The Hamptons Guide
It feels as though the Hamptons reinvents itself every year, as a whole new crop of stores, galleries, and restaurants get ready for the summer crowds. As a result, updating our Hamptons Guide has become an annual ritual, as we scour the island for everything that’s been in the works over the colder months (this year, we’re itching to check out lobster boils and corn hole at Eleven Madison Park’s Summer House, the decor revamp and new restaurant at the Maidstone, and finally use Uber again). We’re excited to add ourselves to the roster this summer with goop MRKT Amagansett, our very first Hamptons pop-up. Here, the tried-and-true favorites we’ve been missing all winter—plus, all of the new kids on the block.
Arbor240 Fort Pond Rd., Montauk | 631.238.5430
Open for its second season, Arbor serves a mix of Mediterranean-inspired dishes and seafood, pizzas, small plates, and the usual go-tos (raw bar, cheeseburger, mussels, and fries). The space is romantic but contemporary and clean, dressed in hanging exposed lights, with a long, generously stocked bar. The wine list here is good, as is the beer lineup, which includes some local IPAs and ales. And new this summer: The Garret at the Arbor, a breezy new patio and outdoor bar with a curated drink menu.
Beacon8 W. Water St., Sag Harbor | 631.725.7088
While there's no lack of seafood joints in this neck of the woods, this dockside restaurant in Sag Harbor is the ideal place to indulge (the parchment baked halibut is unreal) while catching the sunset on the sprawling patio overlooking the bay.
Calissa1020 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill | 631.500.9292
James Mallios, one of the partners behind this new Greek eatery, has been vacationing on Mykonos for the last two decades, so his time spent on the island well-informs the menu–with mainstays including whole Montauk dorade with olives, fennel, and capers, and farro salad with Turkish apricot, toasted almonds, and manouri cheese.
Dave’s Gone Fishing467 E. Lake Dr., Montauk | 631.668.9190
Dave’s Grill, one of Montauk's most beloved spots, moved to the other side of Lake Montauk. Now called Dave’s Gone Fishing, this iteration of the old classic leans heavier on small, shareable plates. Note: While Dave’s Grill formerly took day-of reservations, Dave’s Gone Fishing is fully first-come, first-serve.
East Hampton Grill99 N. Main St., East Hampton | 631.329.6666
Open since 2011, this restaurant has become a year-round local staple, mainly due to the fact that it’s a departure from the bright, beach-y look that occupies most of the Hamptons. Instead—outfitted in dark wood, with bookshelves dividing the dining room space—East Hampton Grill has the vibe of a neighborhood tavern. Plus, the food is just great, if admittedly indulgent: for one, the “Heavenly Biscuits” with rosemary, butter, and honey are hard to pass up.
EMP Summer House341 Pantigo Rd., East Hampton
While the doors may be temporarily closed at Chef Daniel Humm’s Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park (renovations are underway for the next several months), his die-hard fans can follow his talents to East Hampton this summer and dine at his much more laid back pop-up. Expect fresh, local American fare that speaks to the season, including a traditional lobster boil, fried chicken feast, and a la carte options. Housed in a massive farmhouse, the space has a large indoor dining room, along with tented area, picnic tables, and games across the backyard. No doubt with all the early buzz this winter, this reservation will be a tricky one to snag this summer. Photos: American Express.
Flagship466 West Lake Dr., Montauk | 631.668.8260
Father-and-son duo Eric and Adam Miller just opened this eatery in Montauk–and we’re already hearing good things. Eric (chef) sources local seafood and meats to create his dishes, which he whips into small plates and crudo, with a few larger selections, while Adam mixes specialty cocktails.
Grey Lady440 W. Lake Dr., Montauk | 631.483.5803
This New England-inspired bar and restaurant—with locations in New York, on Nantucket, and in Aspen—now has a spot in Montauk. The lobster roll is a Grey Lady favorite, as is the Dark 'n' Stormy. Don't overlook the local seafood dishes, though, like monkfish served with asparagus and fava beans.
