Wölffer Kitchen, the latest extension of the Wölffer Estate Vineyard lifestyle brand, opened last night on Sag Harbor’s Main Street. It is the first winery-owned restaurant in the Hamptons. Of course much of Wölffer’s famous rosé was quaffed and things got loud and deliciously raucous.
“I was very happy with the first meal here. Not many people experience Long Island wines like we do,” longtime Wölffer winemaker and partner Roman Roth says, indicating himself and this writer’s family. “Here you can experience the high end, the best wines of Long Island. Not just rosé—you may have a Paumanok [Vineyards] wine with your meal—it will be a Wölffer experience!” Roth has been developing this new restaurant’s wine list. When finalized it is projected to feature about 60% Long Island wines and, of those wines, about 60% will be Wölffer—so expect a smattering of special Wölffer releases that aren’t often found outside of the Sagaponack winery itself.
Siblings and owners Joey and Marc Wölffer were on hand for the festivities. Joey was all aglow in a midnight blue gown. Her daughter, with husband Max Rohn, is expected any day. So many new beginnings for the Wölffer family! Joey opened her first brick-and-mortar boutique, just down the street from Wölffer Kitchen, at 25 Madison Street, earlier this year. She continues to operate her roving bus of fabulous boho luxe accessories and clothing called The Styleliner.
An able wait staff served free glasses of wine and Wölffer’s hard cider at the opening. Passed hors d’oeuvres by Chef Deena Chafetz were reportedly on offer but only the lucky few, it seems, were able to indulge. There were wonderful smells emanating from the kitchen. The menu will feature many local ingredients transformed into modern American cuisine with a Mediterranean influence—with an eye to wine pairings.
The place was packed and customers were lining up to check out the bar, which opened to the public at 9:30 p.m.
Roth offered guests a very special drink as well. He said, “May I bring you a Free Spirit? It’s what I’m drinking now.” A Free Spirit is a non-alcoholic cocktail based on Wölffer’s verjus. It comes in a large wine glass with fresh fruit (this night it was blueberries and bits of peaches and strawberries), served over a lot of ice, with a straw. It was perfect for this humid evening, as many will attest.
Wölffer Kitchen, 29 Main Street, Sag Harbor, wolffer.com, 631-725-0101.