Hampton Eats

New York City Restaurants Open on East End this Summer

NYC Comes East.

Top New York restaurateurs have been staging summer pop-ups in the Hamptons for generations—possibly the first was none other than Henry Soulé’s takeover of East Hampton’s the Hedges in 1954. It allowed Soulé to serve his Le Pavillon customers while he spent the season at his country retreat in Montauk. Today, East End restaurants by way of New York include: Calissa, Grey Lady Montauk, The Halyard at Sound View Greenport (Mas), Jean Georges at Topping Rose House, Jue Lan Club, Le Bilboquet, Le Charlot, The Palm East Hampton, Sant Ambroeus and Tacombi Montauk.

Last summer the biggest news to hit the Hamptons dining scene was that, due to renovations, Eleven Madison Park, perennially named the world’s top restaurant, was sending its staff to East Hampton for the summer to run EMP Summer House. This rare occurrence made sense for all involved—so they’re back this summer.

Eleven Madison Park is a contemporary American restaurant from Chef Daniel Humm and restaurateur Will Guidara, which serves a seasonal tasting menu that draws inspiration from local New York culture, history and ingredients. As Guidara says, “We had originally planned the pop-up for one season, but had such an incredible experience with our guests and our staff last summer that we, along with our partners at American Express, realized there was no choice but to create a sequel. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the beach and introducing the new Winter House [to Aspen, Colorado] soon!”

EMP Summer House will be open May 25 through Labor Day. Look for this returning pop-up to once again fill the former Moby’s space on Pantigo Road with serious foodies.

Though the indoor dining room will be slightly more formal than the covered patio and backyard, EMP Summer House offers a more casual dining experience than its mothership, while taking inspiration from the seaside, drawing on local ingredients such as the uber-popular Amagansett Sea Salt.

As Amagansett Sea Salt co-owner Steven Judelson says, “It’s exciting having our friends from EMP come back to East Hampton. Not only is it a great place just down the road from us for food, drinks and fun, it’s a fabulous opportunity for us to discover new ways our finishing salt is being used.”

EMP Summer House will offer a seasonal a la carte menu featuring plenty of seafood including grilled fish and raw options, pastas, steaks, and dishes cooked in their wood-burning oven. Selections will incude lobster tempura with bibb lettuce, pickled radish and chile-lime aioli; tomato salad with strawberries and almonds; corn flatbread with parmesan and truffle; ribeye for two, wood-fired with shallot, parmesan
and potato.

Reservations for EMP Summer House will be made available exclusively to American Express Card Members at empsummerhouse.com. Starting on June 1, reservations will be available through July 31. Starting July 1, reservations will be available through September. American Express will be the only form of card payment accepted.

Moby's Bar, Courtesy Moby's
Moby’s Bar

Speaking of Moby’s old space, let’s talk about Moby’s brand new space for the season. Launched in East Hampton in 2012, the beloved coastal Italian eatery is being revived by partners Lincoln Pilcher, a photographer, surfer and former model, and Nick Hatsatouris, a restaurateur, who have signed a two-year lease at East Hampton Point. Fans are now looking forward to great food in this 400-seat restaurant with fantastic views opening Memorial Day weekend.

East Hampton Point is currently for sale for $27 million, which includes the restaurant, accommodations of 13 individual cottages and seven suites in the main house and a full-service marina and boatyard with 58 slips. There’s also a ship’s store, pool, and tennis, all spread over five acres. Known more for its views than for its food in recent years, the Point has boasted some top-notch cuisine in the past, notably from the late chef Gerry Hayden.

Let us attempt to speak Italian: Ciao Osteria Salina, buon giorno Il Mulino! Beautiful Georgica Pond will continue to be gazed upon by diners devouring high-end Italian fare this summer.

The Il Mulino Italian restaurant chain, with outposts in Las Vegas, Roslyn, Atlantic City, San Juan and South Beach, is adding Wainscott to its glittering belt. Il Mulino has a well-earned reputation for offering authentic cuisine “true to the Abruzzese heritage” including farm-fresh meat, fish and vegetable dishes.

In the 1980s the Wainscott space famously housed Sapore di Mare featuring the work of celebrity chef Mark Strausman. Later it sizzled as Saracen. The space is equipped with a wood-fired oven and will feature popular menu items found at Il Mulino’s other restaurants, including chicken parmigiana, branzino, risotto and wood-fired pizza. The menu will also take advantage of Long Island’s local seafood and produce, using Long Island–caught–and–grown food whenever possible. Take-out meals will be available. In other words, the Il Mulino of the Hamptons will be a streamlined version of their larger, grander restaurants in metropolitan areas. The menu will be smaller, highlighting the “greatest hits” served in Manhattan and in Roslyn.

The original Il Mulino opened in New York’s Greenwich Village in 1981. The Manhattan restaurant has long been known as a place to be seen, so East Enders can add Wainscott’s Il Mulino to the long list of hot summer spots.

