I don’t know about you, but I really can’t believe summer is here already.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled.
In fact, just as this story is hitting your inbox, I’m headed out East — otherwise known as “The Hamptons.”
What I both love and hate about the Hamptons restaurant scene is that there’s always a fair amount of turnover.
Places come and go.
Which brings us to the subject of this story…
I won’t keep you waiting.
SANT AMBROEUS, 66 Newtown Ln, East Hampton: I was so sad to hear Babette’s — the longtime East Hampton brunch spot — was closing… until I heard what was going in — Sant Ambroeus. That’s right, the same Sant Ambroeus we love in Manhattan. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, both indoor and outdoor dining. This will be — hands down — the best lunch spot for people watching this summer. The food is fabulous, too.
DOPO IL PONTE, 2402 Montauk Hwy, Bridgehampton: The same owners who brought us Dopo La Spiaggia in Sag Harbor and East Hampton and Dopo Argento in Southampton have taken over the space that housed World Pie. Il Ponte is said to be a bit more casual than the other locations and will feature traditional Neapolitan thin-crust pizza made in a wood-burning oven. Can’t wait to try it.
ROBERTA’S, 240 Fort Pond Rd, Montauk: Speaking of pizza, the beloved Bushwick pizzeria Roberta’s is headed to the East End this summer. The Montauk outpost is scheduled to open this Saturday. Pizza is my favorite food, so I’m always looking for legit pies out East. I’ll be dining at Roberta’s Montauk very soon.
SUNSET HARBOR, 313 Three Mile Harbor Hog Creek Rd, East Hampton: After the huge success of Sí Sí, the East Hampton restaurant run by EHP Resort, EHP decided it was time to expand. Sunset Harbor will take over the old Harbor Bistro space and will open sometime this summer, time TBD. Signature dishes include the Mussels Cazuela with coconut broth, leeks, and chorizo and Seafood Fra Diavolo with squid ink rigatoni and Calabrian chilis. Yum.
ENCHANTÉ, 210 Hampton Rd, Southampton: And those same owners are also taking over the iconic Red Bar space in Southampton. Remember when Red Bar was in its heyday? I do. Enchanté is a French bistro with classic French fare: escargots, onion soup, dry-aged duck, and lobster frites — because why have steak (frites) when you can have lobster (frites) at the beach?
LOBSTER ROLL, 32 Montauk Hwy, Southampton: And while we’re talking about lobster, the beloved Lobster Roll, the roadside Napeague fish shack made famous after it was featured in HBO’s The Affair, has finally — after 57 years — opened a second location. The new Lobster Roll is housed in the old Princess Diner spot in Southampton. I love that you can now get a decent lobster roll west of Water Mill.
IL BUCO AL MARE, 231 Main St, Amagansett: Technically, Il Buco Al Mare opened last season, but it wasn’t open the whole summer, so I’m including it on this list. Especially because, truly, it’s some of the best food you’ll eat out East. Start with the Razor clams in brine with housemade buckwheat rye and sweet butter followed by the Bucatini cacio e pepe. Save room for the chocolate cake with Moro blood orange.
ASTRO’S PIZZA, 237 Main St, Amagansett: If you’re a Hamptons regular, then you’re probably wondering why I put Astro’s on the list. The kid-favorite pizzeria has been on Main Street forever. Now, it has a new chef and owner — PJ Calapa, who owns Scampi and The Spaniard in New York, and Ben Leventhal, a founder of Resy.
O BY KISSAKI, 47 Montauk Hwy, East Hampton: Here’s some Hamptons trivia — remember Bamboo, the beloved East Hampton restaurant on Montauk Highway? It closed years ago, and restaurants have come and gone from that location ever since. But the latest — O by Kissaki — may have some staying power. The original Kissaki in Water Mill — which serves outstanding sushi — was a hit when it opened in 2020 during the pandemic.
LITTLE RUBY’S AT RUSCHMEYERS, 161 Second House Rd, Montauk: Let me just say I haven’t been to Ruschmeyers in years — not my scene, really. A bit young and hipster for me. However, this year, a new group is taking over the food and drink and the Montauk joint is now called Little Ruby’s at Ruschmeyers. Things I’d like to try on the menu: the crispy rice salad, fried chicken burger and sticky date pudding.
HAVE A GREAT LONG WEEKEND, EVERYONE! IF YOU TRY ONE OF THESE SPOTS, LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!!!