Food Seen: Omakase, Chefs on the Move & Memorial Day Eats

Ten Homakase omakase
Ten Homakase omakase
Courtesy Ten Omakase

An intimate omakase experience comes to Montauk, Leon 1909 opening in East Hampton, Crash Cantina comes to Hampton Bays, Citarella dry ages for all to see and more foodie news bites from the East End “Food Seen.”

Speaking of Montauk, Mavericks (where East by Northeast operated on South Edgemere) is the brainchild of sommelier Vanessa Price and chef Jeremy Blutstein. Surf and turf will reign and Blutstein will take advantage of all local bounty (think Amagansett creamed corn). There’ll be a dry-aged ribeye and a bone-in tuna ribeye. The restaurant will seat 200 and will open in mid-June.

The seared scallops at the Backyard Restaurant at Solé East Resort
The seared scallops at the Backyard Restaurant at Solé East ResortCourtesy Backyard Restaurant at Solé East Resort

The Backyard Restaurant at Solé East Resort in Montauk has reopened for the 2022 season. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner Wednesday through Sunday. Sample items include: Backyard clam chowder; tuna tartare with cucumber, sesame, soy, pickled ginger, wasabi and taro root chips; Greek salad with aged barrel feta, cucumber, heirloom tomato, olives, red onion and red wine vinaigrette; cavatelli pasta with lobster meat, jumbo shrimp, tarragon, tomato ragu and parmigiano; oven roasted chicken with polenta, broccoli rabe and chicken thyme jus; and the “simply grilled” section with monkfish, tuna, swordfish and Flat Iron steak with choice of side.

At the bar, signature cocktails will return such as the Hot-Tauk with Tanteo tequila, jalapeño, lime, and watermelon; the Montauk Melon with Ketel One vodka, basil, fresh lemon, watermelon and a black lava salt and sugar rim; and the Paloma with Herradura, grapefruit juice, lime, Campari and club soda. Weekly live music will kick off Memorial Day weekend.

East Hampton native Valerie Mnuchin — yes, she’s the sister of Steve, the former treasury secretary —will open Léon 1909, named after her grandfather, on Shelter Island in July. The chef is Mason Lindahl, who used to cook at Diner in Brooklyn. The menu concept is French-Italian, and he’ll be using local ingredients when possible. Look for such dishes as strozzapreti with fire-roasted tomatoes; striped bass with spicy peperonata; and a grilled rib-eye with herbed crispy potatoes. Leon will seat 70 inside and out.

Crash Cantina, a Latin American-inspired restaurant, recently opened at the former Inn Spot on the Bay which overlooks Shinnecock Bay in Hampton Bays. Look for a solid selection of tacos as well as items such as smoked mushroom carnitas, crispy local fish with corn and daikon slaw, apple cider smoked chicken with mole verde and duck confit sopes with salsa verde. The menu focus is also on seafood, so there’ll be local fish (Montauk fluke ceviche) and shellfish. There are also newly renovated bungalows adjacent to the restaurant available for overnight stays.

Citarella Dry-Aging Tower in Southampton
Citarella Dry-Aging Tower in SouthamptonCourtesy Citarella

Citarella’s Southampton store just unveiled a towering 10-foot Dry-Aging Case that displays 600 pounds of prime, American-raised beef as it develops its flavor and tenderness over the 21-day dry-aging period. With the store’s butchers able to cut each piece into porterhouse, cowboy, New York strip, filet mignon or ribeye steaks, the case has arrived just in time for Memorial Day and Father’s Day barbecues.

Chef on the move: Drew Hiatt, who was previously executive chef at The Preston House Hotel and restaurant in Riverhead, has taken the reins of The Pridwin Hotel and cottages on Shelter Island which recently became a Cape Resorts property.

Cape Resorts is the same company that owns Baron’s Cove in Sag Harbor.

RGNY is a small, female-led winery creating sustainable wines on on Sound Avenue just outside Riverhead. “Previously owned by the Entenmann family, the 113-acre vineyard is now owned and operated by Maria Rivero González and the Rivero González family, who founded the family brand in Mexico back in 2007. Since then, Maria has turned her father’s passion for winemaking into a successful business venture.

Serving as the family’s American debut, RGNY produces sustainable American wines deeply rooted in Mexican heritage. The Jamesport vineyard recently named Jonathan G. Bomberg as head winemaker replacing Lilia Perez. Hours of operation during harvest season (May–October) are Monday through Thursday from noon to 6 p.m.; Friday from noon to 9 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Speaking of wineries, Wölffer Estate in Sagaponack honors Memorial Day with 15% off any 12 bottles and 20% off any 24 bottles. Their popular music program also kicks off on Friday, May 27 with the Lynn Blue Band.

The East Hampton Farmers Market in Herrick Park in the village is now operating from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. on Fridays.

The Springs Brewery has a new offering: Treiber Pilsner named after the North Fork farmer who hand-harvests the brew’s barley; it’s available at the Springs Farmers Market on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the grounds of Ashawagh Hall.

The East End Food Market on Main Road in Riverhead is open on Wednesday and Friday evenings from 3–7 p.m.

Shelter Island has a new bagel shop — The Eccentric Bagel, which is the brainchild of Darryn and Amy Weinstein. The new shop is on West Neck Road and is open from Tuesday through Sunday from 7 a.m.–3 p.m.

Food Quote: “Gastronomy is and always has been connected with its sister, the art of love.” ~ M.F.K Fisher

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