Season-Two Restaurants to Try This Year
Every year, we keep a close eye on the restaurant openings in the Hamptons, noting the hits, the misses, and all else in between. Among those in the first batch, here are the four we’re most excited to return to this summer, their second season in the Hamptons dining scene, for the oyster po’boys, banana cream pie, and 24-ingredient molé that we’ve been dreaming of since last year.
Morty’s Oyster Stand (2167 Montauk Hwy., Amagansett)
Atmospheric but quirky, upscale but relaxed, Morty’s Oyster Stand has a certain panache in its approach to the classic summer seafood spot. In the space that was formerly the legendary Cyril’s Fish House, Morty’s reinvented the digs with a
chic navy and white palette and toile wallpaper illustrated with scenes of local nautical life, as well as a large outdoor patio.
Colorful main dishes mix local seafood with flavorful accoutrements like lemon drop peppers, celeriac slaw, and roasted mushroom chimichurri (the menu was designed by chef Sam Talbot, the TV personality behind the popular restaurant at the Surf Lodge). But Morty’s was equally a favorite last season for its simpler options: platters of fresh East Coast oysters, carefully selected summer wines, and lovely environs. The classic lobster roll is on the higher end of the sandwich’s price spectrum, but, as with everything here, the quality and attention to detail warrant the expense.
Showfish (32 Star Island Rd., Montauk)
As part of its $13 million overhaul of a storied old yacht club, Gurney’s Star Island Resort and Marina in Montauk opened last year with a world-class restaurant among its myriad other offerings: the not-so- humbly-named Showfish. Extravagant at every turn
of the menu, Showfish ensured it would make a splash with fruits de mer towers that top out at $460, replete with caviar, and in-house “vegetable butchers” chopping up the freshest farm produce right before your eyes. The menu even includes a “farm abbreviation codes” section to let you know where those sugar snaps and seasonal greens were grown.
While all-day dining makes Showfish a prime spot for a sophisticated lunch – swordfish and bacon BLTs, lobster and kimchi fried rice – it excels at being a no-expense-spared destination for special occasions, perhaps ended with a nightcap at Showfish Bar, a short walk from the resort’s iconic lighthouse.
Silver Lining Diner (32 Montauk Hwy., Southampton)
The East End has no shortage of diners, but the latest to join the batch last year is anything but a greasy spoon. Also in Water Mill, Silver Lining Diner is an ode to the U.S.’s sock-hop days, all gleaming glass and chrome, saccharine and clean and done up in candy colors. Sandwiches are multilayered; fried chicken and waffles are perfectly golden brown; giant cupcakes come on cake platters with snow- like frosting drizzled in sauce.
That said, Silver Lining knows that times have changed. There are also acai bowls, salads, flat whites, and vegan ice cream. Portions are reasonable, ingredients are local and organic when possible, and “fried” does not equate with dripping in grease. Perhaps the ice cream float made with kombucha is the prime example of Silver Lining’s unique appeal as a refined version of American indulgence – sinful, yes, but ever more conscientiously so.
Coche Comedor (74 Montauk Hwy., Amagansett)
From the Honest Management Group – the restaurant group behind fixtures such as Nick & Toni’s, Towline BBQ, and Rowdy Hall – Mexican restaurant Coche Comedor opened last year in Amagansett to nothing but star reviews. Next door to the La Fondita Taqueria, also an Honest production, Coche Comedor’s menu is designed for sharing, with specialties such as pork rib carnitas from the wood-burning grill, ceviches from the raw bar, apricot-tamarind duck from the rotisserie, and stacks of hand-pressed tortillas.
Two years in the making, the space is a Mexican take on a diner with blue leather banquettes, imported black-and-white ceramic tiled floors, and a handsome steel bar from whence come citrusy and bitter cocktails, Sangria made with local winery Warwick Valley’s wine, and tasting flights of agave spirits. Reservations aren’t taken, which makes a taco or two at La Fondita a good way to tide you over until a table is free.