The summertime cuisine scene is very much about tradition, the favorite food and drink that define your own personal East End experience. Of course, every season also serves up delicious new trends and tastes that make each summer uniquely unforgettable.
Chefs on the Move
As you start your culinary summer, you’ll notice a number of well-known chefs are heading up new kitchens—or, in some cases, new ventures altogether. On the North Fork, Stephan Bogardus is now at the helm of The Halyard at Sound View Greenport, Bruce Miller is on the Greenport waterfront at PORT, and Brian Wilson has taken the reins at Southold’s North Fork Table & Inn. In Montauk, Jeremy Blutstein will oversee the myriad dining spots at the newly refurbished Gurney’s Star Island Resort & Marina, most notably the hyper-local seafood, produce and other stellar offerings at Showfish.
What’s Old Is New Again
Word has it that the BBC (Bailey’s Banana Colada) will be back when Sam Talbot opens Morty’s Oyster Stand on the hallowed grounds of Cyril’s on Napeague Stretch. Eric Miller is transforming Southampton’s old Princess Diner into the Silver Lining Diner, the former Honest Diner space will become Coche Comedor. Bostwick’s on the Harbor is taking over the Bay Kitchen Bar spot at Three Mile Harbor.
NYC Comes East
Or, What’s Old Is New Again Part II. Paola Nozolli recently brought Paola’s to the East Hampton spot that housed EMP Summer House the past two years, and Edward McFarland did likewise with Ed’s Lobster Bar in the vacated Bay Burger home in Sag Harbor. You can’t take the city out of the chef, but the chef can be another matter, lucky for us.
Hamptons in the Raw
Nobody truly knows where the word ceviche came from, but we sure know where it’s going this summer—across menus on both forks and in the direction of such local catches as bluefish, striped bass and razor clams. Some diners are even asking for versions with snails. Fear not, traditionalists, tuna and shrimp and scallops will still get their due, and for the vegetarians out there, ceviche-style creations with mushrooms and beans are popping up, too.
On the Go
Our East End restaurants range in ambience from seaside chic to down-and-dirty—there’s something for everyone—but sometimes you’re just in the mood for the food and want to BYOS (Bring Your Own Surroundings), whether it’s a beach picnic or a romantic dinner right in your own backyard. You’ll find more and more restaurants are happy to send you packing…in a good way, of course. Calling ahead or stopping for a drink at the bar and then ordering your meal to-go will be on trend.
Dazed and Infused
Craft cocktails and mixologists always need to stay one step ahead, and this summer the move is toward infusions. Herbs and spices will be the stars—if you’ve had a spicy star-anise-forward punch at the Riverhead’s Preston House & Hotel, for example, you have the house-infused rum to thank—but some bars aren’t stopping there. Be on the lookout for libations listing sodas and seltzers infused with CBD (cannabidiol oil) as well.
We’ve raved about the variety of terrific cheeses from near and far at such venues as Cheese Shoppe in Southampton Village, the Village Cheese Shop on Love Lane in Mattituck and Kate’s Cheese Co. in Greenport. The artisan cheese plate at Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton pleases every palate. So why haven’t East End restaurants embraced the delights of dairy en masse? Fromage fans, your wait is over—the elusive cheese plate is about to arrive on more menus, and local and international choices alike are going to be on offer from starters to desserts.
Speaking of that final, fantastic course, it seems the theme here is the bigger, the better. From gigantic shakes at Southampton’s Union Burger Bar to over-the-top ice cream cones at Shock in Westhampton Beach, to the incredibly indulgent doughnuts at North Fork Doughnut Company in Mattituck, this is going to be one sweet summer!