Carbone, the chic Greenwich Village red sauce restaurant, is launching a Hamptons pickup service this week — and it’s got an even higher cost of entry than its famously expensive Manhattan outpost.
The program, outlined in an email from the restaurant, will start at $500 per week, with a minimum commitment of four weeks, or $2,000.
The Carbone folks cited the prospects for “high demand” in its release, which is almost a given. When the Michelin-starred Italian-American restaurant debuted its Manhattan takeout service in March, police were called to manage the crowds outside.
Carbone Home, as the program is called, “is designed to be cooked and finished in your home and serve two meals for four people,” per the email. Dishes might include cauliflower giardinia, olives, breads, salami, Caesar salad, spicy rigatoni vodka, Mario’s Meatballs, and cakes.
Wine service starts at $200 for six “sommelier’s choice” bottles, with a tight list of three individual bottles running $295 (Giuseppe Mascarello Barolo ‘Monprivato’), $395 (Sassicaia 2016), or $695 (Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Madonna, 2001).
Subscribers can also sign up for fresh flowers, decorations, and special table settings from Social Studies, a hip party planning company. The introductory table setting package for Mother’s Day runs an extra $250.
Dinner at Carbone would normally run anywhere from $150 to $250 per person. The sit-down restaurant, before the shutdown, was technically more expensive in that sense, though more frugal gourmands might point out that you didn’t need a party of four — nor did you need to commit to returning three more times in a given month.
Most New York takeout remains an affordable affair, and some high-end restaurants, like Contra and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, have been offering nourishing wares at a fraction of the cost of a full meal.
But a handful of venues appear to be finding an ample market targeting more deep-pocketed diners. Nello on the Upper East Side has been selling $80 veal chops, while Masa, the country’s most expensive restaurant, garnered attention in April for debuting a do-it-yourself maki hand-roll box for four, available once per week. The box costs $800 and those who have emailed the restaurant have reported it “sold out.”
There are additional factors, however, suggesting Carbone Home will be popular in the Hamptons, even at these prices. Well-heeled New Yorkers, from bankers to celebrities, often spend summers in this opulent slice of Long Island’s South Fork, but they’ve been fleeing eastward earlier amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Many restaurants in the Hamptons often don’t open until Memorial Day weekend, or count on slower periods before then.
The sprawling geography and car-centric ethos of the Hamptons also means that delivery service isn’t as diverse or readily available as in more densely populated regions of New York. On a normal summer night, spending 30 to 45 minutes driving to and from a restaurant — or longer with traffic — is not entirely unusual. That means many will find the Carbone service, which offers meals for two separate nights, quite convenient.
Still, Carbone-loving city residents have it better. One can order the takeout service on any given night without a subscription. The Caesar salad runs $25 while the veal parm commands $69 — in line with regular menu prices. That still effectively means a $200 meal for two, alas.
Hamptons residents can sign up for the Carbone deliveries here. The deadline for the first shipment is today, May 4, at 3 p.m.