Courtesy of Delmonico’sSure, you can spend your days in the Hamptons lounging on the beach, but come night you’ve got to eat—or nibble, if you want to keep up that bathing suit body.
This season the area is filled with a bevy of new options, from stylish haunts that will be popping champagne for their first ever brunches to a few old favourites that are back with new-and-improved decor and menus.
Click through our slideshow to see what’s new on the scene this summer (note: this article makes for excellent reading while on the Jitney).
After 25 years of playing host to high-profile diners like Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Steven Spielberg, Gwyneth Paltrow, Richard Gere and Martha Stewart, the restaurant upped its own glamour with an interior overhaul. The house's charm remains intact, but it gained panache in the form of new black-walnut tables, leather banquettes and high-tops by the bar. New dishes include salad with breakfast radishes and toasted hazelnuts in an herb vinaigrette; arugula and kale salad with grapefruit and avocado vinaigrette; sea scallop crudo with ramp aïoli, pea vines and black salt; and seared Broken Arrow Ranch antelope with spring vegetable hash, enhanced with produce from Nick and Toni's garden. Who knows - you may be in the bathroom line next to Alec Baldwin.
Chef Mathais Brogie arrived from Stockholm to take the reins at this Scandinavian-accented restaurant this summer. He's kept standards like lamb meatballs with sheep ricotta gnudi, and herring three ways with pickled red onion, sour cream, Vasterbotten cheese and potato. New offerings range from iced watermelon soup with feta cheese, sage and mint to Long Island chicken with summer bulghur, pistachios and curry caper butter to marinated lamb with spicy carrot and fiddlehead ferns.
The health-oriented spot in the middle of East Hampton has always been packed for breakfast with regulars like Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney, Jay-Z and Ron Perelman. Bill Clinton celebrates his birthday there every August with an organic carrot cake. Current owner Barbara Layton has broadened her dinner offerings, and the nighttime scene is gaining momentum. Check out pan-roasted, sesame-crusted tofu or tempeh with steamed edamame, shiitake mushrooms, and red quinoa, or savour the grilled organic salmon with asparagus, oyster mushrooms, crisp polenta and a tomatillo sauce. Organic cocktails like the cucumber-lime margarita or pomegranate martini are made with fresh juice, and when the lights go down and the candles glow, the dining room becomes surprisingly romantic.
Beaumarchais did not return to East Hampton this summer, but owner Jonathan Rapillo has joined forces with T-Bar's Tony Fortuna to bring its concept to the spacious room. The menu is filled with basic favourites like chopped salad, New York strip steak with mashed potatoes, branzino, Chilean Sea Bass and roast chicken, as well as meal-sealers that include chocolate mousse with rum and coffee or strawberry sundae with shortcake, meringue and cream. After dinner, you won't have to drive for nightlife -- the club Pink Elephant has moved next door.
Sunny yellow umbrellas let you know you've arrived at an outpost of the popular Italian cafe, which has a new enclosed patio this summer, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors even on inclement days. In addition to classics like truffle pizza and grilled swordfish with baby arugula, capers and pine nuts, the updated menu includes kale salad with green apples and Parmigiano reggiano. They've also added a chicken salad with mango and hearts of palm and branzino in a cherry-tomato sauce.
The longtime Greek favourite was shuttered for years until Tim Solouros, who owns Nammos in Southampton, brought it back to life last fall. He's spruced up the old house by adding a new bar and a porch with outdoor seating. The famed steaks come from the same butcher who was a favourite of the pub's original owners in the '60s, but lighter touches, like Greek salad and lavraki, abound as well.
Veggie-centric, farm-to-table-loving diners will think they've found Nirvana at this spot, which opened last month in the same spot where Southfork Kitchen once stood. Todd Jacobs was chef at the American Hotel in Sag Harbor, and then Tierra Mar in Westhampton, before opening this simpler celebration of quality produce. Local fish and poultry are creatively prepared (check out the pan-seared white sea bass stuffed with epazote and pumpkin-seed pesto in tomato and white wine butter, or sliced duck breast with Cabernet Franc and tart cherry sauce). Kids have their own prix fixe menu: it's $15 and includes an appetizer of soup or hummus and carrots, followed by entrees such as gluten-free chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese, and desserts like sorbet and cookies. The restaurant's juice bar also features youth-friendly options like the Green Monster (kale, cucumber and apple).
Tom Colicchio's country place opened last fall as part of an upscale inn. It's so focused on produce that creatively prepared vegetables, many of which are grown on property, are listed as the main items, with proteins following as accompaniments. Among the offerings: brulee orange, honey, walnuts and Kalamata olives with roasted veal sweetbreads; butternut squash agnolotti with Benton's bacon, radicchio and aged balsamic; and chestnut spaetzle, baby carrots and rosemary jus with organic chicken. Wide plank floors and oversized windows that frame the lawn remind you that you've left the city. If you don't have a hideaway of your own, there are rooms upstairs.
Chef Eric Miller, owner of Southampton catering operation Food & Co., has brought his culinary talents to Sag Harbor this summer with a new restaurant in the space that once housed the Paradise Café. Chandeliers, exposed brick and a copper-topped bar have warmed up the room, while French doors open onto sidewalk seating. The patio out back adds to the indoor-outdoor theme. In addition to menu items like local corn, carrot and fresh pea chowder; wood-fired bone-in double rib-eye; and spaghetti with heirloom tomatoes, charred hot chile peppers and lobster, there are daily specials such as grilled soft-shell crab sandwich and local asparagus salad with jumbo lump crab.
This famed café recently went organic, introduced a spa menu and expanded its hours into the evening. At breakfast, people line up for the legendary oatmeal with warm berries and brown sugar as well as the breakfast burrito and its newer spa cousin: egg whites with turkey and spinach in a whole-wheat wrap. In the evening, try turkey and chorizo chilli; roasted cod in white wine with fresh herbs and baby Yukon gold potatoes; or grilled salmon with mustard.
New York's legendary steakhouse, which dates back to the 1800s, has opened a more modern offshoot in Southampton, where Savanna's operated for years. The restaurant's signature offerings, like Lobster Newburg and the Delmonico steak, are available along with updated variations including crab cakes eggs Benedict and a signature burger, which here has double-smoked bacon and black truffle. The East End sister also emphasises seafood, including Montauk striped bass, whole roasted Dover sole and wild king salmon.
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