiscovered spots in the Hamptons, Westchester, and New Jersey. Whether located at your final destination or on the way to your vacation, our Best Kept Secrets are worth the trip.


The Hamptons

Cavaniola’s Gourmet Cheese Shop
89-B Division Street, Route 114, Sag Harbor, NY 11963; 631.725.0095
Tired of serving the same old snacks every time the guests arrive? Revamp your inner hostess at Cavaniola’s, selling over 200 tantalizing artisanal cheeses from the U.S. and Europe as well as pates, caviar, olives, cured meats and more. To truly impress, Cavaniola’s wine shop next door carries old-world, small-production wines that pair well with their cheeses.

83 South Elmwood Avenue, Montauk, NY 11954; 631.668.4844
Step into Haven, and you’ll be hooked by its hippie chic vibe. Owner Kathi Cogen stocks her shop with funky new and vintage furniture and light fixtures, fine jewelry, clothing like Joie and James Perse, and accessories. And her unique decorative objects make great hostess gifts—but you’ll find them hard to part with. AskMelissa special: 10% discount on your first in-store purchase, excluding any other promotion when you mention AskMelissa.
For more information: Haven

Wölffer Estate Vineyard
139 Sagg Road, Sagaponack, NY 11962; 631.537.5106
Want to make a toast to a perfect beach day or the start of a wonderful weekend? We love Twilight Thursdays on the Wölffer Estate Vineyard’s verandah and Sunset Fridays at their wine stand at 3312 Montauk Highway. Watch the spectacular sunset over the vineyard, Thursdays 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm, Fridays 5:00 pm until sunset. Enjoy live music, complimentary artisanal cheeses, and the vineyard’s own wines by the glass, bottle or tasting. Through Labor Day.
For more information: Wölffer Estate Vineyard


Bedford Post
954 Old Post Road, Bedford, NY 10506; 914.234.7800
Live like a movie star at an inn started by one. Richard Gere and his wife, Carrie Lowell, have renovated a 1762 homestead in leafy Bedford, N.Y., into a luxurious inn with two restaurants and a studio with meditation and yoga classes. Guided by Chef Brian Lewis, the restaurants feature local, farm-fresh ingredients. The inn opens in July, and each of the eight rooms have working fireplaces and double soaking tubs with rates of $500 to $750 per night.
For more information: Bedford Post

Tru Grace
419 Main Street, Armonk, NY 10504; 914.273.9600
Shop at Tru Grace, the designer women’s wear shop, where the staff is like a personal shopper who tells you like it is. They carry jeans, tops, beach cover-ups, sundresses, accessories, shoes, small gift items, and jewelry. With the addition of a small men’s collection, there is something here for everyone. Look for brands like Rory Beca, Rich & Skinny, AG, Rag & Bone, Gold Sign, and more.
For more information: Tru Grace

937 Palmer Avenue, Mamaroneck, NY 10543
The world’s greatest guilty pleasure has got to be these hot dogs, split-grilled in a secret sauce, slathered in a secret-recipe mustard and served on a grilled bun.The world’s greatest guilty pleasure has got to be the split-grilled hot dogs at Walter’s Hot Dog Stand. Pull up to the kitschy roadside Chinese pagoda, and prepare for pleasure. These hot dogs are grilled in a secret sauce, slathered in a secret-recipe mustard and served on a grilled bun.
For more information: Walter’s

New Jersey

Elle Squared
1140 Town Center Way, Livingston, NJ 07039; 973.533.1111
We love the bling sussed out by Lori Sachs-Campbell and Louise Webber, who for the past seven years have scoured Europe for undiscovered brands. Come August, they are moving next door to over 1,000 square feet, where they will showcase their faux and fine jewelry and handbags. Joining jewelry lines like Heather Moore and handbags from Gryson and Desmo will be Anya Hindmarch and Coccinelli as well as accessories like scarves belts and hostess gifts. And if you bring in your evening wear, they will help style your look.

Wine Library
586 Morris Avenue, Springfield, N.J. 07081; 888.980.WINE
Unlike the books at your local library, the wine here is yours to keep. There is something here for everyone. With over 5,000 bottles in a 24,000-square-foot space, you will find major brands like Kendall Jackson and Santa Margherita as well as limited-production boutique wines from under-the-radar estates worldwide.

Special: Use code ASKM for Free Shipping on 750ml bottles of wine when you shop online on winelibrary.com!
Please note, free shipping offer applies to ground shipping only for new orders shipping to one address. Free Shipping code will be active from June 1st through June 30th 2009. Ground shipping not available to Alaska and Hawaii.

My Inheritance
202 Bellevue Avenue, Upper Montclair, NJ 07043; 973.233.1112
Do you love wearing something that no one else has? Look no further than our favorite find for vintage women’s clothing and accessories. With a flair for fashion, owner Carrie Sawchuk buys jewelry, handbags, fur, and clothing from the 1880s to yesterday from estates and clients. There is something here for everyone, with prices from $1 to a Birkin bag.
Special: Mention AskMelissa, and you will receive a $50 gift certificate toward your first purchase.

For more information: My Inheritance

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