Tuesday, December 06
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Hamptons Summer Restaurant Roundup

The annual game of Musical Restaurants is upon us again. It was sad to lose several eateries, especially La Superica, Sag Harbor’s Mexican mainstay for the past 30 years. It feels like the breakup of a longstanding Hollywood couple. We just don’t get many restaurants that last that long around here. Reason? Landlord greed.

East Hampton’s popular newish eatery, Service Station, will no longer be dishing out their Chinese chicken salad due to a kerfuffle with East Hampton Village over outdoor table placement, and yes, to a breakdown in landlord negotiations.

Sayonara to Southampton’s Japanese hotspot, Kozu, which seems to have been hit with the same curse as several establishments at that location before it arrived there last summer. To take its place will be a French Mediterranean boite called Maison Vivienne, its kitchen helmed by Wolfgang Ban of Edi & the Wolf, an East Village Austrian staple. Like its predecessor, the newbie will have decorative outdoor seating, a pair of fireplaces and a small inn on the 17th-century premises. They will also feature an herb and vegetable garden.

Not to worry about getting a sushi fix. New York’s Sushi by Bou will be going into the Elm Street location that was formerly Savanna’s and most recently the Jue Lan Club. The new restaurant is the sibling of Jue Lan. Both are under the auspices of FB Hospitality Group. Known for serving up affordable Japanese fare, Sushi by Bou will offer a $100, 60-minute omakase experience or a $50, 30-minute lunch offering.

Possibly the snootiest place that opened its doors last summer, an outpost of Eleven Madison Park (EMP), has returned. Perhaps they deserve their attitude. After all, the Manhattan culinary icon is considered by some to be the world’s greatest restaurant. To get in, last year anyway, you had to a) have an Amex card and b) book a table the minute their reservations line opened. So, if you’re reading this now you have probably missed out.

The biggest news might just be happening at East Hampton Point. Somehow what should be a no-brainer successful venue – with to-die-for views of a hopping marina – has had one disaster after another after its initial illustrious few years in the ‘90s. We’ve been at EHP when it’s been populated by the over 50 brigade and had a band playing cacophonous heavy rock, when instead the romantic spot seems to call for such age and location appropriate sounds as bossa nova.

Enter Moby’s, a happening spot that lost its space on Pantigo Road last year to EMP and has found itself with a high concept idea in search of the right location. While its Italian driven food was perfectly palatable, the emphasis at the former Spring Close House was on creating a nightlife “scene” made up of beautiful people in search of each other. Patrons were fond of the outdoor dining and splendid sunsets which segued into a hopping social soiree. So, let’s see how they fare at a more memorable location.

Say goodbye also to Osteria Salina, the latest venture in the Wainscott space that has housed several recent enterprises most recently Georgica (in honor of its location overlooking a finger of Georgica Pond). While it should feel sad to see it go, for some reason we didn’t find ourselves frequenting the place. The food was pretty good, but not as tasty as Georgica, which boasted an uber talented young chef. We loved Osteria’s entry area with its chicly comfortable seating and snazzy bar, but the dining room seemed to be tacked on from an UpIsland family restaurant.

We’re curious to see how newcomer Il Mulino plans to make a splash as the newest link in a chain of modern Italian restaurants that includes locations in Manhattan, Atlantic City, South Beach and Vegas. Its arrival is reminiscent of Sapore di Mare, which held its own in the space for a while in the ‘80s and was an outpost of Pino Luongo’s restaurant empire. Believe it or not, it was the first Manhattan satellite to take orbit on the East End.

We’re told that Il Mulino’s Manhattan location is quite the scene and it seems to us that the South Fork is currently in need of a trendy spot to see and be seen. And we hear that the food is superb, having garnered the top spot in Zagat’s Italian category for many years.

The Muse, which occupied a seemingly cursed spot on Main Street in Sag Harbor after retreating there from Water Mill a few years back, has disappeared. In its place will be a branch of Tutto il Giorno. Tutto, you might recall, was a hot spot around the corner on Bay Street for many a year under the guidance of Gabby Karan de Felice and chef Maurizio Marfoglia. While de Felice held on to the Tuttos in Southampton and New York, Marfoglia kept the very charming ristorante but renamed it Dopo La Spiaggia and opened a branch of that last year in East Hampton.

So, it is significant that the new Tutto will be broaching upon the turf of its former home. In a further blow to Dopo, it appears that de Felice’s mama, Donna Karan, will be moving the site of her shop, Urban Zen, from its site next door to Dopo and bang into the new Tutto space. However, considering the fact that Conca ‘dOro, the village’s popular pizza parlor has bitten the dust, another trattoria is more than welcome.