Food Seen: Ellen’s on Front Chef Jennie Werts & More

Ellen's on Front chef Jennie Werts
Chef Jennie Werts

Take a look at the East End “Food Seen” to meet an award-winning North Fork chef, see which great restaurants are popping up in the Hamptons and where to go for good times and good eats, along with some other fun tidbits.

Chef Highlight Jennie Werts, Ellen’s on Front

Jennie Werts, executive chef of Ellen’s on Front in Greenport, is an award-winning chef and graduate of the International Culinary Center. She began her career in the kitchens on the North Fork, working summers during her college years. She has since held senior positions working with renowned chefs including Tom Valenti at Ouest and Richard Sandoval at Zengo, both in New York City. She then served as chef de cuisine and founder of Wolfert’s Roost in Irvington. This will be Wert’s fifth season at Jennie’s at Drossos, her seasonal Greenport pop-up, and her third year at the year-round Ellen’s on Front. She will also be the chef of the One Eighteen Club at the historic Suffolk Theater in Riverhead. Werts appreciates all styles of cooking, but comfort food is what she delivers best.

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For one day only, the renowned New York City dim sum parlor, Nom Wah Tea Parlor, will pop up at Main Street Tavern in Amagansett to bring an exclusive and authentic taste of NYC’s Chinatown to the Hamptons. On Saturday, August 21, the restaurants will celebrate Nom Wah’s flavorful dim sum in the Tavern’s beautiful outdoor beer garden during a Dumpling Happy Hour from 3:30–5:30 p.m.! With this limited time offering, guests can enjoy Nom Wah’s most iconic dishes, including, Pork Soup Dumplings, Shrimp Siu Mai, Pan-Fried Chicken & Cabbage Dumplings, Edamame & Chinese Chive Dumplings (Vegan), and Garlic Scallion Lo Mein (Vegetarian), in tandem with The Tavern’s refreshing menu of specialty beers and cocktail selections.

Welcome to Sag Harbor Lil’ Birdie, the new chicken concept at 51 Division Street that’s open six days a week (closed Monday) from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. All their chickens are 100% natural, cage free and hormone/antibiotic free. All sandwiches are $12, such as the “O.G.” with house slaw and plant-based mayo; The Bee’s Knees with bread n butter pickles and hot honey; the Hot Bird with bread n butter pickles and hot pepper relish, or the Gaijin with house kimchi and Samurai sauce. Each may be ordered with fried chicken, grilled chicken, or falafel. From 11 a.m.–3 p.m., there’s a lunch box special for $15, which includes a sandwich, a side, and a soda. Half chickens are $20 (comes with a side and a sauce) and whole chickens are $30 (served with two sides and two sauces). Have you ever had a Basque cheesecake? Well, now you can for $4 at Lil’ Birdie!

Ever hear of Josh Lebowitz or Eva Pesantez? Well, you should, because they’re the force behind the new Wishbone Farms in Southampton, a farm-to-fridge market and grocery concept. Lebowitz developed the concept and Pesantez is the executive chef who executes the various prepared foods and curated dishes. Look for groceries, breads, produce, platters, rotisserie chicken and brownies among other offerings. They’re at 54 Hampton Road in Southampton.

The TownLine BBQ smoked brisket
The TownLine BBQ smoked brisketCourtesy TownLine BBQ

Bits & Bites: Make your reservations for dancing and music every Saturday night at 10 p.m. at Sagaponack’s The Old Stove Pub … Pierre’s on Main Street in Bridgehampton is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner … The Cheese Shoppe on Main Street in Southampton offers breakfast, lunch, and provisions … Bagel Lovers Café is now open on Osborn Avenue in Riverhead daily until 2 p.m. … Also in Riverhead is The Preston House & Hotel, which has outdoor dining and summer specials on East Main Street … Salt & Loft on Main Street in Westhampton Beach serves seasonal farm-to-table New American fare in a casual setting – they’re open for lunch and dinner …

From the Rumor Mill: a family friendly restaurant will be the latest incarnation of the former John Duck’s come October. Binh Douglas and partner Sean Curneen are the new owners of what will be called Main Prospect! Look for tasty burgers and fries, as well as some Asian influences in the offerings – and yes, John Duck’s famous cole slaw WILL be on the menu! In East Hampton, there’s a proposed brewery and restaurant on Toilsome Lane that is making its way through the design board process. The idea is to create a two-story brewery and restaurant as well as an outdoor beer garden. Could be a good place for future Oktoberfest celebrations!

Did You Know: That LIVE with Kelly and Ryan cohost, Kelly Ripa regularly orders a catered Thanksgiving dinner feast from Art of Eating Catering … The team behind Townline BBQ did their research before creating Townline; they hit the trail—the BBQ trail that is—and visited and tasted traditional barbecue in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

Food Quote: “We all eat, and it would be a sad waste of opportunity to eat badly.” ~ Anna Thomas, author of The Vegetarian Epicure

Got a restaurant news item or tip? Email us at [email protected]!

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