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Travel the World from your Backyard

No Passport Required At These East End Restaurants

If the travel bug has bit you — and hard — but you have no time to catch that next flight out of JFK, perhaps there’s an alternate solution. Travel, of course, can mean more than one thing. We travel by car, by plane, and sometimes by ship. But in the case of our culinary ambitions, sometimes we travel by palate. On the East End, it’s entirely possible to travel to different cities, states, countries, and continents by visiting some of the area’s local restaurants. Here are three of our favorite travel destinations on the East End, no passport required. 

In Bridgehampton, Elaia Estiatorio transports hungry travelers to delicious Greece, where traditional Greek fare is executed with Hamptons elegance. Start with the alifes, or spreads. The restaurant offers five, including a yellow split pea purée with red onions and capers, a whipped feta spread with roasted chiles, a smoked eggplant spread with garlic and parsley, a traditional taramosalata, and a cucumber-rich tzatziki. From there, it’s hard to choose between traditional small plates (saganaki: pan-fried cheese with lemon; soutzoukakia: braised lamb and beef meatballs with cumin-scented tomato sauce) and large ones (moussaka: layered eggplant, Béchamel, and lamb Bolognese; kotopoulo souvlaki: herb-marinated grilled chicken skewers with grilled pita). 

Alifes — Elaia Estiatorio

Travel across the world to Japan with Kissaki’s superlative counter experience in Water Mill. The omakase room, a unique luxury dining opportunity, allows guests to eat as they might in Japan. Opt for the 14-course dinner omakase, if you’re feeling truly adventurous, which consists of an appetizer, a chef’s selection of eight pieces of nigiri sushi, and various desserts. Guests can also add on to the omakase menu: a spicy tuna handroll and a taro and scallion roll are equally delicious. If the omakase does not suit, regular tables are also available. Some of the kitchen’s all-star dishes include the wagyu sando (Wagyu tenderloin, scallion marmalade, tonkatsu sauce, and crispy Okinawa sweet potatoes), Char Siu pork ribs (spareribs glazed with Hoisin, five-spice, and soy sauce), and uni toast (thick brioche topped with sea urchin, burrata, and a balsamic teriyaki sauce). 

Chicharrones — Coche Comedor

The flavors of Mexico await at Amagansett’s Coche Comedor, an old dining car converted into a lively, bright, and playful restaurant dedicated to Mexican cuisine. It doesn’t get much more like Mexico than with a plate of the restaurant’s chicharrones, or fried pig skins. This version comes served with chili-lime salt and Cholula hot sauce. Order an appetizer of the coctel de mariscos, a seafood dish that combines fresh clams, shrimp, calamari, octopus, and cocktail sauce. It arrives with crispy tostadas, for scooping. The camarones a la parrilla will transport you to a Mexican seaside resort. These shrimp come with the head-on, and also with grilled hearts-of-palm, radish, red onion, cilantro, and a chili-lime vinaigrette. Wood-grilled pork rib carnitas, with charred baby onions, are another local travelers’ treat. Order it all with a side of sweet plantains with queso fresco, and wash it down with the kind of margarita you might get in Mexico, the Añejo, made with Oro de Lidia Añejo tequila, Grand Marnier orange liqueur, agave nectar, and a salt rim.