Hamptons Lane Subscription Review + Coupon – October 2016
Hamptons Lane is a monthly subscription that sends gourmet foods and kitchen tools. They release a new box every month based around a theme, and you can opt out if it isn’t for you.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: Hamptons Lane
The Cost: $47 a month (with the option to skip any month).
The Products: Artisan food products centered around a new theme each month.
Ships to: U.S. only, with extra shipping costs for Alaska and Hawaii.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
October’s theme is “Rustic Italian.”
Hamptons Lane includes a booklet that details all of the items included in the box.
The booklet also provides recipes and cooking tips.
I received a card promoting the add-on items for this box, too.
Cousin Liana’s Gnocchi Board– Value $3.99
I’ve made gnocchi once or twice, and I’ve always rolled each one over a fork to give it those classic indentations. (Texture helps the sauce cling to the gnocchi!)
I like the idea of using this board instead of a fork, and it seems to get really good reviews.
Here’s a closeup of the ridges:
I look forward to giving it a try sometime soon. Now that it’s pumpkin season, I might try making pumpkin gnocchi!
Fox Run Mezzaluna– Value $12.89
This double-bladed mezzaluna is supposed to help you cut herbs quickly and conveniently.
Again, this is one of those tools that I’m familiar with, but that I’ve never used myself. (I always use a chef’s knife to chop herbs… or to chop anything, for that matter.)
The mezzaluna has a decent weight to it, and the blades are nicely sharp.
I tried using it to chop some basil (photo of that below), and I couldn’t quite get the hang of it. I must have looked frustrated/confused/challenged/intense while doing it because my husband thought I looked hilarious and quipped that I was making it look really hard (as opposed to easy). I also found that the basil leaves easily got stuck between the two blades, which was a little annoying. This could definitely be down to my technique, though, and not the design. I’ll try using this again, but I don’t think it’s a tool that I’ll reach for regularly.
Pianogrillo Salsa di Pomodoro Cilegino (250 ml.)- Value €4.30 (approximately $4.68 USD)
This next item is a sauce made from cherry tomatoes, and I imagine it would be a good base for a variety of different dishes. I used it to make Chicken Cacciatore, which you can see at the bottom of the review. I haven’t seen this brand before, and, after doing an online search, it looks like it’s hard to find it outside of Italy.
Italian Harvest Zucchette (1.1 lb.)- Value $7
I love receiving pasta in subscription boxes, especially pasta in a fun shape! Zucchette is pumpkin-shaped, so I think this is a great choice for a box released this time of year. I made this pasta as a quick mid-week dinner with pesto and parmesan, and it was delicious.
Urbani Dried Porcini Mushrooms (1 oz.)- Value $4.49
The last item I received in this box is dried porcini mushrooms. I usually try to use fresh mushrooms in my cooking, but I do like to keep some dried mushrooms on hand just in case.
Hamptons Lane always comes out with a collection of recipes to accompany each box, and it’s one of my favorite things about the subscription. The recipes are always well written and easy to follow, and they’re almost always excellent. Every month, I look forward to picking out at least one of them to try! This month, I decided to make Roasted Garlic & Tomato Basil Bruschetta and Chicken Cacciatore.
Since the bruschetta recipe called for basil, it gave me the opportunity to test out the mezzaluna.
As I mentioned above, I didn’t easily get the hang of it, but I did manage to get the basil pretty evenly chopped in the end.
I mixed the basil with tomatoes, olive oil, and salt and pepper (I added some crushed garlic, too), roasted an entire head of garlic in the oven and toasted some slices of baguette.
When the roasted garlic was ready, I rubbed each slice of bread with a little of it, and then followed with a spoonful of the tomato mixture. I also topped my bruschetta with toasted pine nuts.
This recipe was good, but I made a crucial mistake when I was shopping. I bought roma tomatoes for this dish (because the recipe called for them) even though the roma tomatoes available in my grocery store weren’t as ripe as I wanted. I should have trusted my gut and just subbed in grape tomatoes… oh well, lesson learned. Despite the mediocre tomatoes, I still thought the bruschetta turned out pretty well. The roasted garlic added a really nice punch of flavor and complemented the tomato mix well.
While I nibbled on the bruschetta, I made chicken cacciatore!
Hamptons Lane’s recipe combined chicken legs and thighs, Urbani’s Porcini Mushrooms, Pianogrillo’s Cherry Tomato Sauce, leek, red wine, carrot, peppers, and whole tomatoes with a variety of herbs and spices. To really meld the flavors and tenderize the chicken, the dish cooked for about an hour and a half.
When the cacciatore was ready, I served it on top of a bed of polenta.
(Yes, I realize I overdid it a bit with the plating on this one. Forgive me, I was really hungry at the time, and my eyes were a lot bigger than my stomach!)
The cooking time on this recipe was absolutely perfect. The chicken was still in tact when I plated the dish, but it easily fell away from the bone. The sauce was herby and rich, and the whole thing was really great with polenta. With winter fast approaching, I have a feeling that I’ll be making stew a lot more often that I did during the summer, and I’ll definitely make this dish again.
Verdict: I have to be honest. When I first received this box and started pulling the various items out, I kept digging around because I thought there must be something else buried in the packaging. This box feels much lighter than a lot of past Hamptons Lane boxes. The value is also very low. If I were to purchase all of the items in this box separately, it would cost about $33. (Compare that to Hamptons Lane’s Pasta Box from March 2015, which had a value of about $60!) When I first started reviewing Hamptons Lane, I was consistently impressed by both the curation and the value, and, unfortunately, the last few boxes haven’t delivered the same value I saw in the beginning. I’m not sure what’s going on, but I hope to see that turn around soon. On the plus side, I enjoyed trying out a couple of Hamptons Lane’s recipes, and the Chicken Cacciatore recipe, in particular, was excellent. Still, I think the value is a deal breaker for me this month.
What do you think of this month’s box from Hamptons Lane?