Scoring a table at a buzzy Hamptons restaurant in summer is never easy, but here are the places–some new, some iconic–that you should make sure to take in this summer on the East End.
A Montauk outpost of the casual Nantucket oyster haven Grey Lady opened in May, joining other locations on New York’s Lower East Side and in Aspen. The restaurant offers modern farm-to-table fare and seafood classics, like a hefty one-and-a-quarter-pound lobster roll, clam chowder and fresh oysters from Montauk, Maine and Nantucket. There will be special, locally curated, and imported dishes, too, featuring fresh, sustainable fish dishes, such as lion fish (an invasive species sourced from Florida), monk fish, tile fish and even a blue fish pâté. Enjoy it all amid the nautical-theme decor.
440 West Lake Drive, Montauk
JUE LAN CLUB
Southampton’s happening new restaurant and nightclub, Jue Lan Club, an extension of the original venue in Manhattan named for an exclusive art society in Shanghai in the 1930s, is serving flagship staples such as drunken sea bass, braised oxtail bao buns and shrimp crystal dumplings in a trendy space with Downtown vibes.
268 Elm Street, Southampton
A new Japanese-Peruvian fusion eatery, Kozu Hamptons is one of several new projects from Zach Erdem of 73 Main. The restaurant, located in Erdem’s new Hotel ZE, is helmed by chef John Keller, previously of Nobu. Look for an outstanding range of summer-ready dishes like yellowtail jalapeño with smoked tomato ponzu; summer corn and lobster salad with uni (sea urchin); heirloom tomato and Japanese cucumber with toasted sesame dressing, yuzu salt, micro cilantro and piment d’Espelette (red chiles) from Basque France; and corn pudding nished with shiso and yuzu dressing.
136 Main Street, Southampton
THE SERVICE STATION
The Service Station, a roaring twenties–style restaurant and bar named for the gas station that stood in its place for over 100 years, is serving classic American comfort food.
100 Montauk Highway, East Hampton
ALWAYS IN STYLE
NICK AND TONI’S
Since 1988, celebrity magnet Nick and Toni’s (yes, that’s Jack Nicholson and Lorne Michaels by the window) has offered a locally sourced, rustic Italian and Mediterranean, menu. Among the restaurant’s dishes, which change monthly: seared tuna with micro herbs; house-made ricotta gnocchi with morels and asparagus; and pistachio cake decorated with lemon meringue drops, strawberries and rhubarb sorbet. There are locavore-friendly drinks, too, with small-batch, area-produced spirits garnished with seasonal, grown-in-the Hamptons ingredients.
136 North Main Street, East Hampton
When the Clintons vacation on the East End, you’ll find them at this hot, Tuscan-style spot. Indoors there’s a warm, cedar-paneled environment with floor-to-ceiling windows; book a table on the patio when the weather is good. Executive chef Josh Savi, previously of two-Michelin-starred restaurant Patrick Guilbaud in Dublin oversees a northern-Italian menu of antipasti, steak (East Enders love the skirt steak salad), fish and an array of hearty dishes, like zuppa di pesce (fish soup) that are cooked in a wood oven. So are the pizzas!
231 Main Street, Amagansett
TOPPING ROSE HOUSE
Ever since it was announced that Jean-Georges Vongerichten was taking over the restaurant this summer, A-list Hamptonites have been in a swoon. This is the noted chef’s first Hamptons foray so expect new menu concepts heavy on fresh ingredients like black sea bass, oysters, and snails raised in the garden; as well as a redesigned dining space in “beach chic” style.
1 Bridgehampton–Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton
TUTTO IL GIORNO
Gabby Karan De Felice (see “Kitchen Confidential” in this issue) and her husband, Gianpaolo, offer modern, southern Italian–inspired dishes sourced with local ingredients at their happening spot in the Hamptons. Gabby’s mother, famed fashion designer Donna Karan, loves the penne with eggplant and you will, too!
56 Nugent Street, Southampton
SANT AMBROEUS SOUTHAMPTON
For more than two decades, Sant Ambroeus has been one of the Hamptons’ chicest spots, beloved by the vacationing Euro crowd. At this always bustling, pre- and post-beach gathering spot, stylistas nibble on their capreses, but those with heartier appetites indulge in the cacio e pepe (spaghetti with cracked black pepper and Pecorino Romano) and grilled branzino. For the best people watching, get a table on the patio.
30 Main Street, Southampton