Spring Close Brings Farmland to East Hampton
BY SYLVIE BIGAR
Roasted beet salad with field greens, oranges and goat cheese
|Eggplant Parmesan Napoleon|
|Spring Close exterior|
|The restaurant’s airy dining room|
There is something sweetly bucolic about the new Spring Close on the edge of East Hampton. Take the pretty white-picket fence, the pudgy piggy painted on the sign up front and, of course, the grand, stately white-planked house adorned with red shutters for starters. At the corner of Pantigo Road and Spring Close Highway, on the site of the old Farmhouse and most recently The Laundry, co-owners Michael Lomasney and Colin Keillor, a former manager of Nichol’s of East Hampton, have created a yearround eatery that’s part American brasserie, part country café. Their focus is on offering fresh seafood and local ingredients at a great value.
On a recent evening, despite the early hour, men in pressed khakis held their blazers nonchalantly over their shoulders and, through translucent martinis, watched the game on two large flat-screens. Young mermaids in flowery dresses laughed over the happy brouhaha. Only a reclining Buddha statuette stayed Zen atop the wide flagstone fireplace.
The pastoral ambience blooms in the calm, roomy dining room with its exposed-wood floors and rustic beams. Large bay windows open onto an archetypical Hamptons vision of meadow and woods. Solicitous waiters wearing short aprons over their street clothes ferry a slew of sliders—mini cheeseburgers, tangy barbecue pork, lobster, and even tasty scallops topped with bacon in a nest of apricot chutney—to expectant diners. Punched right out of the oven, golden popovers don’t last long. A tuna tartare with coarsely chopped avocado chunks is served atop toasted baguette slices, and a generous portion of tender fried calamari beckons hungry fingers.
If you care passionately about magical color combinations, choose the beet and orange salad, which evokes an Yves St. Laurent scarf circa 1977. Though the cheeseburger is a safe and satisfying bet, hefty appetites might roar at the sight of a giant pork T-bone served with a medley of sweet onions and just-sour apples under cider gravy. Studded with sesame seeds, a classic tuna steak comes alive thanks to a snappy mango salsa. A simple but well-priced wine list includes clever and concise nuggets of information about each wine. If for any reason your appetite isn’t satiated after your ample entree, there’s just no way you’ll still be hungry after a hunk of creamy cheesecake for dessert. 341 Pantigo Road., East Hampton, 324-3444; springcloserestaurant.com
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ERIC STRIFFLER