Say “so long” to staying in because dining out is coming back in a big way this season out East.
The Hamptons food scene is flush with a mix of fresh fare, from reimagined favorites and new concepts to niche pop-ups. Chefs are ready to welcome guests back (safely) with open arms.
So, it’s time to ditch the takeout containers, and eat up at these local restaurants worth your time.
474 West Lake Drive, Montauk
Nestled on the docks of Montauk Harbor, Chef James Tchinnis is working with a multitude of local purveyors to bring his French-inspired farm-to-table menu (above) to life. Delicately layered cocktails and a wine list highlighting a robust selection of rosés create a backdrop for dishes like fluke crudo with blood orange and watermelon radish, lobster toast with charred corn and fresh spaghetti with lump crabmeat. Open daily for breakfast, dinner and a recovery brunch, La Fin serves as an ideal spot to lounge.
231 Main St., Amagansett
Chef Justin Smillie and the Il Buco Alimentari team are turning the success of last summer’s fling out East into a longer-term relationship with the launch of a local seafood and produce-driven spot this season. Amplifying their relaxed approach, ancient-grain focaccia and fare from the wood-burning oven are capped off by a wine list focused on boutique producers. Don’t miss a morning stop at the Il Buco Vita coffee shop next door (225 Main St.) to pick up pastries, a picnic for the beach or decoupage gifts from John Derian.
295 Three Mile Harbor Hog Creek Road, East Hampton
Chef Dane Sayles has dreamed up a Mediterranean-influenced menu to pair with sprawling waterfront views at the completely transformed EHP Resort & Marina. Start with a mezze platter of various dips with grilled vegetables and pita, fattoush salad or za’atar roasted cauliflower, before diving into the bucatini verde with lobster, espelette-crusted halibut or day boat scallops. While periodic live music from local artists and the dedicated Sunset Hour menu at Sí Sí may hold the key to winding down from the day, the marina’s espresso bar and pastry spot Buongiorno is where to get it started — with grab-and-go items available.
341 Pantigo Road, East Hampton
Beloved Moby’s is making its way out East again with a bright and airy daytime market replete with vast outdoor seating, a heated tent area, a renovated bar and a fresh menu by Chef Kyle Koenig. Antipasti like chickpeas with capers and rosemary, and a pea shoot and stracciatella salad are accented by more substantive fare such as an egg sandwich with mortadella or wood-fired pizza with mixed mushrooms, baby arugula and fonduta. Take-home gourmet items and more will also be available for pickup.
5 Inlet Road West, Southampton
Waterfront dining at Lobster Inn reopens Memorial Day weekend under new ownership, management and a sustainable seafood-first mission — a result of partnership between offshore aquaculture pioneer Donna Lanzetta, of Manna Fish Farms, and Sag Harbor restaurateur Ryunosuke Jesse Matsuoka. The menu, driven by Chef Thomas Bogia, features fin fish, mollusks and a charred Cobb salad — which set the stage for signatures such as trout carbonara and brownie waffle.
47 Montauk Highway, East Hampton
With his Water Mill concept quickly becoming a local favorite this past year, restaurateur Garry Kanfer melds the high-quality sushi-grade fish Kissaki is already known for with a selection of crudos and robata grill items for his newest endeavor. An extensive beverage program includes bright and innovative cocktails that shine alongside the sake, wine and craft beer selection.
28 Maidstone Park Road, East Hampton
Hamptons stalwart chef Eric Miller combines his seasoned approach to coastal cuisine and love of Mexican fare at his latest spot, opening in May. A tequila-centric bar program run by his son, Adam Miller, sets the stage for daily happy hour with highlights such as oyster aguachile. Other featured menu standouts to come will include birria tacos and a wider offering of ceviches.
Best food pop-ups
Dig in while you can at these buzzy Hamptons outposts.
174 Daniels Hole Road, East Hampton
Starting June 18, the award-winning burger joint is giving the Hamptons a first look at their new dessert-only project with a pop-up at the Clubhouse. Available weekends through Labor Day, over-the-top milkshakes along with new items like a s’mores CrazySundae and churro CrazyCone keep the season cool and decadent.
Connecticut dad Adam Goldberg has joined up with two local kitchens to bring his underground-craze bagel and locally inspired schmear packages to the Hamptons. Currently selling out more than 3,000 bagels a week (in two minutes!), these bundles will be available through subscription and limited weekly drops, to be picked up at designated times to ensure freshness and — best of all — no lines. Follow @PopUpBagels on Instagram to keep up.
467 East Lake Drive, Montauk
Kissaki owner Garry Kanfer teams up with Jennifer Saesue, owner of the seafood-forward Thai spot Fish Cheeks in NYC, for a pop-up at the Montauk Anglers Club. Memorial Day weekend through October, grab a mix of Thai highlights from Saesue’s popular spot and Kissaki’s full sushi menu with sake, beer, wine and cocktails to go.
Big Apple Champagne queen Ariel Arce teamed up with friend Michelle Double to launch their now popular CaviAIR club this past year, sourcing from top producers, but without the haute markup, to keep things less fussy. Starting Memorial Day weekend, they’re bringing a vintage Land Rover to the Hamptons to dole out CaviAIR packs and kits available for preorder online. Bottles of bubbly can be paired up with a variety of offerings priced by the gram. (Kilos on demand, too, if you really want to go there!) The SUV will also be available to book for limited house calls. Follow the route with @CaviAIR on Instagram.
41 Jobs Lane, Southampton
Beginning May 28, guests frequenting the Ralph Lauren Home cottage will be treated to complimentary Ralph’s Coffee cold brew and signature sweet treats at this summer pop-up. Hit them up at the garden in front of the store, and you’ll be good and caffeinated while you sip and shop.
Lee Brian Schrager is the founder and director of the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach and New York City Wine & Food Festivals.