Doubling Down on Dining

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Kozu in Southampton may have closed this year, but there will be no shortage of destinations for fans of raw fish. In addition to Sen, which is expanding this season, Highway will feature a pop-up of the city’s high-end Shuko on weekends through July and August; 75 Main has introduced a sushi menu; and David Bouhadana is bringing his Sushi by Bou show East, offering a $50 30-minute omakase at lunch and a $100 hour-long omakase at dinner in the backyard of the Jue Lan Club Wednesdays through Sundays. Though the fact that Bouhadana flies fish into the oceanside retreat may sound counterintuitive, the imported sea creatures are as coddled as any Southamptonite. “We just made a deal with Blade to fly out our fish,” he says. Bouhadana plans to make the most of his work out East. “So many of my customers live out there in the summer and always talk about the shortage of great sushi, so we are here to fill that gap and hope to sneak in a little surfing on the side.”

Healthy eaters will be happy to hear that yogini Lauren Musselman has stepped in to partner with Jon Krasner at Montauk favorite Salt Box. In addition to the restaurant’s classics, such as BBQ short ribs and truffle fries, the new menu features tofu tacos and quinoa salad. “Montauk in general is moving from just a party enclave to more of a wellness community, and we want to support that effort and encourage people to put smarter food into their bodies,” says Krasner.

An amped-up program of live music, an expanded bar and higher-end food offerings like steak and steamed lobster have made George’s Lighthouse Café at the end of Montauk a spot worth visiting this season. Located in a glass-enclosed building adjacent to the lighthouse, it has a view of the bluffs and water and makes a perfect sunset stop. It’s also a fun choice for private parties.

Expect a different dining experience at Surf Lodge this summer: the hotel has brought in Ron Rosselli as culinary director. The toque who has worked in the kitchens of Café Boulud, Locanda Verde and the Standard Grill is teaming with chef de cuisine Angela Bazan, also a veteran of the Standard Grill, to create a menu focused on coastal Mediterranean cuisine using Montauk’s seafood and produce. Look for such dishes as roasted tricolor cauliflower with farro, raisins, cashew tahini and mint; and lemon chicken with yogurt and rye berry tabbouleh.

Jay Lippin, who served as executive chef at Odeon and Cafe Luxembourg, and was a winner on the Food Network show Chopped, has taken over the range at Baron’s Cove’s waterfront restaurant. He will be bringing a New American menu to the property and following in the steps of Matty Boudreau, whose roast pigs on Sundays will be a tough act to follow.

Water Mill has a new Italian spot. Jon Albrecht, formerly chef de cuisine at Tutto Il Giorno, has opened his own place called Culaccino, where he will be serving up seared octopus, wild boar chop and pan-seared halibut among other dishes, and all desserts will be made in house. “I wanted the freedom to do my own style of modern Italian,’’ says Albrecht. One of the chef ’s innovations is an Instagrammable version of bucatini carbonara: the sauce is tucked inside an “egg yolk’’ made from vegetable-based gelatin colored with saffron and turmeric. When it’s cut open, the hot sauce flows out and is tossed with the fresh pasta. The restaurant also has a classic Italian bar menu and an outdoor patio for drinks.

For those who love outdoor fun, Union Cantina has expanded its outdoor area, adding such lawn games as Jenga Giant, cornhole and bocce, and there are picnic tables for those who want to dine alfresco. The games may get particularly interesting after guests sample some of the 100 tequilas available at the bar.

Not everything is moving East this summer. Roslyn favorite Kyma has opened a Flatiron outpost serving up Greek island specialties, and unlike Milos or Avra, its imported whole fish will not be weighed by the pound. Another urban Hellenic favorite, Nerai, recently brought in Moshe Grundman, who served as sous chef at Michelin-starred Oceana, to introduce a more sophisticated menu. “Greek food is very popular now and everyone loves the fresh fish, but I wanted to do something a little bit more innovative, to make it more modern,” explains the Israeli chef. To this end he has replaced classic lamb chops with a dolma made of Swiss chard filled with shredded braised lamb shoulder, seasoned with cinnamon, cumin and nutmeg, and accompanied by heirloom carrots drizzled with Greek honey. His fisherman’s stew uses stone bass from Greece, black pepper, lemon, braised fennel and saffron.



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