A Chef’s Guide to Hamptons Restaurants

James Head Shot

Executive chef James Tchinnis

The vast culinary scene of the Hamptons may seem hard to navigate, but for executive chef James Tchinnis, great dining has always been about simplicity and quality over frills and fads. His simple, award-winning menu at Swallow Huntington and Montauk features an open kitchen and eclectic new American small plates. Tchinnis recommended trying these no-fuss Hamptons restaurants before summer fades to fall.

Related Content: 12 Places to Go in the Hamptons

Almond, Bridgehampton


image: almond

Almond is a modern day French bistro with a menu that is equal parts classic and creative. Opened in 2001 by Jason Weiner and Eric Lemonides, Almond stood out almost immediately from other Hamptons restaurants for its straightforward approach to locally sourced cuisine and warm, engaging customer service. Phone: 631-537-5665 | Address: 1 Ocean Rd Click to taste

Duryea’s Lobster Deck, Montauk


image: facebook.com/pg/duryeaslobsterdeck

Duryea’s is a classic name for fresh seafood and standard grill grub on the South Fork. Tchinnis favors the joint for fresh seafood. “The standout is the lobster roll—simply delicious. The new chef, James Darenberg gets the freshest seafood and treats it with respect,” said Tchinnis. Duryea’s was acquired by new owner Marc Rowan in 2013 and renovated from plastic chairs and tables to elevated teak outdoor furnishings. But absolutely nothing has changed about its delicious, simple menu, or the aforementioned perfect $28 lobster roll. Phone: 631-668-2410 | Address: 65 Tuthill Rd Click to taste

The East Hampton Grill, East Hampton

“I love restaurants with open kitchens. It’s like the chef is saying, ‘We have nothing to hide.'” To start off the meal, Tchinnis recommended the heavenly biscuits with rosemary, honey and butter. Follow that up with the crab cakes, loaded with crab, super tasty and pan seared to perfection. Phone: 631-329-6666 | Address: 99 N Main St Click to taste

The Dock, Montauk

The Dock is a local legend and so is its owner, George Watson. No venue on the South Fork has quite the sense of humor and personality that seems to radiate from The Dock. “The atmosphere is eclectic—with stuffed ducks, firefighter helmets and other various collectibles hanging from the ceiling. But don’t let that fool you into thinking that the food is average.” Tchinnis recommended the cheeseburger, thick, juicy and cooked perfectly every time, and the plump mussels. “I always ask for more bread to sop up the broth. Order a ‘shorty’ at the bar, and the beers will keep coming, ice cold and often. Just stay off your cell phone, or beware the wrath of George!” Phone: 631-668-9778 | Address: 482 W Lake Dr Click to taste

EMP Summer House, East Hampton


image: facebook.com/elevenmadisonpark

The world’s best restaurant ventured East this summer. EMP House is the Hamptons outpost of Eleven Madison Park, which took the top spot on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list this spring. Chef Daniel Humm is bringing smart, fun and technique driven cuisine to the East End. From lobster poached with corn and tomato to fluke ceviche with radish and cucumber, Humm is fitting right in with the less is more local seafood vibe. “I haven’t been here yet but can’t wait to try the genius of chef Humm’s cuisine.” The East Hampton pop-up restaurant will be open through Labor Day. Address: 341 Pantigo Rd Click to taste