As prime season starts, the warm temps and pleasant weather make bays and oceans around the region a treasure trove of raw material for cuisine from the sea. Here are some local spots of note in the eastern part of the island that are definitely at the top of the heap when it comes to seasonal seafood and other delights.
Fatfish in Bay Shore (631) 666-2899 returns to knock our socks off with top shelf Mediterranean fare. They have a brand new menu and a cool special—choose three Tapas (featuring lots of seafood choices, of course) and a bottle of wine for $39. When it comes to seafood, Southfork Kitchen in Bridgehampton (631) 537-4700 is all about quality ingredients and provenance. They have the depth and moxie to change the menu daily and they keep it local—witness the dishes prepared with Barnegat Light sea scallops, Block Island squid and Connecticut River Shad Roe, not to mention that familiar East End specialty—Long Island duck. And they’re offering a great prix fixe package deal: Three courses (appetizer, entrée, dessert) for $55 a person.
A visit to The Clam Bar (631) 267-6348 is the perfect excuse to venture out to the oceanside wilds of Napeague, located smack-dab between Amagansett and Montauk. They keep it basic but scrumptious with such classic seafood-stand selections as clam chowder, crab cakes, fish and chips, lobster rolls and plenty more.
Lastly, I would be remiss not to mention what’s happening on land this season, more specifically in the world-renowned North Fork wine country. Michael Anthony’s Food Bar in Wading River (631) 929-8800 is the destination for wine education and appreciation. They take pride in their expert pairing of wines and their perennially awesome New American cuisine. Chef Anthony’s daughter Cassandra Toscano conducts tastings at the bar, each with a unique theme and course pairings. Not only does she explain the logic behind why a certain wine goes with a certain dish, she also demystifies wine tasting techniques, a vital skill when fully appreciating the vintages of the local vineyards.
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