These new spots are everything you need before and after the races
It’s that time of year again: Bridgehampton’s most iconic event, the Hampton Classic, is in town, which means horses, Champagne, and, of course, plenty of appetite before and after. This year, the East End is chock-full of new and exciting restaurants that are perfect for a quick bite beforehand or a long and languorous meal after. Check out our recommendations for these new and inspired pre- and post-Classic bites in the Hamptons.
Amagansett welcomed Torch & Crown Brewery this year, a beer garden at Dive Bar Pizza (known for years as Best Pizza). The menu is designed to highlight the many virtues of the crisp, delicious, and ever-popular slices and pies that Dive Bar serves. With six beers available on tap, including a summer ale, multiple pilsners, a neipa, an IPA, and a lager (the brewery also serves a fruited sour in a can), Torch & Crown offers beer lovers the option to imbibe by the pint or by the pitcher. Sit down with a casual slice either before or after the formality of the Classic for some good, clean, old-fashioned beer-drinking fun.
Also to the east, Bird on the Roof, in Montauk, has opened in the space that was once a beloved breakfast spot for locals. The restaurant still serves breakfast (and lunch), but these days, guests can find lovely, locally sourced dinners there. Head there after a hot day at the Classic and cool down with a plate of scallop crudo, amplified with citrus, chili oil, extra virgin olive oil, and cured cucumbers. The restaurant’s market fish rotates based on what’s available, and it comes served with fried leeks, polenta, mushrooms, dashi, and a shishito pepper relish. And the spicy bird cocktail, invoking the name of the restaurant, tingles with hibiscus tequila, jalapeño, agave, and lime.
Amagansett’s legendary Astro’s Pizza has seen its second reinvention since closing a few years ago. This time, Fini Pizza, a Williamsburg stalwart, has moved in, offering up slices of Sicilian-style pizza, Italian ice (a sorely underrepresented category in the Hamptons), Caesar salads, and sandwiches with flair. It’s a little bit of the New York City street slice in the ‘burbs, and whether you’re prepping for the Classic or recovering from it, this is definitely a low-key way to dine and shine.
Replacing the storied Dockside, in Sag Harbor, is Sag Harbor Kitchen, new for 2023. Melissa O’Donnell embraces a Mediterranean ethos in her cooking, with a mezze plate, spiced vegetable kebab, Israeli salad, and more odes to the eastern side of the Med. A kitchen garden provides herbs for refreshing salads (think watermelon, Bulgarian feta, and mint as a cool and crisp antidote to a week long hot social event).
Where once stood Laurent Tourondel’s LT Burger in Sag Harbor now stands eLTacobar, where post-Classic diners can enjoy lobster tacos with corn and a pineapple pico de gallo, a grilled steak taco with a pickled jalapeño and onion salsa, tacos al pastor, chili-lime shrimp tacos with lime-chipotle mayo, and even vegan mushroom tacos. A comprehensive list of specialty drinks — frozen margaritas, margarita “cocktails” (go for the watermelon tequila version), palomas, negronis — complete this fun new arrival.
And for those in the mood for a more rib-sticking meal, there is, in East Hampton, Buttero, Maurizio Marfoglia’s Italian steakhouse that has recently replaced Dopo La Spiaggia. Traditional steakhouse fare is here, from a chopped salad (called the chop chop, and teeming with cucumbers, red onion, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, blue cheese) to clams casino. There are pasta dishes available, as well as a variety of fish and fowl entrees, but the main attraction? Steak. The 38-ounce porterhouse for two, eight-ounce filet, and 14-ounce New York strip all come with a green peppercorn sauce or house-made steak sauce.