Spending 25 years as a chef, Jon Albrecht has opened dozens of restaurants throughout his career, but it has always been for someone else. Diners may recognize him as the former chef de cuisine at Tutto Il Giorno in Sag Harbor, and most recently the Flagship in Montauk. This month he plans to embark on his own venture when Culaccino opens in Watermill.
“[I have a] passion, love and joy in creating food that is original and exciting,” said Albrecht. “Everyone is terrified to break the rules and go outside of the box, especially in the Hamptons. I am all about that.”
The style and roots of the menu are drawn from all regions of Italy. The cuisine will be presented with modern, Michelin-style plating “that is not only pleasing to the taste buds but also the eyes.”
Take the wild boar chop that will be topped with a chianti and sage-demi sauce served with grilled herb polenta and rainbow Swiss chard called amore giacelo spurgo or the vestiti nuovi imperaturi, which is sheep’s milk ricotta with a tomato and pancetta jam.
“I want to leave a mark as the name Culaccino suggests, in a way that leaves guests longing for more and anxiously awaiting their next experience,” said Albrecht.
The beverage program will only heighten the anticipation with a classic Italian-style menu. There will be inventive, hand-crafted cocktails, an exclusive line of craft beers brewed and bottled in Italy for Culaccino and a handpicked selection of the most sought-after wines, including proseccos and cordials from Italy.
The entire space has been renovated and will provide a light, airy and inviting atmosphere. Guests can snag a spot at the outdoor bar and patio or in one of the two casual, chic dining rooms. And they are welcome to come as they are, whether they’re wearing jeans or slacks and a blazer. Albrecht said he wants the focus to be on the food.
“I want to awaken the senses and share my ideal meal,” said Albrecht. “Cooking should be about inspiration from everything around you. Life, laughter and love inspires me, and my career, every day.”
Culaccino will be located at 670 Montauk Highway and will be open for dinner seven nights a week in season.