Restaurant Review: Frutti Di Mare

Not unlike the food pyramid, there is a pyramid philosophy in journalism – give the most important or “best” info at the top. Here it is folks: Get thee to Hamptons Bays or call 631-353-3100 today! Frutti Di Mare opened in Hampton Bays just weeks ago. It is helmed by none other than celebrity chef Marco Barrila of Insatiable Eats. Eat in, take-out or delivered it’s FAST, GOOD food. Everything is made from scratch. Suddenly, in the desert of the end of the island where the only food you can have delivered is Chinese or pizza, fresh, local seafood in all its forms has arrived!

All the seafood comes out of a Montauk dayboat, from Cor-J Seafood or from Amagansett’s Aquiculture daily. Plus – there’s a big parking lot in the back, if you accidently drive by, swing around the corner of the block to park right behind the restaurant. Seated at one of the booths, you will be transported to Europe where they’ve been getting food – even “fast food” – right forever. Specifically you’ll be seated in Messina, Sicily, right next to a Subway restaurant. I so loved the contrast. Our server Sheila is originally from Atlanta. Frutti Di Mare is a real crossroads of delicious food culture. [expand]

METAL flatware, heavy CHINA Plates. Hallelujah!

The proof was in the “pudding,” here’s what we ate: rich and tasty Lobster Bisque garnished with crème fresh and fresh parsley. Great flavor, equally great texture, lobster shreds galore. Mini Seafood Empanaditas of calamari, mussels, scallops, shrimp, fresh jalapenos and herbs. Flakey crust…these little babies don’t really need to be dipped in salsa – they have a great flavor of their own. The cutest Hush Puppies with a nice, hot filling are perfection when dipped in the chunky bleu cheese dressing. But maybe the best thing about them is hearing Chef Marco pronounce “hush puppies!” House-made, Lincoln-log style Mozzarella Sticks, served with marina sauce that my son defined as “yummy.” The mozzarella is so quickly and expertly fried, the center is not even hot. Naturally I dipped one in the bleu cheese. The result: euphoria. Porgy Burger. Oh yeah. Really luscious, nice bun, good steak fries dusted with sea salt. The fish in the Flounder Fish & Chips was also luscious and light.

We also enjoyed sharing Clams and Mussels with good quality spaghetti and marinara sauce that had a bit of heat to it. Garlicky with fresh basil, yum. I held my face over the steaming plate to drink it all in.

The Po Boy on a toasted sub roll with fresh lettuce and tomato, features fresh, HOUSE-MADE cole slaw on the side and steak fries.

In addition to seafood, hamburgers, chicken and pastas round out the menu – so everyone in your family (or office) can find something they like. It’s very kid-friendly. Plus all the fish dishes can be grilled or steamed. All take-out orders are transported in eco-friendly containers that keep the food hot. When you call – be sure to ask what the “Catch of the Day Combo” is!

Chef Marco quipped, “The catering business is my job, this place is my hobby.” We’re so lucky he’s here doing his thing! Though everything is prepared fresh to order, Chef Marco actually keeps up with the Subway sandwich team just across the shared restaurant! The home of his hobby, like Chef Marco himself, is colorful and lively. The fun, fishy logo and murals were created by local artist Amanda Ford.

Deliveries to offices and shops in Hampton Bays, Southampton and the Quogues are already in full swing. They’ll even deliver larger orders to Westhampton. What’s hot now? The Butterfly Shrimp is the most popular delivery item. A group on the Shinnecock Reservation orders Fish & Chips almost every night. The Fish & Chips is also popular on the Stony Brook Southampton campus. Fish is brain food, after all.

In this “Mediterranean Sea” of great food, what gets me most – even more than Chef Marco’s jolly midsection – is the fact that Frutti Di Mare does not offer half orders, while it does offer one-and-a-half orders!

Frutti Di Mare, 105 West Montauk Highway, Hamlet Green, Hampton Bays 631-353-3100

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