This season, the Hamptons restaurant scene is being served up flambé with some of the hottest names in the culinary world vying for your pre- and après-beach appetite. Starting June 24, Eleven Madison Park—the three Michelin star restaurant—will be decamping to East Hampton with EMP Summer House (341 Pantigo Road, empsummerhouse.com) while its New York space undergoes a remodel. EMP will have a more relaxed vibe than its city counterpart and “we’re using ingredients harvested or caught just miles away from our front door in East Hampton,” said chef/co-owner Daniel Humm. “Oysters, produce, fish, wine and even the sea salt.”
Another NYC import is the Upper East Side’s T-Bar Steak & Lounge, which is shacking up with Southampton sushi spot Kozu (136 Main St., 631.619.6660) to create T-Bar @ Kozu, which offers everything from certified Black Angus steak to Chilean sea bass with bok choy, ginger and miso glaze. In Water Mill, the new Calissa (1020 Montauk Highway; 631.500.9292)—from the team behind Il Cantinori and Amali in New York—is serving up classic Mediterranean dishes like its “Point Judith Calamari” prepared with pickled summer vegetables and basil.
Those newcomers will be facing off with some already-established favorites including Montauk’s Arbor (240 Fort Pond Rd.; 631.238.5430) and the redesigned Duryea’s Lobster Deck (65 Tuthill Rd.; 631.668.2410). This season, Arbor is showing off its brand-new outdoor space—complete with dining area, bar (helmed by top mixologists from New York City’s buzzy cocktail den The Garret) and (finally!) a real-life arbor. Chef Pierre Sudre is also excited about the restaurant’s robust raw bar. “We’re working with local fishmongers and getting all of our seafood right out of their draggers,” says Sudre, who also oversees the cuisine at Duryea’s where “there will be more of everything—lobster, shrimp, clams, Montauk Pearl Oysters, everything.”
The folks at the Wölffer Estate Vineyard continue to expand their empire with Wölffer Kitchen Amagansett (4 Amagansett Square Drive; 631.267.2764), which offers a menu that emphasizes “local, seasonal and ultimately wine-friendly food” like “Summer in a Bowl” featuring veggies and stone fruit topped with a rosé vinaigrette.
Not to be outdone, Shelter Island’s Vine Street Cafe is in expansion mode as well—setting up a new outpost in East Hampton (85 Montauk Highway, vinestreetcafe.com) in the now-shuttered Café Max spot. Expect a Gallic flair in the cuisine and entrees featuring fresh local fish.
The Southampton Inn, meanwhile, has launched Claude’s (91 Hill St.; 631.283.6500), which is aiming to be not only farm-to-table but garden-to-table, using produce—including heirloom tomatoes, garlic, string beans and peppers—from its own grounds. “Children can go pick tomatoes off the vine for their salads,” says the Inn’s owner Dede Gotthelf. Claude’s also offers a wellness menu featuring gluten-free and vegetarian options as well as food for those with the alpha-gal meat allergy.