There’s a lot to miss about the East End during the colder months—the beach, lazy days by the pool with sangria in hand, gallery hopping, the windmills and lighthouses and of course, the food. As the days grow longer and air warmer, it’s a sign that Friday nights spent splitting (or hogging) delicious desserts as you peer out at the water and a clear, star-filled night sky are not far away. You don’t even have to wait until June to get your fix of East End fare. Hamptons Restaurant Week 2016 runs from April 3 through April 10 and with three-course prix fixe meals for $27.95 all night it’s arguably a better bargain than Super Saturday.
Page at 63 Main, Sag Harbor
Lovers of fresh Long Island produce and fish plucked straight from local fisheries haven’t been able to get enough of Page at 63 Main. Taste that produce, some of which is grown in house, by starting your night with organic lacianato kale salad at the Hamptons’ first seed-to-table restaurant, or if you’re feeling daring go for the Spanish octopus. Entree offerings include handmade potato gnocchi, perfect for indulgent vegetarians, and all-natural grilled hanger steak frites for the proud carnivores. Finish the evening by splitting a sticky toffee date cake or hoarding the warm Valrhona chocolate brownie. Go.
Shippy’s Pumpernickels Restaurant East, Southampton
Contrary to what your off-Island friends might think, the Hamptons has its share of no-frills restaurants where the vibes are laid-back but the food is something to write home about. Around since the 1950s, Shippy’s Pumpernickels Restaurant East more than fits this bill and people who are counting down until Oktoberfest are in for a treat. Their restaurant week menu includes bratwurst, knockwurst and weisswurst as a main course and apple strudel for dessert, and old German steins behind the bar serve as the perfect decor. Go.
Sundays on the Bay, Hampton Bays
A favorite spot to dine outdoors every summer, Sunday’s on the Bay is serving up garlic grilled Blue Point oysters, creamy lobster tagliatelle, strawberry pound cake trifle and more. Go.
La Plage Restaurant, Wading River
With indoor and outdoor seating perfect for peering out at the sun setting over the water, white table cloths and a French bistro feel, La Plage is a date-night destination. Begin with roasted oysters or go green with grilled and chilled asparagus or spring pea soup before indulging in buccatini pasta, hazelnut crusted mahi-mahi or grilled chicken breast. The dessert choices are strawberry rhubarb crumble, peanut butter crisp and coconut panna cotta, so I don’t blame you if you have a little trouble deciding which to choose. Go.
Stone Creek Inn, East Quogue
Step into the beautiful old Victorian decorated with simple yet striking white decor for top-notch French-Mediterranean cuisine that Hamptonites rave about at a bargain prix-fixe price. Stone Creek Inn’s delicious entree offerings include beef short ribs and crispy soft shell crab, and their featured wines are both local: Macari Estate Bottled Chardonnay and Wölffer Sagaponack Red. I dare you to try to pass up the banana cartwheel of mascarpone mousse, meringue, dulcet de leche and crème Chantilly for dessert. Go.
The 1770 House Restaurant & Inn, East Hampton
Chef Michael Rozzi of The 1770 House Restaurant & Inn is known for his Hamptons cuisine that features innovative uses of local bounty. Savor his potato soup, signature tavern meatloaf and a ricotta cheesecake with hazelnut crust, blueberry compote and bourbon caramel in a space famed for its five-star service and historic ambience. Go.
Docker’s Waterside Marina & Restaurant, East Quogue
Feel like you’re on vacation in the middle of the workweek by making a trip to Docker’s Waterside Marina & Restaurant. As if the waterfront views weren’t enough, the Dune Road destination is serving up seafood like jumbo crab cake and lobster rolls and not-to-be-passed-up desserts like moose tracks pie. Go.
Fresno Restaurant, East Hampton
A hidden gem a few blocks from Main Street, Fresno Restaurant transports you to a French villa with its sky lights, zinc bar, hanging chandeliers and timeless French doors that lead you to the patio made for a la fresco dining. Allow the sommelier to open a bottle of Long Island wine, then indulge in dishes like salmon tartare, grilled hanger steak and grilled tequila marinated duroc pork chop. Go.