Get to know O by Kissaki chef Mark Garcia, explore the East Hampton dining scene, snack on Tiny Tate’s cookies and more from the Hampton “Food Seen.”
Chef Highlight: Mark Garcia, O by Kissaki
O by Kissaki executive chef and partner Mark Garcia started his journey into sushi-making with a decade-long mentorship with chef Kaze Chan of Sushi-san, who has a 30-year history of opening innovative and wildly successful sushi restaurants, such as Heat, Mirai Sushi, Kaze Sushi and Macku Sushi. Garcia has worked in numerous restaurant and hotel kitchens over his career, including the Waldorf Astoria, The Wit and J.W. Marriott in Chicago. In 2014, Garcia was able to rejoin Chan and Michelin-starred chef Jeff Ramsey to collaborate and subsequently develop the menu and design for the sushi bar in Momotaro. This multi-dimensional sushi, izakaya and bar spot quickly became one of Chicago’s hottest restaurants and remains open today. In 2016, Garcia debuted his modern omakase at Gaijin in Astoria, Queens. The fitting name “Gaijin” translates to “outsider” in Japanese, as Garcia considers himself an outsider whose deep appreciation of Japanese culture and craft ultimately led him to open his own restaurant. The term “outsider” is also a nod to Mark’s experience overcoming external doubts about his place in the sushi world. Rather than giving in, Garcia has embraced his role as an outsider and used the doubt as motivation to get him to where he is today.
If you’re walking around East Hampton Village looking for a casual spot for breakfast or lunch, try the Golden Pear on Newtown Lane for fresh baked goods, sandwiches and salads. Dine inside their cozy café or people-watch from their outdoor, sidewalk seating. Maybe you’ve savored Silver Spoon Specialties’ menu at a dinner party or a Hamptons event, but now there’s no need for a special occasion to enjoy. The catering company offers a refreshing selection of fresh salads, quesadillas, rice and noodle bowls, flatbreads, smoothies and desserts at their gourmet food shop on East Hampton’s Race Lane, past the train station. If you’re in a rush or want to stock up for the week, they also offer grab-and-go food items.
Babette’s focuses on clean eating and nourishing their customers with fresh ingredients, locally sourced and organic. A great spot for herbivores and carnivores to dine in harmony—with ample options for both. If you’re watching your figure but still want to get a little boozy, their cocktails are prepped with fresh pressed juice, so you get your fruits and veggies at the same time! Looking for a taste of Italy without having to go to a sit-down restaurant?
Villa Italian Specialties has everything from homemade mozzarella, sausages, sauces, and prepared foods to go. Authentic Italian dishes are available including heroes up to six feet, along with focaccia and pizzas and, of course, the famous Villa Combo—it’s the perfect takeout for a picnic on the beach. An East Hampton classic, Rowdy Hall delivers delicious pub fare and a premier beer selection in a casual and cozy setting. Chilly day? Warm up with their savory French onion soup. Craving a killer burger, solid fish and chips or a sundae? Rowdy Hall is your go-to.
Of the 21 Long Island restaurants bestowed with Wine Spectator‘s prestigious Award of Excellence, more than a third of them—eight to be exact—are located on the East End! Congratulations to Stone Creek Inn in East Quogue, Union Steak & Sushi in Southampton, Touch of Venice in Cutchogue, Pierre’s in Bridgehampton, The 1770 House and The Palm in East Hampton, and Lulu Kitchen & Bar and The American Hotel in Sag Harbor. Special shoutout to The American Hotel which brought home the coveted Grand Award. Salud!
Tate’s Bake Shop, known for their buttery, crispy chocolate chip cookie, now has a smaller version which is perfect for kid’s back-to-school lunchboxes. What was once only to be found in a quaint Southampton bakery can now be taken with you anywhere. Each case (suggested retail price is $26) includes 24 single-serve packages. That’s enough for the whole team, plus some extra for parents to munch. Tiny Tate’s are available nationally in stores, on Amazon, and their website, tatesbakeshop.com.
Longtime Amagansett fixture, Hampton Chutney, will take over the space currently housing Mary’s Marvelous on Newtown Lane in East Hampton this December. No word on where, or whether, Mary’s Marvelous will be reincarnated. Stay tuned.
Bits & Bites: Hamptons Jazz Fest every Wednesday at Baron’s Cove in Sag Harbor … Hidden gem – Naturally Good Sushi in Montauk and Java Nation in Bridgehampton (by the train station) for coffee and pastries.
Did You Know? Sag Harbor Cinema has a rooftop bar! … a new beer featuring fresh blueberries grown locally in Montauk will soon be available at Montauk Brewing Co. … you can travel to Duryea’s and Navy Beach in Montauk by boat?
Fun Food Facts: Ketchup was used as medicine in the 1830s … arachibutyrophobia is the fear of getting peanut butter stuck to the top of your mouth … SPAM is short for Spiced Ham … McDonald’s sells 75 hamburgers every second of every day … M&M’s stand for Mars & Murrie, the two people who invented the chocolate candy … all Fruit Loops taste the same.
Food Quote: “Dining partners, regardless of gender, social standing or the years they’ve lived, should be chosen for their ability to eat—and drink!—with the right mixture of abandon and restraint.” ~ M.F.K Fisher, author of The Art of Eating
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