These restaurants have the coolest kitchens on the East End
What if you chose your next restaurant based on its kitchen? How much time have you spent thinking about the place where the actual food was made, after all? In the Hamptons, you can dine at restaurants where the kitchen, in all its glory, is the star attraction. Don’t discount the kitchen for its ability to impress. We love these restaurants because of the elevation of this most important of rooms.
At Amagansett’s Coche Comedor, one of the coolest restaurants to dine at in the Hamptons, period, patrons can peer directly into the kitchen, which is open to the former dining car (for an optimal view, choose a rear-facing seat at one of the restaurant’s booths, where you can get a full view of all of the unfolding action). There, you’ll have access to the preparation of some of Coche’s iconic dishes, from the apricot-tamarind-glazed half-duck to the pork rib carnitas to the local striped bass a la Veracruzana.
In Sag Harbor, Sen, which has ruled the roost for close to three decades when it comes to reliable Japanese food in the Hamptons, offers guests the opportunity to sit up close and personal and watch the masters at work. The kitchen and dining room, which were renovated a few seasons ago, maintain an intimate feel. At the sushi bar, in particular, the kitchen is part of the show. Sit down and enjoy dinner while sushi is literally created before your very eyes. Order the Miyako roll (spicy tuna, spicy mayo, eel sauce, and scallions on the inside, and shrimp tempura and masago on the outside), and indulge in one of the coolest kitchens in Sag Harbor.
At Carissa’s, on Pantigo, in East Hampton (Carissa Waechter, baker extraordinaire, also owns a bakery on nearby Newtown Lane), wide open spaces allow diners to look in on the mysterious process of baking and packaging. There is a smaller kitchen in the back, where more food is prepped, that’s not visible from the dining room, but guests can see the hustle of the bakery from nearly every vantage point: the wheeling of trays of breads, the whorls of meringue atop cakes, the counter service and pale green limeades. It’s a kitchen as cool as the all-day menu concept, which merges breakfast, lunch, and dinner service with patisserie and grab-and-go.
Southampton’s Sip ‘N Soda, an iconic burger and ice cream joint that has stood strong for decades, offers one of the Hamptons coolest open kitchens around. Whether you find yourself seated at the restaurant’s historic booths or at the stools that surround the flattop, you’ll be treated to a show: burgers on the griddle; fries and onion rings fried fresh to order; and thick, homemade milk shakes that really are among the area’s finest. If dining at Sip ‘N Soda feels like stepping back in time, there’s something intentional about that. This slow-moving spot is meant to capture a bit of nostalgia and a bit of the old days, and the burgers, fries, shakes, and even lime rickeys are the perfect reminder of how old is cool again.