If you ever went to summer camp, you likely looked forward to reconnecting with old friends and making new ones each year. In some ways, scoping out the Hamptons dining scene each summer is similar. You revisit favorites, like Cowfish, Harvest on Fort Pond and The Lobster Roll.
But each year, a slew of newcomers enter the scene. The restaurants at the top of this year’s class offer everything from otherworldly Italian to sweet baked goods and, of course, several lobster rolls in between. There are our picks for the new Hamptons restaurants to check out this summer.
Si Si, East Hampton
This coastal Mediterranean spot is situated in EHP (formerly East Hampton Point), a resort and marina now under new ownership. The new management scooped up Dane Sayles, who previously worked as the corporate executive chef at Gurney’s in Montauk. Sayles’ specialties include a Paella, za’atar roasted cauliflower with whipped goat cheese and herb tahini vinaigrette and a roasted stripe bass with wild greens and salsa verde. Guests at Si Si can enjoy the fare at wooden tables and cushioned lawn chairs on the deck overlooking the Three Mile Harbor.
Haskell’s Seafood Market and Cafe, Westhampton Beach
This seafood market and cafe allows you to eat in or grab a pre-packaged, one-pound fish to cook at home. The catch: Only fish caught in Long Island waters are available. Salmon and shrimp aren’t found in local waters, so they’re not on the menu, but yellowfin tuna, oysters, stuffed flounder and lobster rolls (hot or cold) are. You can grab takeout and take it to your favorite beach or pull up a seat at a table on the outdoor patio. For home cooks, Haskell’s website is full of recipes.
il Buco al Mare, Amagansett
Amagansett locals sometimes like to pride themselves on living in a Hamptons spot without “Hamptons” in its name. And il Buco al Mare’s approachable but exceptional menu exudes these same unpretentious but upscale vibes. Seafood is at the heart of the menu. Think main dishes like a seared striped bass with garlic scapes and romesco that pairs perfectly with a glass of white or rosé. Prawns and a seared octopus with smoked paprika are among the small plates offered. Land-locked diners will enjoy the savory black garlic skirt steak.
Carissa’s Bakery, Sag Harbor
Over the last decade, Carissa Waechter has become an East End institution for her European-style breads and cakes city folks think about all winter long. Carissa’s Bakery already boasts a pair of locations in East Hampton (68 Newtown Lane and 221 Pantigo Road). Later this summer, Waechter is set to expand with a Sag Harbor location on the highly trafficked Bay Street. Bathers and shoppers alike will be able to indulge in everything from rye bread and almond croissants to quick but delicious breakfast fare like egg sandwiches.
La Fin Kitchen and Lounge, Montauk
James Tchinnis is back at 474 West Lake Drive. The owner of the now-closed Swallow East has converted the space into a refined farm-to-table restaurant that’s putting a local spin on French cuisine. A recovery brunch with chocolate zucchini muffins and strawberry crepes will help you bounce back from a night on the town. Dinner favorites include lobster toast with avocado and tomato, sea bass and a tomahawk ribeye. The interior exudes upscale seaside vibes. There are exposed wooden ceiling beams, seafoam green chairs and windows giving way to waterfront views. As beautiful as the space is, it’s worth opting for a seat outside on a nice day. Though the spot is a bit fancier than its predecessor and the menu has changed, the sweeping waterfront views are the same as they ever were.
Manna at Lobster Inn, Southampton
Lobster is once again taking center stage at 5 Inlet Road West in Southampton. Manna at Lobster Inn has taken over the site that once housed Hamptons mainstay Lobster Inn, which closed in 2016. Lobster favorites include a heaping bowl of lobster bisque with ramen and a soft boiled egg and a steamed lobster served with corn on the cob, baby reds and butter. The Lobster Inn Splat (lobster, mussels, clams, shrimps, chorizo, corn, potato and crabioli) is a hefty $95 but worth the splurge if you’re game for one of those kind of dinners.
Rita Cantina, East Hampton
Seafood is a popular choice come summer, but Rita Cantina is giving diners a spicier option in Springs. The new restaurant serves Mexican food made with local ingredients, like Crescent Farms duck carnitas with butter lettuce wraps, guacamole. There are, of course, seafood options, including a local harvest fluke taco with pickled cabbage salsa. Guests can also find bottled cocktails, like margaritas and dirty Rita martinis.
For years, Brunetti was something of a hidden gem that punched above its weight. The restaurant was out of sight behind Mambo Kitchen, but it was never out of mind — even when it closed in 2019. Now, Brunetti is back and in full view in a more prominent, expanded location on Main Street. The Margherita pizza is still everything you remembered it as and more. And the space isn’t the only thing that’s larger — the menu expanded, too. Think small places like rice balls and potato croquettes with Fontina and truffled aioli. Pizza lovers can choose from 13 signature pies, including bruschetta and Mary’s meatballs topped with all-beef meatballs, three cheeses and fresh basil.