Here’s what they’re serving up after the meal
When looking for a night out in the Hamptons, rather than bouncing around town from a restaurant to a bar to a club, nights are more easily spent in one of these four spots, where great meals, delicious drinks, and dancing until dawn can all happen in the same place.
Kozu (136 Main St., Southampton)
Kozu is not just a strong contender for being a member of this year’s class of new Hamptons restaurants that’s getting the most hype, but it’s also one of the flashiest new proponents of ultra-trendy Nikkei food—or Japanese-Peruvian fusion food—anywhere in the Northeast. It’s the latest brainchild of Hamptons restaurateur Zach Erdem, who enlisted three top chefs to head the kitchen: Nobu’s John Keller, George Nikolopolou of Le Bernadin, and Joseph Kim of Morimoto. Needless to say, the menu is Nikkei upmarket and inventive, with crudos and ceviches infused with ingredients like aged soy vinaigrette and smoked tomato ponzu, an entrée of lobster served warm with corn pudding and yuzu shiso dressing, and an extensive sushi and sashimi section including a signature Kozu Roll filled with freshwater eel and topped with caviar and foie gras. After dinner, the party continues at Summer House, a late-night lounge with white linen–covered daybeds and a promise from Erdem that nights will feature top world DJs. Equally as promising of a good time, however, are Kozu’s weekend champagne brunches developed by the Koch brothers—the other Koch brothers, Derek and Daniel, whose bacchanalian Day and Night brunches in Manhattan originally saw their rise to club-hosting fame. And when that midday or midnight champagne hits, the nine-room Hotel ZE on site is the perfect place to crash if you have 1,000 dollars to spare.
Jue Lan Club (268 Elm St., Southampton)
In 1930s Shanghai, a group of 14 Chinese artists led by painter Ni Yide banded together as the Jue Lan Society and escaped communist China in the name of art, fleeing to Paris to take part in the thriving art scene at that time. Jue Lan means “determination to create change,” which is exactly what the Philippe Chow group set out to do when they created the Jue Lan Club in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, which opened last December with much pomp and circumstance. A few months later, a sister Jue Lan Club opened in the Hamptons in May, which has since become one of the artsiest establishments around, with world-class art featured in a restaurant, gallery space and club called The Barn. There are works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol and Keith Haring among others. Subsequently Jue Lan has already gained a reputation for being the go-to hangout for the vacationing art world elite, flocking here not just to take in great art but also to dine on creative Chinese cuisine, such as bone marrow dumplings and filet mignon spiced with green Szechuan peppers and served with taro fries. Nights naturally progress into dancing at The Barn, whose walls are bedecked in graffiti and street art, recalling the progressive cool of the original Jue Lan Society.
Regent Cocktail Club (290 Old Montauk Hwy., Montauk)
As one of the only resorts in Montauk that’s open throughout the year, no matter what the weather is doing outside, Gurney’s Montauk Resort and Seawater Spa has an option that capitalizes on it. During the blustery months, Roman baths, an indoor saltwater pool, and cozy wood-fitted rooms offer the perfect antidote to the chilly outdoors; during sweet stretches of summer, lounging at the Beach Club followed by a night dancing under the stars at the Regent Cocktail Club couldn’t be a more glamorous way to play outside for a day. Unlike other beach clubs in Montauk, you don’t have to be a club member to sun on the Beach Club’s 2,000-foot stretch of private sands; king-sized daybeds can be rented off-the-cuff and umbrella-shaded beach chairs are free-of-charge, as long as you saddle up to the bar at some point for a cocktail or an appetizer or two. For a more proper dinner, Scarpetta Beach—the Montauk outpost of downtown Manhattan’s beloved namesake—is altogether lovely, filling the airy dining room and equally large outdoor patio with the warm smells that only come from the offerings of an Italian kitchen, such as long filets of Branzino, seafood steaming in loops of black farfalle, golden piles of fritto misto. And after, head up to Regent Cocktail Club, where bartenders mix elegant drinks like the Summer Fling of Aperol, St. Germain and Soda and revelers dance the night away on the long deck to DJ beats.
Electric Eel (161 2nd House Rd., Montauk)
Designed like summer camp for adults with cabins and bicycles and lawn games under old shady trees, Ruschmeyer’s is continually one of the hottest hotels in the Hamptons for those young, idyllic American summers it recalls. Appropriately, Ruschmeyer’s restaurant is something of a mess hall scrubbed up into a gorgeous space with wood-beamed vaulted ceilings hung with paper lanterns, long wooden tables and blue accents of plaid and chairs, and a menu of local produce and seafood cooked up into American classics repurposed for particular palates: fried chicken glazed and served with stone fruit, a lobster roll with purple sweet potato chips instead of fries, pizzas cooked in a wood oven and a mean kale salad. A wine menu heavy with biodynamic wines and a selection of cocktails make for perfect starts to nights that are going to continue on at Electric Eel, a space that has been around and named as such since the 1950s, when Ruschmeyer’s was just a simple East End motel. Now, it’s grounds for disco dance parties that go well into the wee hours of the morning.