Local chef Eric Miller will open Bay Kitchen Bar on April 17.
From fresh fish to clams, much of the seafood-centric menu at Bay Kitchen Bar is harvested within 100 miles of the new East Hampton restaurant. Executive chef Eric Miller wouldn’t have it any other way. “Why would I go anywhere else?” he asks. “We have some of the best seafood right here.”
Springing up in the old Boat House space that most recently housed the shuttered Andrra (which we were sad to see go), Bay Kitchen Bar is set to open on April 17. Chef and restaurateur Miller and partner Richard Silver are behind the project, with Miller's son Adam running front of house and putting his touch on the wine list. Miller has had a long restaurant career, helming local favorites like Madison & Main, Hampton Clambake, and Miller's BBQ. We hear he may host barbecues and clambakes at this new spot, too.
While it's been a rotating door for other failed restaurants, the location on Three Mile Harbor near Gardiner’s Bay is prime, both for its 3,000 square feet and gorgeous views and its proximity to some of the best seafood in the world. Fluke and grey sole are available almost year round. Oysters and scallops can match the quality of any other coastal area.
“When you can go into a dining room and you can tell the customer the oysters came out of the water this morning in Montauk, it doesn’t get much better,” said Miller. The local fishermen Miller works with are also mindful of the best sustainability practices and keeping the surrounding waters pristine. They are careful not to overfish and know the peak times to harvest.
In the kitchen, this sea-to-table philosophy is put to work in a number of classic dishes. Lobster rolls are filled with just-shucked meat; stripe bass hours of the water are whipped into a ceviche with heirloom tomato and avocado; Montauk calamari are "chickpea-crusted"; and a raw bar boasts little neck clams, an assortment of oysters, and plump shrimp. All this in a serene dining room with gentle white and blue tones overlooking the harbor. Should you get a chill on those late spring nights, there's also a roaring fire with cozy club chairs near the bar.