Hamptons Restaurant Review: Buoy One Westhampton

Buoy One dinner.
Buoy One dinner. Photo credit: Genevieve Horsburgh

Walking into Buoy One in Westhampton, you can’t help but be charmed by the richness of the décor.

With its lovely dark wood, a large, winding bar and a fire blazing in the main dining area, it’s warm, cozy, luxurious and just what I was looking for on a chilly evening.

After being seated in front of the fire, we perused the specials board, which was loaded with tantalizing dishes from Chef Dave, each one sounding better than the last, most with a decidedly Asian twist. The duck spring rolls caught my attention, and they did not disappoint. Made with Crescent Farms duck, these spring rolls were crisp, savory with the rich and moist duck meat, sweetness from caramelized onion and paired with a sweet and slightly spicy hoisin sauce. It was a delightful way to begin our meal.

We tried the calamari—a staple for any good seafood place—and Chef Dave proved with this staple he can perfect the basics. The calamari was tender inside, wonderfully crunchy on the outside with a drizzle of lemon. For me this is foodie bliss.

The crab nachos called out to me, because anything on a chip is just better. Blue corn nachos make the cut at Buoy One—the bed for a mound of succulent crab topped with a gooey combo of mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, served with the necessary players: jalapeños, sour cream, bright, fresh salsa and creamy guacamole. The perfect bite is a combination of all of the above, and the crab adds a subtle flavor of the sea in the background. It’s a bar food staple, but taken to an entirely
different level.

Up next was a dish that sounds just as good as it tastes: spinach and orzo stuffed salmon with goat cheese and fresh garlic over lentils and grilled asparagus. A mouthful for sure, but trust me you’d want plenty of mouthfuls of this dish. The kicker for me was the goat cheese. With a slight tang and a creamy texture, it brought all of the other flavors home, and the smooth buerre blanc was so good I could have licked my plate (but don’t worry, I didn’t). The salmon was cooked until it basically melted in my mouth, and the lentils were warm and reminded me of home.

Next we ordered a staple menu item, aptly named crispy pork. It’s basically a giant fried pork chop, but there was something special about this one I couldn’t quite get my taste buds to identify. Chef Dave revealed it was in the cumin in the rub he used to marinate the pork, which explains the subtle heat I could feel as I tasted the pork. Served with some of the most delicious vanilla whipped potatoes I’ve ever eaten and Chef Dave’s sweet hoisin sauce, this was one pork-perfect dish.

For all you land lovers out there, we just had to try another special that sounded out-of-this-world good—skirt steak topped with crispy fried pickled onions over a bed of chunky mashed potatoes and crisp green beans. The steak was cooked perfectly medium rare, seasoned to perfection. A bite with the crispy pickled onions sent me over the edge. The combination of the savory beef with the tang and crunch of the onion was heavenly, and the mashed potatoes were creamy and chunky, buttery and delicious.

In addition to all the specials Chef Dave works up, Buoy One has a huge regular menu including the Clambake, featuring whole lobster, shrimp, steamers and mussels. Baskets of fried clams, shrimp, flounder, codfish, scallops, oysters are sure to please any seafood lovers craving. All month in December, Buoy One in Westhampton, Riverhead and Huntington will be celebrating a Feast of the Seven Fishes for $44. Visit buoyone.com for more information.

Buoy One, 62 Montauk Highway, Westhampton. buoyone.com, 631-998-3808. Locations also in Riverhead and Huntington.

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