10 Hamptons Tables for Farm Fresh Fare
by beth landman
Mussels straight from the sea at Backyard Restaurant at Solé East’s
Backyard Restaurant at Solé East
Chef Larry Kolar pairs simple grilled fish, straight from the Montauk docks, with local produce such as rapini, mustard greens, potatoes, and herbs from his on-site garden. The eatery’s signature lavender cheesecake is crafted from flowers that grow on the property. 90 Second House Road, Montauk, 668-9739.
Estia’s Little Kitchen
“I have been growing my own vegetables for 20 years,” says chef and owner Colin Ambrose. His Two Hour Salad is just that—freshly picked from the garden in that time frame. Potato-crusted flounder is sourced locally, and the strawberry rhubarb pie filling comes from the restaurant’s half-acre garden. 1615 Bridgehampton Sag Harbor Tpk., Sag Harbor, 725-1045.
Nick & Toni’s
Chef Joe Realmuto transformed an acre behind the restaurant into a fertile, organic garden. The kitchen staff harvests the plot daily to provide about 30 percent of the restaurant’s produce. It’s why dishes like spring asparagus with roasted purple yams taste so fresh. 136 N. Main St., East Hampton, 324-3550.
North Fork Table & Inn
“We are located here because it is surrounded by produce, wineries, and fresh fish,” says Mike Mraz, one of the restaurant’s owners. The charming spot adds an on-site herb garden this year, and its new brunch menu includes the Browder’s Bird omelet, made from local farm eggs and seasonal ingredients that change daily. 57225 Main Road, Southold, 765-0177.
The Riverhead Project
Chef Greg Ling whips up healthful cuisine in a sleek, modern space. Owner Dennis McDermott grows his own herbs in the community garden and sources vegetables from local farms including Early Girl Farm. “She shows up in overalls on her pickup truck with produce,” he says of the farmer. “It doesn’t get better than that.” 300 E. Main St., Riverhead, 284-9300.
Now in its 18th year, this Japanese eatery enjoys strong relationships with Montauk fishermen and local farmers. “We order things seven days in advance because that’s how long they take to grow,” explains partner Tora Matsuoka. “We get baby bamboo shoots and baby purple shiso that are picture perfect.” 23 Main St., Sag Harbor, 725-1774.
“When I was a kid we used to go into the fields and pick the tomatoes and corn,” recalls chef and owner Garrett Wellins. “Nothing was sweeter and more tender.” Wellins carries that love over into his soups and salads, which include Russian cabbage borscht and Salade d’ Anjou with baby pears, and they emphasize high grade local fresh fish. 15 Main St., Southampton, 283-6443.
The veggie chips served at happy hour are made from fresh local sunchokes, beets, carrots, and sweet potatoes, and the entrees involve local fairy tale eggplants, Chinese broccoli, wheat berries, and micro daikon. South Edison has even turned to pickling its own asparagus, fiddleheads, ramps, and jalapeños. 17 S. Edison St., Montauk, 668-4200.
“We are expanding our garden,” reveals chef Joe Isidori, who also plans to install a chicken coop so the restaurant can harvest its own eggs. Items from local purveyors and farms are so essential to Southfork Kitchen’s fare that the individual suppliers are listed within its menu. 203 Bridgehampton Sag Harbor Tpk., Bridgehampton, 537-4700.
Tutto Il Giorno
Chef and owner Maurizio Marfoglio prioritizes local produce and gets meat from Cromer’s Market in Sag Harbor. Fish, too, is directly sourced. “On Fridays, I take my motorcycle to the docks and pick out fish myself,” he says. 6 Bay St., Sag Harbor, 725-7009, 56 Nugent St., Southampton, 377-3611
photography courtesy Sylvester Manor Educational Farm (garlic)