Food Seen: Chefs on the Move, Dreesen’s Doughnuts Ice Cream & More

A Rita Cantina Classic Margarita
A Rita Cantina Classic Margarita
Eric Striffler

Local chefs start new projects, restaurant and food collaborations afoot, Dreesen’s doughnut ice cream, takeout cocktail rules and more news bites from the East End “Food Seen.”

One of New York’s top chefs is setting up his kitchen in Southold this season: Francois Payard will introduce Southold Social at the site of the former Caci. Look for North Fork veteran, Adam Lovett, to man the front of the house. Payard, who was named the James Beard House Pastry Chef of the Year in 1995, has also put his imprimatur on Southold General, the everyday shop that offers sandwiches, soups, burgers and buttermilk fried chicken. Look for a late May or June opening for Southold Social.

Here’s a nice local collab: Dreesen’s doughnuts in East Hampton is teaming up with John’s Drive-In in Montauk to create a cinnamon doughnut coffee ice cream. It’s a small batch ice cream that can be found at Dreesen’s catering at 15 Lumber Lane in East Hampton Village and soon (think warmer months) at John’s, and Vicki’s Veggies in Amagansett.

You never know what happens during the off-season in Montauk — like chef David Piacente who is now formerly of Gosman’s. He’s now the co-owner of Naturally Good Cafe on Montauk Highway in the village of Montauk. His partner, Lauren Martin, is a graduate from NYU with a Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics. Piacente, is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. They both work to help enhance the experience at Naturally Good and guide one towards enjoying a healthier lifestyle. The café offers fresh fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies, healthy salads, fair trade organic coffee and teas, and vegan baked goods. Daily specials include homemade soups and veggie burgers, veggie stir-fries, burritos, salad specials and a variety of wraps. Their signature sandwich, The Bruce, is made with local yellow-fin tuna piled high and served on sprouted multi-grain bread. Enjoy a meal at their outside seating in a private garden or inside.

Next time you’re in Greenport, mosey into the Gallery Café located in the Kon-Tiki space on Main Street. Right now, they’re serving breakfast and lunch with dinner to follow. Chefs Cheo Avila and Chef de Cuisine Ryan Barth-Dwyer are in the kitchen. Avila, who runs the Kon-Tiki kitchen in the same space, manages both the hotel and the restaurant and wanted to offer a breakfast and lunch menu to both hotel guests and the community at-large. The hotel previously only offered a continental breakfast for guests. The menu is Mediterranean-inspired.

Lil' Birdie O.G. Fried Chicken Sandwich
Lil’ Birdie O.G. Fried Chicken SandwichCourtesy Lil’ Birdie

Lil’ Birdie and Sen restaurant in Sag Harbor are collaborating on a Sunday Supper on May 15. Look for a six-course pairing of sake with Lil’ Birdie’s killer ramen. There are two seatings; one at 5:30 p.m. and the other at 8:30 p.m. Call the host restaurant, Sen, to reserve at 631-725-1774.

Did You Know: New York State is now officially allowing takeout drinks to be sold at restaurants if they so choose for the next three years. You can’t buy a bottle of liquor from a restaurant and food must accompany the order. Drinks also must have a lid that can be sealed.

Bits & Bites: Rita’s Cantina in Springs is now open for the season featuring a daily happy hour from 4–6 p.m. featuring $1 oysters and $10 margaritas or glass of wine … Calissa in Water Mill has started al fresco dining for the spring and summer season.

Food Quote: “People who love to eat are always the best people.”  ~ Julia Child

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