8 Buzzy New Hamptons Restaurants You'll Want to Make a Reservation at Right Now

By Bao Ong | May 26, 2017 | Food & Drink Feature

From the world’s top restaurant to a bounty of Mediterranean-inspired eateries, these eight new Hamptons dining spots promise to make this culinary summer one of the most exciting in recent memory. We’ve talked to chefs and restaurateurs about what to expect so you won’t miss a bite.

EMP SUMMER HOUSE

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From EMP Summer House, beef roasted with eggplant and basil, featuring brioche-crusted beef tenderloin, roasted marinated eggplant, pickled eggplant, smoked eggplant purée, basil-amaranth crumble, and beef jus vinaigrette.

This summer, Will Guidara and Daniel Humm—the primo pair behind Manhattan’s Eleven Madison Park, which tops Restaurant magazine’s list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants for 2017 and is closing temporarily for renovations—are taking a cue from New Yorkers: They’re packing their bags and heading out East. “We’re really a restaurant of New York,” says Humm. “We celebrate New York. And what do New Yorkers do in the summer? They come to the Hamptons.”

How do you even begin to bring the world’s top restaurant to the Hamptons as a pop-up?
Humm:
We can have the most beautiful restaurant, but if we lose our staff, we have nothing. Our team is everything. It’s almost three and a half months that we’ll be closed [in the city]. We needed to have something to do with our team. By opening this pop-up, we’re trying to create the perfect restaurant we want out there.
Guidara: We’re just moving our home out East.

Can you share the inspiration behind the food you’ll be serving?
Humm:
The product out there is incredible—local produce, the seafood. When you close your eyes and think of a summer meal, that’s what we want.

There’s talk of fried chicken dinners and lobster boils. What do you look forward to about welcoming diners in East Hampton all summer?
Guidara:
You’re relaxed when you’re out there. The city is so hectic that it can be hard to connect with people. There’s something about the energy [out East]. It’s an unbelievable, decompressing vibe. It’s going to be an amazing meal.

Reservations and payments are accepted only with an American Express card. 341 Pantigo Road, East Hampton

DOPO LA SPIAGGIA

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Tagliolini with squid ink pasta, bay scallops, shrimp, calamari, chili, and tomato.

If you’re looking for a slice of Italy in the Hamptons, you’ll find it at Maria and Larry Baum’s second outpost of Dopo La Spiaggia, in East Hampton (the restaurant debuted in Sag Harbor last year). Chef Maurizio Marfoglia, who has lived out East for more than a decade, uses fresh ingredients in his rustic yet modern dishes, which are sure to be a hit again this summer.

This isn’t your typical red-sauce Italian restaurant, nor is it clubby or trendy. What did you hope to create in this second iteration of Dopo?
Marfoglia:
We wanted to focus on real Italian cuisine, which is very simple and ingredient-driven. When you’re here, it’s a civilized experience, with candles, soft lighting, big ceilings, and very calm.

How did you create the menu?
Marfoglia:
We try to keep it light. In the summer, the vegetables are all from here. I’ve lived here so long that I know all the farmers. So we’ll for sure change the menu all the time. But we’ll have our signature pastas. The rigatoni with homemade sausage is like my grandma used to make.

Where’s the best seat in the house?
Marfoglia:
Every seat, of course! [Laughs] But for me, it is the patio outside. There’s a bar outside in the garden, too. It’s like an Italian piazza. To me, that is an irreplaceable feeling.

31 Race Lane, East Hampton, 658-9063; 6 Bay St., Sag Harbor, 725-7009

LULU KITCHEN & BAR

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Grilled heirloom cauliflower with spicy Long Island grapes.

This restaurant is planning to keep things hot in the Hamptons this summer—and not just figuratively. Chef Philippe Corbet’s bistro menu and open kitchen are all about the wood-burning grill and oven. From whole roasted cauliflower to fresh baked breads, the seasonal wood-fired cooking will take center stage.

How is this kitchen different from previous ones you’ve cooked in?
Corbet:
I’ve cooked with tasting menus, sous vide, foams, etc. for years. But this is very comfortable and open. I’ve worked at restaurants where customers could not eat what they wanted to eat. A lot of people are vegetarian or vegan. The produce is amazing around here, and I get to cook with all of it.

Mediterranean-style food is popular out East, but where did you get the inspiration for your menu?
Corbet:
I’m more of a country boy, so I wanted to be out East. My goal was always to be in the Hamptons. So yes, the inspiration is Mediterranean, but with wood-fired cooking. We work with farmers and fishermen to make sure everything is very seasonal. It’s very simple, but very different from pizza coming out of the oven.

126 Main St., Sag Harbor, 725-0900

CALISSA

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Octopus celery with olive, charred pepper, parsley, red onion, and oregano.

“I’m really hoping that we can take all the little things from Mykonos and those little touches to create an authentic Mykonian feel,” says James Mallios, a managing partner of Calissa, who has been vacationing on the Greek island for the last 20 years. Mallios and his colleagues are looking to Executive Chef Dominic Rice to re-create the tastes of the Aegean in the marble-andreclaimed- wood restaurant.

