Food Seen: Hamptons Happy Hours, Brunch Spots, Cocktails & More

Sen Restaurant
Sen Restaurant
Courtesy Sen Restaurant

Where is the happiest of happy hours?

Who’s to say, but Sag Pizza in Sag Harbor is introducing a happy hour from 3–5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays.

Small bites such as provolone fritters, prosciutto arancini, penne fritto and squash caponata crostini will be offered for between $8 and $10. And for drinks, have your choice of a spicy paloma, Aperol spritz, negroni topped off with prosecco, wine on tap, prosecco and draft beer for $6 to $12.

Sag Pizza cocktail and menu
Sag Pizza cocktail and menuCourtesy Sag Pizza

Wölffer Estate Vineyard might be known for their wines, but their cider line is another great part of their repertoire. The Sagaponack establishment uses New York State hand-picked apple juice and Ginjo-style sake yeast to create oishii, which is a Japanese cider. The apples in the mix include Idared, Granny Smith, Gold Rush, Pink Lady, Braeburn, Mutsu and Jonagold, and may be served chilled or mixed into a negroni, martini or cocktail of your choice.

It also pairs well with sashimi, ramen and other delicious Japanese dishes. Other alternatives include spicy Mexican or Latin cuisine meals and hard cheese.

Wölffer Estate cocktail
Wölffer Estate cocktailCourtesy Wölffer Estate

Chef’s dinners are back at Sen Restaurant in Sag Harbor. The restaurant sees the events as “opportunities to let our chef’s creativity come out and manifest in delicious ways.” Hosted by Jesse Matsuoka, co-owner of Sen, each course is introduced by the respective brewer, chef or farmer, such as when Wölffer Estate winemaker Roman Roth regaled patrons with how Sen and Brooklyn Kura teamed up to create a sake.

After two successful events, there will be plenty more this winter. Contact the restaurant if you’re interested in reserving a spot, as space is limited.

The Treatery bakery and dessert shop in Jamesport opened recently to much fanfare. What began as a 1964 Shasta trailer that dished out cookies, cakes, whoopie pies, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and more at catered events now has a brick-and-mortar spot in the beautiful seaside town. Specialty desserts such as cakesicles and cookies coated in Disset chocolate are also offered.

What are our favorite weekend brunch spots, you ask? We’re biased toward Rowdy Hall and The 1770 House (the locally sourced oysters and sea scallops are A1) in East Hampton, Gurney’s in Montauk, Pierre’s in Bridgehampton and Ram’s Head Inn on Shelter Island (order the creamy lobster bisque).

Sylvester Manor
Sylvester ManorBarbara Lassen

Did You Know?

Shelter Island’s Sylvester Manor was established in 1651 as a provisioning plantation for the Barbadian sugar trade. Originally owned by an Anglo-Dutch sugar consortium and worked by enslaved Africans, indentured and paid Native American and European laborers, it has played an ever-changing but always important role in the culture of food.

In the last two centuries it was an Enlightenment-era farm and then the country estate of one of America’s first food industrialists, Professor Eben Norton Horsford, inventor of baking powder and the father of modern food chemistry. In the 21st century, it became the non-profit Sylvester Manor Educational Farm, which is dedicated to bringing sustainable agricultural practices back to Shelter Island.

It has opened an online farm store for the winter, selling eggs and special breakfast boxes. Pork products, including spare ribs, center cut chops, bacon, chorizo and sweet Italian sausage are also available. Visit their website to learn more.

Zakura has opened a takeout restaurant in East Hampton. It will be open seven days a week from 11:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m. and the menu includes small plates such as edamame, crispy Brussels sprouts and takoyaki, bento boxes, fried rice, sushi specials and regular rolls. For dessert, indulge in their delicious mochidoki, and Zakura offers many wonderful healthy teas and slushes as well.

Bits & Bites:

New year, negroni. The classic cocktail is so popular these days that many bars offer many versions of the 2–3-ingredient drink. Nick & Toni’s interpretation, Blondes Have More Fun, features Barr Hill Vermont Gin, Bar Hill Tomcat Gin, Salers Aperitif, Borgogno Bianco Vermouth, Bitter Truth grapefruit bitters and one grapefruit peel.

Elaia Estiatorio in Bridgehampton offers a Greek Feast Menu, which serves the whole table for eight or more people. The largest package includes Greek salad, all five spreads, choice of four appetizers, choice of four main dishes and chef’s choice dessert.

Few restaurants have as elegant of a dining room as Sant Ambroeus in East Hampton. The small restaurant, which seats 50, includes a banquet hall and smaller room upholstered in Loro Piana fabrics. The cushioned rattan chairs placed around the tables could not be comfier and the dim lighting and candles add an ultramodern ambiance. As for food, we suggest ordering the Caesar salad, tuna carpaccio, eggplant parm or tagliatelle with bolognese sauce.

Union Burger Bar in Southampton might as well be called “Unique Burger,” as their menu offers burger ingredient combinations that you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else. For example, they serve mac and cheese, coleslaw with a pretzel bun and bacon, and onion rings on top of burgers, all for under $20. The milkshakes are likewise terrific.

Speaking of brunch, the midday meal at Salvatore’s Restaurant in Hampton Bays never misses. The wood-fired pizza, fresh pasta and classic Italian sandwiches, such as chicken parmesan hero, are exquisite. Oh, and it wouldn’t be a true brunch without Salvatore’s delicious mimosas. The vibe is excellent as well.

Food Quote:

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” –Francois de la Rochefoucauld

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