In 2016 Gianpaolo de Felice and Gaby Karan de Felice’s Tutto il Giorno left its space on Bay Street in Sag Harbor (where Dopo la Spiaggia is now), but maintained its other locations in New York and Southampton. There was talk of a Montauk branch but that seemed to fizzle. Now “Tutto” is taking over the former Muse in the Harbor spot at 16 Main Street in Sag Harbor. Expect the same high-end southern Italian fare and loads of celebs.

LT Burger

Also at press time, Telemark was putting the finishing touches on the newest member of the LT chain of restaurants—Laurent Tourondel’s group operates over a dozen eateries, including outlets in New York, Miami and Hong Kong—in the former C’onca D’oro space in Sag Harbor. The new, foldout metal wall at the front, made to match the vintage doors, looks great! Sag Pizza will join sister restaurant LT Burger, also on Sag Harbor’s Main Street, in offering patrons Chef Laurent Tourondel’s take on American restaurant standards.

While LT Burger works to offer the best in a classic burger joint, complete with a bar, fireplace, children’s menu and boozy milkshakes, Sag Pizza promises  pizza gone upscale from its newly installed wood-fired oven.

New Yorkers, chef Jason Weiner and Eric Lemonides’s, Almond restaurant chainlet started with an Almond on Montauk Highway near the Bridgehampton Commons shopping center in 2001 (in the space now occupied by Mercado Mexican Grill & Tequila Bar). This lively bistro serving French comfort food was an instant hit with Hamptonites. The original restaurant’s popularity led to an outpost in New York’s Flatiron District in 2003 and to a larger Hamptons eatery in the former Ocean One space on the corner of Montauk Highway and Ocean Road in Bridgehampton proper in 2011.

Almond is named for Weiner’s wife, artist Almond Zigmund. East Enders fondly remember the pop-up, Zigmund’s, which operated in the former South Fork Kitchen space on the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike in 2016 and featured live music.

What comes next is L & W Market, billed as “bounty from local farms and the kimchi Jews,” in the storefront adjacent to the Bridgehampton restaurant, which, at press time, was about to open. Look for prepared foods straight from Almond’s kitchen and Almond’s own product line. “Think of it as Almond’s kitchen being open all day minus the waiters,” says chef and co-owner Weiner. Feast your eyes on Almond signature items such as Caesar dressing, au poivre sauce and fermented chili powder as well as rotisserie chicken, marinated vegetables, lobster salad, pre-made sandwiches for the beach, soups, house-made charcuterie and fresh and marinated meats ready for grilling. Coffee and breakfast items will be available every morning; the market will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days.

You’ll find many of the ingredients used at Almond straight from their local sources as well, including fresh vegetables and eggs from Amber Waves Farm, Marilee Foster’s farm, Pike Farms and Quail Hill Farm. Plus prepared goods from Carissa’s Breads, Mecox Bay Dairy cheeses and Almond chefs Jason Weiner and Jeremy Blutstein’s own line, Kimchi Jews, which features kimchi, hot sauces, pickles and more. Additionally, L & W will serve its own line of frozen pastas, patés and pastries.

These veteran restaurateurs will offer an online app complete with pictures for quick and easy ordering and convenient pick-up…so you can now create a complete Almond meal at home. But maybe you LIKE their waiters…

Highway Restaurant & Bar, Photo: Courtesy Lion & Lamb Communications
Highway Restaurant & Bar, Photo: Courtesy Lion & Lamb Communications

Beginning July 6, New York City’s acclaimed Japanese omakase and kaiseki restaurant, Shuko, will open a unique pop-up dining experience at Highway Restaurant & Bar on Montauk Highway in East Hampton. Friday and Saturday evenings through July and, in August, Thursday night service as well

Shuko Beach will be helmed by two Masa alums, chefs Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau, offering a range of dining experiences including Chef’s Counter—in which guests who reserve one of the three nightly seatings (6 p.m., 8 p.m., 10 p.m.) at the six-seat Chef’s Counter may enjoy Shuko’s Sushi Omakase menu ($150 per person) which consists of a Sunomono (vinegar-based) starter course and a 16-piece sushi progression featuring local fish from Long Island and beyond. Reservations will open in June. In addition to Highway Restaurant and Bar’s regular a la carte menu of seasonal, new American dishes with global flair, guests will be able to enjoy curated bento boxes from Shuko for dine-in or take-out. The regular bento box ($180, serves two) features 12 pieces of sushi and two rolls; the large bento box ($360, serves four) includes 24 pieces of sushi and four rolls. Walk-ins are welcome, or reservations can be made by calling Highway Restaurant and Bar. Catering packages and pricing details are available upon request.

Highway Restaurant and Bar in East Hampton and Shuko in New York City are under the TOMS Hospitality portfolio, which includes celebrated establishments such as Eleven Madison Park, NoMad Hotel Restaurant and Bar, Loring Place, Charlie Bird and Pasquale Jones.

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