Having lived in Sag Harbor village for some time I can recall a number of different restaurants that have occupied the old, elegant building at 63 Main Street. Some were better than others. This new set-up has kept the name “Page 63” but is helmed by a new executive chef, Humberto Guallpa, and new managers, brother and sister, Matthew and Rebecca Kehoe. The back dining area is no longer a sometime coffee shop but a “tricked out” dinner spot. (With Marilyn Monroe and album covers on the walls.)
I’m not easily impressed but Guallpa has worked at Babbo under Mario Batali, Aquavit under Marcus Samuelsson and at Union Pacific. And Matthew Kehoe was formerly of The Spotted Pig. That’s impressive. Kehoe is proving capable of transplanting all that’s good about the New York restaurant scene here in my favorite little whaling village – including a community table for 12 – nice! I’m really excited about where this restaurant is going – and where it’s going to take diners. This is not a pale incarnation of a New York eatery cast onto the beach for a season. This is the real deal and much of it is real local.
I was supposed to meet my gal pals Dee and Cath for a girls night bacchanal but only Cath could make it. Dee is all wrapped up in holiday preparations.
We chose to sit inside the main dining room. I like that the energy of the old fashioned bar carries across the room. It’s even better when there’s live music – which there is now every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. There’s even talk of a return of the Hamptons’ premier party band Suzie on the Rocks. I saw them perform here on New Years Eve. It was fabu.
In remembrance of good times past and the summer ahead, Cath and I each enjoyed a glass of refreshing prosecco.
Cath and I thoroughly enjoyed an amuse of Tuna Tartare. Very high quality, fresh tuna. Very fresh avocado. A very good start.
Cath ordered the Grilled Baby Calamari appetizer, which she adored. Served on frisée, red peppers, sugar snap peas, peanuts, avocado and Jerusalem artichokes, it was a lovely presentation. Cath reported the calamari to be tender with a touch of heat.
I started with, as is often my wont, a Beet Salad. There was not a lot of flavor in the watercress or green apples but that was clearly intentional – these red and gold beets were seriously pickled. They combined with the saltiness of the Roquefort perfectly. Nasturtium blossoms gave the salad bright color.
Matthew was eager to share a rosé he’d just discovered from Channing Daughters. It had a good flavor but its honey aroma was not my cup of tea. He said that Channing Daughters is now producing EIGHT rosés. Clearly I need to get over there and find my special one…
We moved on to a pasta course. Lobster Fra Diavolo (a half lobster, clams, mussels, shrimp, calamari, scallops) for Cath, Local & Organic Vegetables over Quinoa Linguine for moi. Cath found the lobster “So tender, like butter.” I was impressed that my healthy dish was so tasty, its almond pesto lent it a richness. Featuring zucchini, red pepper, yellow squash and onion, garnished with micro greens and nasturtium blossoms – it was summer in a bowl.
I moved on to the Lobster Avocado BLT which featured a fine lobster salad, bib lettuce and generous, but manageable, slices of avocado on thinly sliced rye toast. I had half of this delish sandwich wrapped to take home to my son Teenage Boy – he was VERY pleased.
Cath, who’s from Liverpool, sampled my hand cut, skin-on fries and declared them pub-worthy. “Nothin’ like a good chip.” Cath quite enjoyed the Pan Seared Diver Scallops over edamame risotto with yellow grape tomatoes and basil horseradish.
For dessert I chose a Lemon Sabayon Tart in a peanut crust with mascarpone cream. The peanuttyness was interesting in combination with the light lemon flavor. I offered to share it with Cath but ended up eating the whole thing…
Cath clearly enjoyed a gorgeous cappuccino and a sizeable Chocolate Soufflé with rum ganache and vanilla ice cream. We shall return.
Page at 63 Main Street, 631-725-1810, www.page63main.com