Kelly & Stacy: Italian-born Chef Marco Barrila does many things well. Including involving himself in the community.
In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Chef was very active in the relief efforts, making 400 meals for the Red Cross after the organization called on him for help—One of many examples of how Chef has used his talents to benefit the area. And somewhere in between embarking on his charitable endeavors, Chef finds the time to run his Hampton Bays eatery, Frutti Di Mare.
In addition to standard seafood and French-fried fare, burritos and pasta, on the day we last visited we found a tasty black bean chili, shepherd’s pie featuring creamy mashed potatoes, chicken potpie with a flakey crust and creamy interior and a cheesy/meaty lasagna at the counter, waiting to be served up. Thankfully, co-owner Sheila Minkel was happy to give us samples of Chef’s dishes, which we happily accepted. It was nice to be in a casual atmosphere where value was clearly placed on providing a customized dining experience.
Stacy: Frutti Di Mare was offering different cuisines for lunch on the different days of the week. We were there on a Wednesday for…Irish! So I ordered corned beef and cabbage with carrots, potatoes and onions. Rich with a touch of clove. Did I detect a hint of evoo? Whatever Chef did to this classic it was just right.
Kelly: While I felt slightly disloyal to my Irish heritage by not ordering corned beef—it’s not often that graces the menu—I had to go with a burrito. I was in one of those moods where I was just craving a to-go Mexican dish, a la Moe’s or Chipotle. Chef‘s vegetarian creation hit the spot with all of the staples—rice, black beans, choose-my-own-veggies—present. I quickly remembered why the mom-and-pops out here put the big chains to shame. Moe’s who? Large and in charge, the burrito was a challenge to finish, but I happily accepted.
Stacy: Frutti Di Mare is a friendly place. I hadn’t been in for almost a year but Chef asked how my son was doing.
Opposite from Frutti Di Mare, in the same space, there is a Subway franchise. It’s been there for a long time, so Frutti Di Mare has gone in a very different direction. The two eateries share a peppy selection of music and dining tables. They’re casual, but it’s nice to be able to enjoy a quality meal without feeling rushed.
Sheila “forced” us both to have a dessert of Bread Pudding—raisin-y, sweet and savory, like French toast without the mess. We left very full indeed.
Kelly: The bread pudding was the perfect “afternooncap” to our midday meal. We returned to work satisfied and thankful that a solid, quick lunch option isn’t too far from the office. Bonus: Delivery is also available to Hampton Bays, Southampton and East Quogue.
Sound good to you? Pick up a Frutti Di Mare Frequent Dining Card—buy seven, get one free! Stop in before or after this Saturday’s parade to supplement the—uh—traditional Irish liquid diet with some hearty fare.
Chef also offers catering through his business Insatiable EATS, which he started with Sheila. When we were there they’d just catered an event at the new Charles Schwab offices in Southampton. We were sorry we’d missed it.
Frutti Di Mare, 105 West Montauk Highway, Hampton Bays, 631-353-3100, insatiableeats.com