What’s your approach to Mediterranean cooking?
Rice:
I want to bring in a lot of flavors—acidity, heat, brightness—to the dishes. You want the lightness of summer to come through. You can’t please everyone with one menu, but generally I want people to say, “Wow, there are so many choices I don’t know what to get.”

How are you incorporating seafood into the menu?
Rice:
We’ll have dishes like a lobster spaghetti, which you’d find in Mykonos because of that eclectic, international flair. But we want to use a lot of local products, too. Clams, bluefish, porgy. We’ll be going out in Montauk regularly.

1020 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill

CENTRO TRATTORIA & BAR

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Fresh ingredients await for Centro Trattoria & Bar’s linguini pescatore.

Whether it’s the grilled octopus or the linguini pescatore, Centro Trattoria & Bar’s owner and culinary director, Salvatore Biundo, based his restaurant’s menu on family recipes. While the Hampton Bays dining room is clean and modern, everything on the plate has a dash of old-school flair.

What was the inspiration for your menu?
Biundo:
A lifetime of Italian cooking and old family recipes. Every Sunday was a family affair. My job as a kid was peeling tomatoes, stirring the sauce, and seasoning bread crumbs. We are bringing in old classics and putting a modern twist on them. Overall, it’s a clean and farm-to-table fresh menu.

How is dining at Centro different than at other places in the Hamptons?
Biundo:
Centro is open all year round! So we love that we can cater to the locals and also be a summer destination for weekenders and tourists, where they bring a new energy to the restaurant.

336 W. Montauk Hwy., Hampton Bays, 594-5744

COVE HOLLOW TAVERN

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The wood-grilled tuna “burger,” a thick tuna steak with charred onions, wasabi-citrus aioli, pea tendrils, cucumber, and radish.

Shelter Island’s popular Vine Street Café is opening an outpost in East Hampton this summer, but co-owners Terry Harwood and Lisa Murphy reassure us that it’ll have the same “laid-back yet upscale vibe.”

Tell us about where you’re located.
Harwood:
East Hampton is located on a beach, but you’re also in the wine and farm country. Our new restaurant is neighboring a working horse farm—it’s the primary view from the bar and dining room. It’s this natural locale that’s inspiring me.

Which dishes will we see on your East Hampton menu?
Harwood:
Most of the starters will be snacky and shareable, like a variety of tartines and hors d’oeuvrestyle sandwiches. The lobster Bolognese with handmade tagliarini will satisfy those who want their Vine Street Café Bolognese fix.

What’s special about dining out in the Hamptons?
Harwood:
It’s a blast sitting at a table or bar in a busy—overbooked, most likely!—Hamptons restaurant. It’s often chaotic but definitely fascinating.

85 Montauk Hwy., East Hampton, 527-7131

LE BILBOQUET

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Grilled jumbo shrimp.

Manhattan’s popular French bistro Le Bilboquet will finally open on the East End this summer, with a St-Tropez vibe along the water in Sag Harbor. “It’ll be very Mediterranean, but we don’t want to lose the Hamptons way of life,” says Philippe Delgrange, the owner and gatekeeper here. “It’ll be something for people who live here and the summer people.”

Tell us about the menu at Le Bilboquet in Sag Harbor.
Delgrange:
We’ll keep the dishes we’ve served for years—tuna tartare, beef carpaccio, lots of Dover sole. There will be a big seafood bar and lots of large dishes to share. It’s easier to have this type of seafood menu here for obvious reasons.

There is very much a power-lunch atmosphere in the Manhattan restaurant. What will it be like out East?
Delgrange: When people are in the Hamptons, they are completely different. It’s refined in the city and people are well dressed. When you go to the Hamptons, it’s more relaxed. People are drinking more because they aren’t working and want to relax.

1 Long Wharf, Sag Harbor

ELAIA ESTIATORIO

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Soutzoukakia Smyrneika: meatballs made with ground beef, onions, garlic, tomato sauce, red wine, and cumin.

It’s not surprising that no detail has been neglected at Elaia Estiatorio: Owner Sofia Crokos is an event planner, and she and her husband, Chris, envisioned the Bridgehampton restaurant as a love letter to their native Greece. They’ve tapped Yanni Tobas to lead the kitchen, and the food has the same welcoming quality as their home.

What makes the restaurant feel like you’re in Greece?
Tobas: You feel like you are dining with family because it’s a warm and relaxed environment. Sofia and her interior-designer friend Karen Gorman created an airy and earthy-toned space that you walk into and feel as if you have been transported.

How did you put your own touches on this menu?
Tobas: My inspiration stems from my Greek roots and what is truly authentic to me. I first learned how to cook from my grandmother Polytimi, and it was her that I treasured the most and who inspired me to follow my dreams. My kitchen is my sanctuary, where I can tap into my recipes from childhood. Greek food is considered one of the healthiest to eat, and so here at Elaia Estiatorio, we are bringing Greece to the Hamptons with lots of flavor and agape—"love" in Greek.

95 School St., Bridgehampton

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DOUG YOUNG

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