Highway Restaurant290 Montauk Hwy., East Hampton | 631.527.5372
Locals and summer regulars may remember this barn-like space as the home of Highway Diner (and a slew of short-lived occupants before it), and while there's nothing wrong with no-frills diner food, they'll be happy to hear that its been replaced by Highway Restaurant. It's helmed by the folks behind Shuko and Eleven Madison Park, so the experience is decidedly more elevated, with zero pretense. The focus here is on classic American food: chicken pot pie, rib-eye, and ample veggie dishes. Though not exactly traditional American fare, the pork bun appetizer is a must. Order two.
Jue Lan Club268 Elm St., Southampton | 631.353.3610
The Hamptons isn't exactly known for its Chinese food, which made the opening of Jue Lan Club in Southampton—the original location is in NYC’s Flatiron district—especially noteworthy. The food here is upscale-Chinese, both classic and modern, which translates to spare ribs and pork fried rice or “drunken” black bass with chiles and braised oxtail with bao buns. Jue Lan Club also brought its night scene to Southampton: It’s open until 4am on the weekends, as the club-ish attachment of the restaurant, known as The Barn (which also serves as an art space), gets going sometime after 11pm.
La Fondita74 Montauk Hwy., Amagansett | 631.267.8800
This is a great snack stop for casual and authentic Mexican dishes like tacos, tortas, and sopa de tortilla. The food is all freshly made, including the tortillas.
Le Bilboquet1 Long Wharf, Sag Harbor
Adding to their longstanding NYC, Dallas, and Atlanta outposts, this popular French bistro brings its classics to Sag Wharf this summer–and likely its huge following, as well. Go for the moules-frites, niçoise salad, and the best cajun chicken around (it's what they're known for).
LT Burger62 Main St., Sag Harbor | 631.899.4646
This is an elevated burger shack: Their Heritage Turkey Burger is fantastic, as are their classic burgers, shakes, s’mores, and ice cream desserts.
Lulu Kitchen & Bar126 Main Street, Sag Harbor | 631.725.0900
The leather chairs, exposed brick, and large wood burning oven make this a cozy spot to grab lunch or dinner. The menu focuses on local ingredients woven into new and classic European dishes like wood fired pizza, grilled fish, and organic roast chicken, all showcasing Chef Philippe Corbet's love for wood-burning cuisine.
Navy Beach16 Navy Rd., Montauk | 631.668.6868
Since this is right on the beach, it's perfect for families: The kids can run free while you put down a beer and some fish tacos.
Page at 63 Main63 Main St., Sag Harbor | 631.725.1810
Devoted to local and organic (chances are that the veggies in your order are from their on-site hydroponic garden), this Sag Harbor mainstay now has a market and café in the back, though we usually stop by to stock up for beach picnics. Opt for the grilled portobello mushrooms over quinoa and tuna tartare, which are both delicious.
Pierre’s Bridgehampton2468 Main St., Bridgehampton | 631.537.5110
This is the kind of classic go-to that caters to a more grown-up Hamptons crowd (lots of white pants, loafers, and pastel sweaters). That said, it's actually really fun and kind of buzzy. The mussels are always top-notch, and the bar is perpetually two to three people deep—even so, their dirty martini is totally worth it.
Ruschmeyer’s161 Second House Rd., Montauk | 631.668.2877
The laid-back, camp style vibe of Ruschmeyer's makes it a draw for New Yorkers looking to unplug over the weekend. Always packed, its family friendly weekdays offer celebrity comedy acts, bingo, outdoor movies, and campfire s'mores. As for the menu, it's always solid: This summer, executive Chef Savannah Jordan returns with her creative twists on classic American dishes.
Suki Zuki688 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill | 631.726.4600
This just might be the best sushi in the Hamptons. The Chicken Teriyaki Salad and the "Tuna Sandwich" are both particularly popular choices.
