Sometimes, you just need a quick, easy getaway.
If you've ever wondered what some of the city's top chefs do with their blessed days off, which can be few and far between in the demanding business, you're in luck. From the shores of New Jersey to the wineries of Long Island, chefs from a few heralded NYC establishments share their favorite local destinations for when they need an escape from the city. No surprise, many of them also involve food.
Chef/owner of Dominique Ansel Bakery: "Take an afternoon and drive to Tarrytown to visit Blue Hill at Stone Barns. The summer fruits and vegetables are at the peak and this is when the menu really shines. I try to make it an annual tradition."
Executive chef at Bodega Negra: "I love to golf at Bethpage State Park, one of New York's best golf courses. It is the ideal place for a nice day outside of the city."
Executive chef at Benoit: "I enjoy driving out to the North Fork, there's so much to see. From the pick-your-own farms to the wineries, and a stop at Pipes Cove Oyster Farm near Greenport where you can tour the farm and taste local oysters -- it's a very special place. Each time I go, I'm reminded of my native Poitou-Charentes region in France."
Executive chef at A Voce Madison: "The beaches of Long Island. There's nothing better than getting in a car and heading east until I see sand and ocean. When I get there, I like to take a long nap and then get a hot dog and/or a slice."
Chef/partner of Talde, Thistle Hill Tavern and Pork Slope: "Asbury Park in New Jersey is a great spot for a day trip. I like to hang out on the boardwalk, and a stop at Porta Pizza is a must."
EMILY and MATT HYLAND
Owners/chef of Emily: "When we can sneak away, we love to head to the East End to dip our toes in the ocean, eat peach pie from Briermere Farm and visit vineyards like Shinn where we can talk with folks like David [Page] and Barbara [Shinn] and learn more about the process involved in getting their grapes from the vines into bottles and onto our tables."
Executive chef at Fabbrica: "On an off day, we'll jump in the car and head out to Montauk. We'll picnic at some of the roadside shacks. The seafood is great and the people are friendly. It was actually one of the first picnic date spots I went with my wife."
Chef/Owner of Made In Heaven Cakes: "A perfect day trip is to take a ride on Metro-North to Hyde Park. I love going to visit the Culinary Institute of America. It is a beautiful campus on the Hudson River. Try to take a recreational class or just walk through their garden. Fun activities to include on your trip is to visit Franklin Delano Roosevelt's mansion, forage for mushrooms or just walk through the quaint town of Rhinebeck, New York."