Dining out in the Hamptons, when the stars align, offers the rare chance to experience something utterly new. It is also the opportunity, when in the surroundings of the new Union Sushi & Steak, to find not only a sense of comfort that is essential in the new normal, but so much so that you find yourself with an escape from the world and, at least for a few hours, a little bit of normalcy and the ability to look ahead to the future. To say nothing of enjoying a spectacular meal, of course.
Ian Duke, Dave Hilty and Tuck Hardie deliver just that, and more, with their latest venture, “a modern Hamptons take on steakhouses of old,” Duke says. Situated in the historic Bowden Square location that also houses the adjacent Union Burger Bar, “Union Sushi & Steak manages to fuse the energy of a supper club from the days of old with a modern ambience in a COVID-friendly atmosphere, as curtains adorn every table, providing a cabana-like dining experience while keeping everyone safe.”
The owners of the popular Southampton Social Club and Union Burger Bar have made it a point to elevate safety and social distancing to the highest levels while also delivering ambience and service that are, in a word, superior. “As with the Southampton Social Club, Union Sushi & Steak will have that ‘supper club’ feeling, albeit for the more sophisticated,” Duke says. “Picture this: dinner starts to wrap up, the keys on the baby grand start to dance, the DJ’s music starts to intoxicate you, and the cocktails set the tempo.”
Indeed, the beverage and food takes the concept to another high altogether, with creative cocktails—don’t miss the Outside Manhattan (Russell’s 10-year-old bourbon, Carpano Antica, Dutch’s Spirits colonial bitters, luxardo cherry) or the Social Cooler (jalapeño-infused Casamigos blanco tequila, watermelon puree, fresh lime)—and a menu created by award-winning chefs Scott Kampf and Marc Fasciana. The unique and extensive seafood offerings are highlighted by expertly executed sushi, sashimi and raw bar preparations, and if you’re in the mood for a delicious, perfectly cooked steak or chop, well, the name says it all.
Union’s steaks and cuts menu is one-of-a-kind on the East End. It offers a variety of dry-aged and grass-fed options that can be customized with one of the flavorful signature enhancements or classic sauce accompaniments.
Take your pick from a mouthwatering array of cuts, with dry-aged steaks from Niman Ranch in Colorado. Options like the Angus beef NY Strip, the 40-oz. dry-aged porterhouse for two, or the certified Angus beef center cut filet mignon, offer decadent meal options. Then, enhance your steak with a truffled wild mushroom ragu.
“We created Union Sushi & Steak because it’s what the people of Southampton are asking for,” adds Duke, who is also an owner of New York City’s Prohibition, The Baylander and Lucky’s Famous Burgers. “Southampton has no year-round sushi restaurants and there is not a dedicated steakhouse. Right now, it’s a trek for a real roll-up-your-sleeves steakhouse dining experience.”
Superior sushi has indeed also been something of a treasure hunt in Southampton, but one bite of the namesake Union Roll and that notion is dispelled. It’s like an homage to the restaurant’s concept itself—a creative play on surf and turf. The combination of sweet delicate lobster, creamy avocado and savory tender marinated skirt steak is a match made in sushi heaven. The eel sauce and yuzu mayo give it a delicious and well-balanced umami and citrus hit that really rounds out the flavor profile of this dish.
If you’re a fan of the classics and know exactly what you’re looking for, try one of the perfectly prepared favorites like the California or Spicy Crunchy Tuna roll. The crisp and tasty Vegetarian roll with shiitake, avocado, cucumber, asparagus and carrot is sure to delight. On the cooked-seafood side, the halibut, which has already become a favorite of diners, is pecan-crusted and served over grilled asparagus and an herbed basil couscous, topped with tomato brown butter—and not to be missed.
Complement your meal with a salad like the arugula mushroom salad, complete with shaved Pecorino and Romano, heirloom tomatoes and a beautiful peppered Parmesan dressing, is a wonderful option.
For dessert, don’t skip the fresh berries with cream or the New York Style Cheesecake served with fresh strawberries and blueberries. It’s a perfect, sweet ending to a savory meal, whether dining indoors in a curtained oasis or on the outdoor patio beneath strings of lights and the stars that have, at least while you’re here at Union Sushi & Steak, aligned.
Union Sushi & Steak, 40 Bowden Square, Southampton. Call 631-377-3500 or visit dineatunion.com.