Haute Secrets: Hamptons Restaurant Mogul on Favorite Spots

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Restaurateur David Loewenberg  Photo by Lyndsay Morris

David Loewenberg is the most recognized restaurateur in the Hamptons. If you’ve spent any time on the East End, you probably have dined at one of his hot spots (and if you haven’t, you should!), which include Sag Harbor boites The Bell & Anchor, a restaurant that draws on Peconic area produce, and The Beacon, on the water. His Provencal-style Fresno in East Hampton is another must.  As owner of a thriving restaurant empire in key Hampton towns, Loewenberg knows the East End like a native, which he almost is, having moved to the area in 1990.

Favorite Hampton and why:
I love Sag Harbor. Our daughter, Lucy, was born here and still counts the kids she grew up with as some of her closest friends. There is truly a tight-knit year-round community here.

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Loewenberg has resided in the Hamptons since 1990 and oversees five restaurants. Photo: Maryanne Russell

How have the Hamptons changed in the last five years:
I’ve been on the East End for over 25 years and have seen crazy changes. I can only imagine what people who’ve been in the Hamptons their whole lives have seen. Sag Harbor has seemed to explode in the past five years. The village can feel “at capacity” some weekends in season. Finding a parking place can feel like winning the lottery.

Best time of day in the Hamptons:
When I can get up early enough, sunrise is beautiful. The sun rising over Sag Harbor Cove is spectacular. Truth be told, any time I can get to the beach with my daughter is the best time of day.

Favorite beaches:
Gibson has long been my beach. I also love walking on Havens and Long Beach.

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The Beacon in Sag Harbor

Best Farmer’s Markets:
I’m partial to the Sag Harbor Farmer’s Market, as it’s so convenient for us. Freddy (the Beacon Chef) will walk through to see what’s new and interesting, many times leading to a special he’ll run that night. We also work very closely with Mecox Farm/Harry Ludlow and Tom Falkowski.

Secret for beating summer traffic:
I try my best to avoid it. There’s no real way to beat it.  I stay away from the Sag Harbor Bridge as best I can when jumping from Bell & Anchor to Beacon. I definitely try to avoid 27.

Halibut at The Beacon
The halibut entree at The Beacon

Beside your own restaurants, what is your favorite spot for:

Lunch/brunch for me is The Canal Café in Hampton Bays, Estia’s Little Kitchen in Sag Harbor, and Highway Restaurant in Wainscott.

Dinner favorites (besides your own restaurants):
For Italian it’s Dopo la Spiagga in Sag Harbor and Nick & Toni’s in East Hampton. For French, it’s Pierre’s in Bridgehampton, and when I can get there, the Stone Creek Inn in Quogue.

Favorite bar (in addition to your own restaurants)
I love having a proper cocktail at the American Hotel. Also Sake tastings with Jesse at Sen.

Best places to party (in addition to your own spots):
Sunset Beach and Navy Beach.  If not in a restaurant, an easy dinner at a friend’s home is great.

If you have out-of-town guests, which hotel do you recommend?
In Sag Harbor, The American Hotel and Baron’s Cove are the call.  In East Hampton it’s the 1770 House and The Baker House 1650.

Best gyms in the area:
So many to choose from. For yoga it’s Tapovana with Corey and Erika. For a gym/personal trainer it’s Studio 89 and Harrison Platz. Spin is absolutely Soul Cycle.

Where do you like to shop for clothes?
Polos and tees from Uniqlo and Vince. Shirts from Duck and Weave. Cargo shorts & 501’s…anything Jarret and Crystal tell me to wear from Blue One.

Favorite charity:
Lucia’s Angels and the Southampton Animal Shelter.

Favorite galleries:
Tripoli Gallery in both East and Southampton,  Robert Demato and Grenning Gallery in Sag Harbor.

Describe the Hamptons in three words:

What is the secret to your success?
I bus tables.