These South Fork restaurants are highlighting the area’s local produce
Spring is finally here, but we have a minute or two yet until the year’s best and brightest produce will be at our fingertips. Still, the fact that the weather outside is just a little bit frightful doesn’t mean that you can’t get expertly prepared, delicious local produce at some of your favorite South Fork restaurants. No matter the weather, these chefs and restaurants are doing right by the Hamptons, highlighting local produce whenever possible. Every week in spring is a new and exciting adventure. Follow along with these restaurants. It may not be tomato season just yet, after all, but these spots are here to help you make do in the meantime.
This East Hampton hangout offers more than just pleasing bar fare (though you can get that here, too). The chopped salad, for instance, features kale that has been grown at the nearby Nick & Toni’s garden. That same Tuscan kale accompanies a dish of roasted garlic brandade. The restaurant group, which includes Coche Comedor, La Fondita, Nick & Toni’s, and Townline BBQ, is known for their dedication to local farms and for their regularly rotating seasonal menus. As the weather gets warmer, expect more local finds on this broad, people-pleasing menu.
It should come as no surprise that Almond, in Bridgehampton — which bills itself as “seasonal, local, artisanal since 2001” — would offer up the local goods. A winter menu featured Balsam Farms’ own sauerkraut (combined with smoked chicken sausage and grain mustard), a New York strip with French fries made from Marilee Foster’s Sagaponack farm, and a whole-roasted chicken for two, with Balsam Farms roasted potatoes. Almond’s menu changes regularly, so check online for seasonal updates.
Carissa’s The Bakery
Far more than just a bakery, Carissa Waechter’s East Hampton space also serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Opt for the seasonal market salad (greens, radicchio, carrot, radish, and fennel), the zuppa di farro with local white beans and root vegetables, or even a bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich, served with braised local greens. In the pantry section, Carissa also sells jams that are made from local produce — a great way to enjoy fruit all year long. From sandwiches to take-home meals for the whole family, this East Hampton haunt is dedicated to promoting what’s good and local.
Lulu’s Kitchen & Bar
In Sag Harbor, the wood-fire dominant Lulu’s always has a local veggie or two on the menu for diners to enjoy. A seasonal veggie platter, with a selection of farm vegetables, a house hummus, a tapenade, and a Dijonaise, can serve up to three people. The house salad du jour is “inspired by the local vegetable catch of the day.” Fruits and vegetables appear throughout the menu (whole-roasted cauliflower, spicy Long Island grapes, Brussels sprouts, roasted winter squash) — a menu that changes with the season.