by Debbie Tuma
A new kind of event has started in the Hamptons, which is rare, since there are endless events of every kind! But this is a different kind of evening….while dining out at a restaurant, you get up and share a story with the crowd, in between courses. And you even have a different theme each week. They call it “Tabling Time.”
On October 17, this theme was “Love.” And it was taking place at Rosie’s Restaurant in Amagansett, which opened last May. The idea for this unique evening was a collaboration between Frank Trentacoste, co-owner of Rosie’s and also owner of Bhumi Farms, and Amy Kalaczynski, Director of Business Development at the Independent Newspaper. They decided to call it “Tabling Time.”
“We wanted to provide the community with a welcoming space to practice the art of storytelling and connecting with others,” said Kalaczynski. “We feel it’s important to stay connected, especially this time of year, Stories, food, drinks and good company unites a community.”
They tried this idea every Thursday night for the month of October, at 6:30 pm, with different themes each week, of “Wisdom,” “Sacrifice,” and others….. just to give the audience members some idea of what to talk about. The night I went, I was excited to try something different, and I was curious to see what people might share. I walked into Rosie’s and saw about 4o people sitting at small tables and at the long bar. The lighting was soft and romantic…there was attractive artwork on the walls…and the vibe was easy and relaxed. I saw some of my media friends from the newspapers, of which a few got up and talked, and I also saw some local, long-time friends who got up and shared.
I sat at the bar, next to writer, photographer Dawn Watson, of Westhampton Beach, who was one of the speakers. She talked about how, after many single years, she finally met the man of her dreams. It was fun to have a glass of wine, try the appetizer, of Butternut Squash with Pumpkin Seed, Cheddar and Sage, and hear love stories while waiting for my entree. Over my Brick Chicken, with Scallion Crepes, I listened to writer/musician Monte Farber, of East Hampton, tell the story of how he met artist Amy Zerner, and I remembered how I was actually at their wedding, over 40 years ago!
Heather Buchanan, who should be an expert on love, having written the advice and relationship column “Kiss & Tell” in the “Independent” for many years, got up and told about the ups and downs of one of her more interesting relationships.
This was fun, hearing stories from old friends, as well as strangers, while I tried the delicious Caramel Poached Pear dessert…..Singer-songwriter Fred Raimondo, who performs at many Long Island clubs and nightspots as the Stephen Talkhouse, 89 North, and 230 Down, got up and shared a story about his father, who like many fathers of his generation, had a hard time expressing love. After the invited speakers spoke, other guests were welcomed to share their stories at the microphone. Charlotte Sasso, co-owner of Stuart’s Seafood Market in Amagansett, talked about how she met her husband and partner, Bruce Sasso.
After a few drinks, I decided to share a story, but enough had been said about men and women’s relationships. So I decided to share how, at 40, I got my own first dog, Mohawk, who was born on a fishing trawler about 30 miles off Montauk. They say there is no “unconditional” love like that of a dog!!! And he changed my life, like good relationships often do.
Later, Charlotte Sasso said she was glad she came, with a bunch of girlfriends on “ladies night out.”
“We go out together every Thursday night, so this was fun and different,” she said. “It’s nice to give someone a platform, and it sparked good conversation at the table afterward.”
Since Rosie’s is closing for the season early in November, the “Tabling Time” storytelling sessions will be looking for a new restaurant, for November, and hopefully, other months this winter.
“We hope to continue this new idea in the off-season, when there is not as much to do in the Hamptons,” said Kalaczynski. For further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org