High season for the Hamptons may fall during summer, but that doesn’t mean the warmer months are the only time you can savor the region’s unique local flavor. From steaming bowls of clam chowder by a roaring fire to lobster bakes on the beach, these eight spots serve up a taste of New York’s favorite vacation destination all year long.
By day, we can’t get enough of the clams (fried or steamed) and lobster rolls at the iconic Bostwick’s Chowder House. It’s a great place for a leisurely summer lunch or brunch, but the no-frills, no-reservations-needed picnic tables may not be as appealing on a chillier evening.
That’s where the new Bostwick’s on the Harbor comes in, dishing out steamed lobsters, strip steak and the same seafood pasta the original is known for — all with a side of Three Mile Harbor views.
Loyal fans have been carb-loading for years after SoulCycle with Carissa’s sourdough and pickled rye loaves. But now, chef/owner Carissa Waechter has opened up a second East Hampton location, a café and bakery off Pantigo Road, and we’re dining in instead of grabbing pastries to go.
Linger at the long communal farm table and nosh on shakshuka for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and locally sourced fare during the newly debuted weekend dinner and cocktail service. Save room for housemade gelato for dessert.
The team behind Hamptons institutions like Italian eatery Nick & Toni’s and English-style pub Rowdy Hall has upped the ante with this chicly casual Mexican joint in the space next to sister restaurant and longtime favorite taqueria La Fondita.
Instead of sitting on picnic tables out back, we’re now relaxing inside on teal leather banquettes, sipping frozen margaritas, eating oysters from the extensive raw bar and enjoying tableside guac. Retractable glass doors allow the space to soak in sunshine any time of year.
We have loved Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa since its renovation several years ago, but its May-opened sibling Gurney’s Star Island Resort & Marina — a splashy update to the former Montauk Yacht Club — has stolen a bit of the culinary spotlight.
Snag a table at Showfish, the resort’s dining room helmed by popular Bridgehampton eatery Almond’s former chef de cuisine Jeremy Blutstein. As the name suggests, the restaurant’s menu is seafood heavy, offering locally inspired dishes like Montauk fluke crudo, seared scallops with duck prosciutto and curried sunchoke puree and tagliatelle with Calabrian chili and Jonah crab.
The venue itself is showy, too, offering gorgeous sunset views over the marina.
Popular pop-up EMP Summer House didn’t return to the Hamptons this year, but we like to think of this sister spot as the next best thing. The casual American bistro from the crew behind city favorites like Forbes Travel Guide Recommended The NoMad Hotel’s Atrium restaurant, Five-Star Eleven Madison Park and sushi joint Shuko turns out easy yet elevated classics, like spit-roasted organic chicken and a tender ribeye over sautéed kale. But don’t get too full because if you see the ice cream sandwich on the specials list, you’re going to want to order it.
One of our favorite destinations for a leisurely lunch, this Sag Harbor eatery makes the most of its massive wood-burning stove to dish out Mediterranean dishes with flair. The intimate, brick-walled restaurant with its often-packed, zinc-topped bar is a great option year-round for date night or a casual bite with friends.
The grilled heirloom cauliflower served with spicy roasted grapes and white balsamic vinaigrette is a must-try, as are any of the pizzas. But we’re also fans of heartier, flame-grilled fare, like Provençal-style whole branzino or buttermilk chicken, particularly if we want to laze on the beach afterward.
No matter the time of year, we can’t help but crave a table at this East Hampton staple. It’s easy to see why guests have been returning for more than 250 years when you are pampered with old-world service and a cozy ambiance.
Linger fireside with a glass of wine and a hearty veal chop or opt for a lighter plate, such as Montauk striped bass with lobster roe sauce and local sweet corn.
For a more relaxed meal, pop into the tavern and order the meatloaf that Food Network personality Ina Garten loved so much, she included the recipe in one of her cookbooks.