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On The Radar: Opening Celebrations; Auctions, And A Fitful End To Polo

Originally Posted: August 26, 2009

Christy Smith

Around the pool for the Maureen's Haven party and silent auction. Photos by Christy Smith

Phao Thai Kitchen Opening Party In Sag Harbor
Even though Phao Thai Kitchen on Main Street in Sag Harbor opened in April, owners Tora Joshua Matsuoka and Jeff Resnick swung open their bamboo doors on Sunday, Aug. 23 for the official opening celebration to welcome new customers and thank its loyal followers.

Phao Thai Kitchen restaurant owner Tora Joshua Maksuoka (in blue shirt and white pants).

Nigerian Prince Kunle Omiliana, his model/actress wife Keisha Omiliana, who has appeared in Pantene ads and the Ben Stiller film "Zoolander," Southampton gallery owner Michael Perez, New York Times best-selling author Larry "Ratso" Sloman and Dr. Howard Sobol and his socialite wife Gayle sought refuge from the intense heat in the airy, rustic dining area tastefully accentuated by wooden posts, cozy booths and colorful pillows.

Soiree attendees nibbled on shrimp rolls, chicken satay, spare ribs and frog legs and sipped Chang Beer, Phao Lemonade (Bulldog Gin & Guava Juice) Margaritas and Thai Plum (Pearl Plum Vodka Ginger Ale & Fresh Sour Mix).

Restaurant owner Matsuoka got his start in the restaurant business 15 years ago washing dishes at Sen, the Japanese restaurant next door where he eventually worked his way up to busboy to waiter to cook to maitre'd to owner.

And if you're wondering if Matsuoka has any advice to aspiring restaurateurs: "Surround yourself with people you like then help them become the best they can be," said Matsuoka. "But most importantly learn how to balance your time and work. That seems to be the biggest issue with restaurant people. Most of us work all day to prep for night, and then we work all night. You need to set aside specific times for meals and exercise, if not it won't be pretty.

Hector and Joyce deCordova at Maureen's Haven party.

Maureen's Haven Live And Silent Auction
Over 35 local and international artists donated their original artwork in oils, acrylics, sculpture and photography on Sunday, Aug. 23 in Sag Harbor to benefit the Homeless outreach program Maureen's Haven.

The organization provides temporary shelter, meals, counseling and education to homeless East Enders from November to April.

"There is homelessness in the Hamptons. Last year Maureen's Haven took in on average 45 people a night," said auction co-chair person Joyce deCordova, who also owns The deCordova Art Galley in Greenport with her husband Hector. "It's adults over 18. Most of them are the working homeless. They have jobs but they lost their homes and apartments and need help. There's about 18 churches that give up their facilities one night a week or every other week. People think of the Hamptons as a playground for the rich and famous but that's only one aspect. There are also many people who are struggling to stay afloat."

Guests at the Desmond Estate nibbled on tomato and basil sandwiches, corn fritters, fried ravioli and roast beef paninis before the 5 p.m. live auction conducted by Colonel Wendy E.A. Walsh that featured art works from Bryan Landsberg who is dubbed the Long Island Railroad artist because he paints still-life and landscapes on the train while commuting from Riverhead to Manhattan and Michael Cordacino who specializes in large photographic prints, video and sculpture. A host of other artists also graciously donated their original art works.

Corina Debellis and eight-month-old son William at Polo match.

Closing Day 2009 Mercedes-Benz Polo Challenge At Blue Star Jets Field
Music and Fashion mogul Russell Simmons, Philadelphia rapper Azizz, TV news personality Serena Altschul and "Real Housewives of New York City's" Ramona Singer and Bethenny Frankel and Microsoft Global Creative Solutions General Manager Stephan Kim closed out the Mercedes-Benz Polo Challenge 2009 season at Blue Star Jets Field at the Bridgehampton Polo Club on Saturday, Aug. 22.

While Singer complained in the VIP tent that no one recognized her because of the new haircut she was sporting an assortment of Hamptons scenesters celebrated the last polo match of the six-week polo season in style and mingled in extremely close proximity under the main tent nibbling on coconut shrimp, mini-kobe beef burgers and sipping Peroni Beer, ginger martini cocktails and VUE Swiss luxury water.

At Ralph Lauren's onsite store a gaggle of polo enthusiasts registered to win a polo lesson from Black Team Watch member and Argentine superstar Nacho Figueras.

Aida Turturro and guest at Roar For A Cure party.

Roar For A Cure
Supermodel Christie Brinkley, The Jonas Brothers, Bruce Springsteen, Peyton Manning, Vito Cobb of the New York Giants, former "The Sopranos" star Aida Turturro and Pop Music group Push Play, as well as a host of other do- gooders lent their support to the Max Cure Foundation - a non-profit organization whose mission is to fund pediatric cancer causes - on Saturday, Aug. 22 at the East Hampton Indoor Tennis Club.

The event raised more than $300,000 and will benefit The Max Cure Fund For Pediatric Research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer and Aids research, and Katy's Courage Fund, which financially assists in the care of a 10 year-old Sag Harbor resident who is currently battling a rare form of liver cancer.

"A good friend of mine's daughter has been receiving radiation for two years and she's only five-years-old," said Turturro. "And when I found out about this benefit today. I just had to come. It's a wonderful cause."

In between attending benefits the actress is prepping for a play in Italy. "I'm looking forward to acting in Italy," said Turturro. "I also have a few projects in the pipeline."

Katy Stewart and former New York Giant Vito Cobb at Roar For A Cure.

The benefit attracted more than 1,000 people who snacked on crab cakes, clams in beer broth, grilled chicken, wild rice and orzo salad, hamburgers and hot dogs, chocolate mousse, shaved ices and fresh fruits.

Kids stayed busy at the four-hour event by playing Xtreme Tee Ball, ring toss and making sand art while adults took part in the silent auction bidding on everything from a Bruce Springsteen autographed guitar to a Jacqueline A. Cohen topaz and diamond ring to a Saint Andrews Golf Club Foursome.

Radar Blips

 • Lev Ekster and his gourmet cupcake truck CupcakeStop was posted in front of the Southampton Historical Museum Saturday afternoon doling out mini and regular sized cupcakes created by former Bouley Chef Manal Mady.

 • Actor Liev Shreiber rode his bicycle to La Fondita in Amagansett on Saturday afternoon and refueled on fish tacos and a salad.

 • Novelist Jay McInerney and actress Brooke Shields grabbed a bite at Nick & Toni's in East Hampton last Monday.

 • Music executive Tommy Mottola, his wife, Thalia and a group of pals dined at Nick & Toni's on Friday.

 • New York State Governor David Paterson and his wife had dinner at Blue Sky in Sag Harbor on Sunday. The Governor took pictures and greeted diners in between courses.

 • Actress Lorraine Bracco and a group of friends munched on homemade burrata and shrimp arrabiata at Matto in East Hampton on Saturday.

 • Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore with Anne Heche hit Nick & Toni's in East Hampton for a bite with a group of 10 friends last Saturday.

 • Reality star Kelly Bensimon and her two daughters grabbed some take-out at Turtle Crossing in East Hampton on Friday. The trio got a rib-platter, sweet potatoes and cornbread.


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