The Crow’s Nest Restaurant4 Old W. Lake Dr., Montauk | 631.668.2077
Go to the Crow's Nest's restaurant for the same reason you'd stay at the hotel—the incredible atmosphere created by Sean McPherson's incredible eye. Indoors, the vibe is an eclectic mix of design pieces that still feels thoroughly Hamptons—whiteboard walls are decorated with earthy mud cloths and pirate flags, and Mediterranean mezze platters and hearty salads are served on warm wooden boards. If possible, book a table on their outdoor patio or—better yet—on the lawn, where four-tops are situated under elegant wooden cabanas.
The Lucky Bee Pop-Up208 Main St, Greenport | 631.477.0023
This Thai street food spot in lower Manhattan will bring its locally sourced, tiny-but-mighty menu to Greenport this August, satisfying our cravings for some good green curry and coconut cream iced coffee. And just like its main sister spot, the pop-up will boast the same hot pink, geometric decor–hitting all the right unconventional notes. Head there for the coconut-poached crab and other spicy, Southeast Asian seafood dishes.
The Maidstone Restaurant207 Main St., East Hampton | 631.324.5006
As part of the Maidstone's new revamp this summer, the hotel brought in Chef David Strandridge (of Cafe Clover) to redo the breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. Like at Standridge's West Village eatery, the menus are somehow both beautifully simple and very sophisticated. For breakfast, you'll find a balance of old-school comfort (whole grain avocado toast that can be ordered with lobster salad, egg in a hole, and a selection of smoothies) alongside more creative options, like the "nova," a smoked salmon dish with Greek yogurt, and an orange blossom pain perdue that's stewed in blackberries. Dinner, entirely worth booking even for non-hotel guests, is seafood-centric: lump crab cake, a local catch simply grilled, and black linguini with peekytoe crab, all with a side of old bay fries. Photos: Melissa Horn & Fran Parente
The Springs Tavern15 Fort Pond Blvd., East Hampton | 631.527.7800
We’re all about summertime casual, which is why we like this cozy, American gastropub, located in the building that once housed Wolfie’s Tavern. It’s the perfect place to grab a (veggie) burger and a beer and watch the game on one of the many TVs. Bonus: There's a good live band lineup for most of the summer.
Topping Rose House Restaurant1 Bridgehampton Sag Harbor Tpk., Bridgehampton | 631.537.0870
This restaurant brought on Jean-Georges Vongerichten as a consulting chef, and while he's given the menu a bit of a culinary makeover, you can still expect to find vegetable-forward dishes sourced from the property's one-acre farm. The weekend brunch is especially great.
Vine Street Café41 South Ferry Rd., Shelter Island | 631.749.3210
The seafood at this Shelter Island gem is pretty outstanding—the Bouillabaisse alone is worth a ferry ride from the mainland. All cooking is done by couple Terry Harwood and Lisa Murphy, and ingredients are sourced exclusively from local purveyors. Take a bit of the magic home with you from the adjoining market, were you'll find fresh foods to-go as well as sauces, pastas, and a slew of gourmet pantry-essentials.
Westlake Fish House352 Westlake Dr., Montauk | 631.668.3474
In the same vein as many old-school Montauk establishments, this relative newcomer offers a particular brand of no-frills dockside dining with a modernized menu, making it a nice antidote to the traditional Hamptons scene. Whether you go for lunch or dinner, the pull is the fresh fish, from very good, very well-priced sushi to fish tacos to the swordfish BLT.
Wölffer Kitchen29 Main St., Sag Harbor | 631.725.0101
Considering that it's backed by the family that brought us East End institution Wölffer Vineyard, this restaurant (the first of two Hamptons locations; the other is in Amagansett) is pretty much guaranteed to be a hit. The Sag Harbor location features a mix of American cuisine and Mediterranean influences, with, of course, an extensive wine list.
Wölffer Kitchen Amagansett4 Amagansett Square Drive, Amagansett | 631.267.2764
Given the popularity of their first restaurant in Sag Harbor, it seemed only natural the Wölffers opened a second outpost. The Amagansett location has a more casual, communal feel with a rosé-fueled menu that focuses on fresh, shareable dishes like Peconic oysters, ahi tuna tacos, and zucchini noodles.