Eastward Bound: Your Guide to the Hamptons


Each year, the Hamptons seems to feel more and more crowded as troves of New Yorkers migrate from the concrete to the coast for some good ol’ “S & BS” a.k.a. “See & Be Seen” (those looking for true R & R know to head any direction but East). While there are tried-and-true establishments that will forever stand the test of time (ahem, Gosman’s for grilled fish tacos), there are a handful of newer hits that deserve your attention. From an extensive French rosé selection to $1 oyster happy hours, here’s what should make it onto your impending weekend’s agenda:

rush1. Ruschmeyer’s
If you secretly wish your summers looked like something out of Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, then Montauk’s Ruschmeyer’s is the place for you. The camp-like hotel and restaurant got a total revamp this season thanks to NYC brother-chef duo Eli and Max Sussman taking over its kitchen and now, it’s one of the few places where you can enjoy a city-quality meal out East. ”Hanging out in the magic garden at Ruschmeyer’s with a swordfish kebab and the grilled octopus with an icy cold Montauk Brew Co. summer ale is the perfect way to end any beach day,” the guys say. After your meal, hang out in the tea light-lit backyard and watch the throngs of city-dwellers line up for the bar. 161 Second House Road, Montauk; 631.668.2877 (BOOK IT).

rose2. Navy Beach
Enjoying seafood in the sun is nice, but doing so while lounging in a daybed and sipping rosé is epic. And so, as if Navy Beach heard the people, the restaurant is doubling its rosé offerings this season with bottles from St. Tropez, Bandol, Corsica and Burgundy now on the list. The perfect accompaniment to its signature coastal fare, dishes like the lobster clam bake with potatoes and charred corn, fresh, local ceviche and seared scallops are most popular. Our suggestion: order a magnum of the Les Voiles de St. Tropez (the renowned wine partner of the French regatta each fall) and remember (or forget?) what summer is supposed to taste like. 16 Navy Road, Montauk; 631.668.6868 (BOOK IT).

baykitch3. Bay Kitchen Bar
Right on the marina at Three Mile Harbor, Bay Kitchen Bar is a family-run restaurant with one of the best sunset views in the Hamptons. Executive Chef Eric works alongside his son, Adam and brother, Marc who oversee day-to-day operations, plus the venue’s new Beverage Director Maura McGuigan, a veteran mixologist of NYC’s Booker and Dax and Bar Pleiades. Local seafood offerings like Little Neck clams, grilled fluke and mustard-herb crusted Montauk tuna are perennial hits, though the raw bar’s oyster selection may be most noteworthy. With a sunset happy hour running from 4-7 pm daily, oysters are just $1 each and glasses of rosé $5. Good luck finding a better deal in town. 39 Gann Road, East Hampton; 631.329.3663 (BOOK IT).

clams4. Highway Restaurant and Bar
Ricotta toast with eggplant caponata and basil, grilled wax beans with rosemary and almonds, and linguine with clams and cherry tomatoes, Highway Restaurant and Bar is East Hampton’s answer to seasonal American cooking. Located right on Montauk Highway, the new restaurant often updates the menu to reflect what’s freshest at the market— at the moment that means heirloom tomatoes (the base of a farro salad) and plenty of summer squash. Don’t leave without taking a look at dessert— from caramel-hazelnut ice cream sandwiches to a grapefruit campari granita with lavender honey ice cream, it’s the stuff of a sweet tooth’s dream. 290 Montauk Highway, East Hampton; 631.527.5372 (BOOK IT).

harbor5. Harbor
New this season, Harbor is the latest project from Montauk surfer and NYC nightlife proprietor (think Southside in Nolita) James “Jamo” Willis. Blending his laid-back Australian roots with the beach culture of the South Fork, outdoor tables are set in the sand amidst bocce ball, ping-pong and live music (a mix of 80’s, 90’s and old-school hip-hop) making for a meal that feels more like a backyard house party than a restaurant. As for the food, the menu is largely Mediterranean-inspired including the Yellowfin tuna with za’atar and wheat berry tabouli dish, Executive Chef Roy Wohlars’ personal favorite. “I love the wheat berries from Amber Waves Farm for their nutty flavor and their texture is the perfect contrast to the buttery tuna.” Shishito peppers with Amagansett sea salt, calamari with lemon aioli and the Pink Flamingo (a watermelon martini) are also highlights. 440 West Lake Drive, Montauk; 631.668.8260 (BOOK IT).

wolffer6. Wolffer Kitchen
From the Hamptons most beloved wine family comes Wolffer Kitchen, a brand-new farm-fresh restaurant in Sag Harbor. “Opening a restaurant is a natural extension of our brand and we wanted to bring a culinary experience to the Hamptons,” says co-owner Joey Wolffer. “Wine and food make a harmonious blend, not only at meals, but as a lifestyle.” Lobster deviled eggs, local striped bass in an olive salsa verde and grilled asparagus in a lemon tahini are a few of the space’s current offerings, as well as mussels steamed in none other than Wolffer’s infamous namesake rosé. 29 Main Street, Sag Harbor; 631.725.0101.

lecharlot7. Le Charlot
It’s only fitting that the Upper East Side of the Hamptons (Southampton) would get its very own outpost of Manhattan’s UES standby Le Charlot. Recommended by CITIPHILE contributors like Jessica Joffe, Kate Davidson Hudson and Amanda Ross, the new location offers beloved, familiar dishes like its Thai mussels with ginger and lemongrass and Cajun mahi-mahi in a grapefruit lime sauce. Unique to Southampton though, Le Charlot’s picturesque patio lounge comes with its own carefully curated menu of hors d’oeuvres too— bites like smoked salmon blinis and lobster spring rolls pair perfectly with seasonally-appropriate cherry tequila cocktails and the charming view. 36 Main St., Southampton; 631.353.3222.

barons28. Baron’s Cove
Baron’s Cove opened its doors to Sag Harbor over Memorial Day weekend and it’s been garnering a serious buzz ever since— just the other day an upcoming CITIPHILE contributor (hint: think CEO boss-lady of Peter Som) just waxed poetic to us about it. The traditional American restaurant is complete with a fine-dining room, cocktail bar and outdoor terrace with stunning harbor views, and it’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Chef Matty Boudreau recommends the lobster roll, “it’s the symbol of summer in the Hamptons and what better way to wash it down than with a bottle of Chateau Pibarnon Bandol rosé, the “Rolls Royce” of rosé,” he says. “Its subtle, yet well-structured flavors complement the freshness of our lobster salad which is topped with herbs from our garden and placed in a classic potato bun.” 31 W. Water St., Sag Harbor; 844.227.6672 (BOOK IT).

9. Montauk Beach House
The Hamptons equivalent of Nikki Beach, Montauk Beach House is where the chic set goes to bask by the pool. They have live music (courtesy of a rotating dj), an outdoor bar serving up drinks like frozen Moscow Mules and margaritas and a grill with bites like watermelon wedges and grilled shrimp skewers for when you start to get a bit peckish. If you’re lucky (err, well-off) enough to score a lounge chair on the deck, you’ll find yourself among a sea of floppy hats and beautiful people. If balling out at 1 pm on a Saturday isn’t your thing, stop by for an afternoon cap between the beach and home. Yes, afternoon caps are a thing— it’s summer after all. 55 S. Elmwood Avenue, Montauk; 631.668.2112. CP


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