Lifestyle: Travel & Dining

1770 House in East Hampton

Chef Michael Rozzi is Making History in the Historic Venue
By Ally Henderson - April 9, 2018

Entering the pretty white colonial façade of the 1770 House Restaurant & Inn you are immediately struck by its aura of history – from the antique furnishings to the wood-paneled parlor where there’s always a fire burning in the hearth. While the structure itself dates to a private home in 1663, it became an inn a century later and has remained so since.

Currently owned by high-end builder Ben Krupinski, the establishment contains two eateries: the casual Tavern downstairs and the more formal dining room on the parlor floor. The tavern, always packed with patrons, is made warm and cozy by its exposed brickwork and original beehive oven. The candle-lit dining room with its original ceiling beams, oak tables and Oriental rugs is also invitingly warm. Its vintage-style feels as if it was decorated by your grandmother with flawless taste.

The Tavern serves such casual fare as an amazing burger, fish & chips and shepherd’s pie. It is famous for its meatloaf served with mashed potatoes, spinach and a roasted garlic sauce.

The upstairs venue is where chef Michael Rozzi showcases his culinary genius in complex world-class dishes. He is adept at layering ingredients for both visual and gastronomic impact. We are not alone in our assessment. Open Table voted the establishment as one of the Top 100 restaurants in the USA in December. And notable foodies who dine there include Ina Garten, Bobby Flay, Florence Fabricant,  Alex Guarnaschelli, Giada De Laurentiis and Katie Lee. Did we mention that Jimmy Fallon sat at a nearby table during our visit?

Take the chef’s signature dish: Spicy Fluke Tartar. As pretty as a picture in its presentation. The delicate flakes of fish, sourced from local waters, are laced with subtle heat by wasabi and radish and given a welcome crunch from the accompanying hijiki (seaweed) salad. Its crown of tobiko (flying fish roe) imbues a note of elegance. A glass of classically clean bubbly (NV Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve) marries with it beautifully.

(It should be noted that sommelier Michael Cohen was on hand at a recent dinner and his wine pairings were brilliant. Alas, there is not enough room to mention them all here.)

The Atlantic Cod with Green Curry where paprika oil flirts with heat while a layer of tasty black “forbidden rice” and julienned snow peas add that familiar note of crunch takes a similar approach. As does the Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras, a sumptuous dish served in an iron skillet. A sauternes from Château Suduiraut adds the right note of sensuality while a second wine served with the course, a pinot gris from Alsace, brings the palate back to reality.

We highly recommend the Heritage Pork Ragu, an intensely flavorful sauce served over house-made cavatelli, small rustic pasta shells with little hollows that contain the sauce nicely.

Don’t leave without trying the Sticky Date Cake, a delectably moist confection served with vanilla gelato and toffee sauce. The definition of decadence.

If you’ve eaten or imbibed too much, easy to do if you’re as greedy for such elevated food and wine as we are, you can always stay in one of the establishment’s guest rooms and luxuriate in the Frette sheets.

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