It’s one thing to be out of the city dining on the buzzy main street of a pretty town, but enjoying dinner at one of the many fine Hamptons waterfront restaurants is a step closer to nature, and a real antidote to urban life.
Whether you are gazing over a tranquil bay or the glittering ocean, the meal is more spectacular with an aquatic vista. Below, a few spots worth visiting.
Hamptons Waterfront Restaurants
When Heath Freeman and his team transformed the old East Hampton Point into EHP Resort and Marina, they upgraded the restaurants, beginning with Si Si, and now this second spot, which was the former, more folksy Harbor Bistro. While the food was always good, the new incarnation has more pizazz. Top-flight service is delivered with showmanship and flair, whether presenting jaw dropping arrays of artfully plated sushi, or deboning a mammoth branzino. There is live music on weekends, and a lovely outdoor patio, but be prepared, prices are definitely steeper than at its predecessor. ehpresort.com
You may be deterred by the hour-plus wait for a table at this favorite on Three Mile Harbor, but it’s worth a little patience because fresh-off-the-boat seafood is now being prepared by chef Damien O’Donnell, who actually used to own Harbor Bistro. Go for the daily specials such as lump crab and spinach-crusted striped bass served over steamed jasmine rice and asparagus with a spiced sesame butter sauce. bostwicksontheharbor.com
Creative Latin fare in a waterfront setting is a recipe for spirited dining at the eatery within the new Inn Spot hotel in Hampton Bays. Try warm corn esquites with smoked lime mayo; ribs with mango habanero sauce; or apple-glazed heritage chicken; and wash it down with an El Bandito cocktail made with passion fruit. theinnspot.com
Oversized windows look out on the surf and outdoor seating actually allows you to smell the ocean — either a perfect backdrop for crudo such as scallops with uni and micro chives; or local fluke with fennel pollen and seaweed. The restaurant at Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa is also known for pasta, from simple spaghetti with tomato and basil; to papardelle with braised rabbit. Entrees also include strip steak and veal tenderloin. gurneysresorts.com
Jesse Mastuoka, a partner in the Sag Harbor’s sushi mecca, Sen, certainly knows fish, and his partner here is Donna Lanzetta, CEO of sustainable seafood producers, Manna Fish Farms, so it’s no surprise that this casual spot on the Shinnecock Inlet serves up some of the freshest catch you will find. Crustacean lovers will have a field day with lobster grilled cheese, lobster burger and the “Splat” a shellfish combo with sausage and corn. mannarestaurant.com
Family style platters of market fish, roast chicken and a famed lobster Cobb salad, along with a jaw-dropping view of Montauk’s Ft. Pond Bay are the big draws at this iconic spot. Like Bostwick’s, be prepared to wait for a table. duryeas.com
Many of the herbs and vegetables used by the chef — from peas, peppers and tomatoes to curry leaves — are grown on property and accompany dock to dish offerings at the resort’s restaurant. Don’t miss the lobster bake, local swordfish or Long Island duck. caperesorts.com
For a full aquaphile’s experience, start with a Caribbean cocktail at Rumba on Shinnecock Canal, and then hop on the boat that zips over to this sister New American restaurant. Start with lobster-stuffed mushrooms or sushi, and move on to green coconut curry cod; or bone-in rib eye. cowfishrestaurant.com
You can dine with your feet in the sand at this restaurant serving casual coastal cuisine. Kick off the meal with grilled avocado, chilled shrimp, tomatillo, chili oil, tortilla crisps and ricotta salata; or sugar snap pea and ricotta salad with frisbee and radish. Entrees include whole local fish; seared scallops with sweet potato mash; green apple and pancetta; and cavatelli fra diavolo. navybeach.com
Located in the heart of Greenport, and one of five different concepts on the water, this seafood spot famous for lobster rolls, baked clams and fish and chips has live entertainment on weekends, and a dock that allows you to drive up and dine. claudios.com
What is your favorite among these Hamptons waterfront restaurants, or do you have another suggestion?