Summer Getaways in the Hamptons: Where to Eat?

Summer Getaways in the Hamptons: Where to Eat?
Courtesy of North Fork Table and Inn

Whether you're a seafood lover or not, it's time to indulge in some tasty fare.

The East End of Long Island is serving up a little something different for lunch this summer.

The Lobster Roll in the Hamptons primarily serves takeout and outdoor food last summer, so it is thrilled to have its dining room back. As part of its commitment to safety, this legendary Montauk Highway restaurant/celebrity hangout, known as Lunch due to its large all-caps sign that says “LUNCH”, seats guests between plexiglass dividers. The Lobster Roll is a favorite among customers, who keep coming back.

Despite Anthony's knowledge of the restaurant industry's carnage in the last year, she doesn't want to bragging about her summer success. It is heartbreaking for hard-working restaurateurs who have not been able to survive this pandemic. However, she admits that the Lobster Roll is busier now than before the pandemic, with 150 seats combined in its dining room and outdoor area.

It is Anthony, Fred Terry, and Paul DeAngelis who are betting big on the future of Lobster Roll. This fall, they plan to open another Lobster Roll in Southampton, on the site of the Silver Lining Diner, in partnership with entrepreneur Irwin Simon. In contrast to the Montauk Highway location, which was opened in 1965 and is open six months a year, Southampton Lobster Roll will be open year-round.

There has been a lot of change in a year. The Hamptons were the target of pop-ups and deliveries by prominent New York City players Major Food Group, Daniel Boulud and Sushi Noz last summer. This year, these culinary powerhouses are focused on expanding to the big cities. Carbone and ZZ's Sushi Bar are growing in Miami. Boulud has launched Le Pavillon, a luxurious new Midtown Manhattan restaurant. It is also working on opening Noz 17 in Chelsea, where guests will be able to enjoy 20-to-25-course tasting menus from a seven-seat counter.

Although the Hamptons and North Fork are increasingly upscale, vineyard-filled, buzzy newcomers and renovated classics are available for both leisurely lunches and blowout dinners, it's only natural that there have been some prominent takeovers in the East End, where hedge fund bosses and real estate magnates spend their summers.

The East End is a great place to eat this summer, so here are six spots to check out.

The Lobster Roll

Courtesy of Tasting Table

This roadside restaurant in Amagansett is a favorite of Hamptons A-listers. Have any of them ever eaten there? If you were to discover that Scarlett Johannson, Christie Brinkley, Alec Baldwin, Gwyneth Paltrow, Barbra Streisand, Paul Simon, Tom Colicchio, and countless other celebrities have been guests of the Lobster Roll, you may ask yourself that question.

It doesn't matter if you come for lunch or dinner, you will find everything you would expect from a classic seafood shack on their menu: shrimp cocktail, raw clams, steamers, clam chowder, lobster bisque, fish-and-chips, lobster salad, and, of course, a hot buttery lobster roll.

It also offers gluten-free options (including gluten-free rolls) and has its own dedicated fryer. Co-owner Andrea Anthony has also created gluten-free cupcakes as part of her housemade desserts. It was about six years ago that the Lobster Roll added gluten-free options after a customer called in to find out if the restaurant would be able to accommodate her daughter who had been diagnosed with celiac disease.

Rita Cantina

Courtesy of Eric Striffler

At his new “modern coastal Mexican” restaurant in the artsy Springs hamlet in East Hampton, chef Eric Miller continues to work with local fishermen who he previously worked with at the seafood-focused Bay Kitchen Bar.

The Rita Cantina serves a delicious tuna ceviche tostad with local littleneck clams that are paired with chorizo, serrano peppers and Tecate. This summer, Miller isn't afraid to bring the heat to the table, with fried habanero-dusted day-boat scallops, accompanied by spicy fried rice, serrano tartar sauce, and local fluke. The tacos are bursting with premium ingredients like local fluke and wagyu short rib birria.

Il Buco al Mare

Courtesy of Il Buco al Mare

It is a relaxed, surfer-chic restaurant that features fish and wood-fired cooking in Amagansett, a spin-off of Il Buco, a Mediterranean-style restaurant located in New York City. In the appetizers, there is raw oysters with turmeric and chardonnay vinegar, as well as a selection of fish tinned from Europe.

Chef Justin Smillie is known for his sublime salt-baked lobsters, seared octopus or whole branzino, as well as his housemade focaccias made from ancient grains. You won't find pasta here, but the housemade focaccia can give you the carb fix you need.

North Fork Table & Inn

Courtesy of North Fork Table and Inn

Known for his elegant neighborhood spots in New York City (like The Loyal), as well as his serious approaches to hotel dining, the prolific New York City chef/restaurateur John Fraser took over this beloved Southold destination last year, and the restaurant has been a huge success ever since. A longstanding reputation for seasonal food paired with local ingredients has long been attached to the North Fork Table & Inn in Long Island wine country, and Fraser is living up to those expectations by serving dishes such as Montauk tuna with radish roots and tops; a Jamesport Farmstead hen egg with ricotta made by hand and gold bar squash; and beef tartare served with ramps.

In addition to that, Fraser has reenergized the North Fork Table & Inn’s popular food truck, which is now offering lobster rolls, smoked short ribs and Greek salads with heirloom tomatoes as part of their menu. If you want to eat lunch on-site from the truck, there are picnic tables available as well. In order to make your picnic a memorable one, be sure to grab a wondrous fruit pie from a North Fork farm stand like Schmitt’s Farm Country Fresh or Hallock’s Cider Mill.

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