A MEXICAN STANDOFF IN SAG HARBOR?

RUMORS AND MORE RUMORS ABOUT FOOD IN SAG HARBOR VILLAGE!

It’s no secret that Sag Harbor is a foodie town. With so many options for dining, it can be hard to decide where to go. But if you’re in the mood for Mexican food, you may soon be getting another option and “The Chatter” as I’m now calling the blog is here to spill the refried beans.


K-Pasa has been a Sag Harbor staple for the past few years. The restaurant is known for its pricey taco dishes, as well as its margaritas and pretty much the big queso in town for spicy specialties. Well now LT Burger, is apparently jumping into the tortilla biz. The Main Street burger joint recently brown papered the windows and left a note saying they’ll be back with an revised menu and new format soon. It kind of makes sense since I don’t know how the place was making it work when most tables were filled with a few adults and a zillion kids splitting a burger and fries. Anway, my sources tell me they’re going to diversify the menu and include tacos and lighter fare so burgers are nacho only choice. I don’t have any timeline for the change over but will keep you posted.

Something to taco bout!

Meanwhile, the one that has everyone talking in town is the imminent closure of Dockside Restaurant and Bar on Bay Street. According to sources, the Dockside Bar and Grill, located in the American Legion hall, will be closing its doors to the public mid-November. The restaurant has been a staple in the small town of Sag Harbor for years, and its loss will be felt by many.

The primary cause (from what I hear) of the closure is due to the restaurant losing their lease. Others have told me that they just felt it was time to retire. Adam Potter, who has his fingers in lots of businesses around town, now controls it. There has been much speculation as to why Potter would want to see the Dockside go, but the bottom line is the comparisons to THE Mr. Potter from It’s a Wonderful Life will certainly continue. If you read the Nextdoor Neighbor app you’ll know what I mean.

Dockside wil be sailing into the Sunset soon

What we do know is that the new occupants of the space will be the folks behind Rita Cantina in Springs. They’re apparently looking to bring a casual bistro/pub menu to the Bay Street location. While this may be good news for some, it’s still bittersweet given the circumstances. I like Rita Cantina and I liked their previous restaurant Bay Kitchen so I have high hopes for the new “Dockside.”


It’s always hard to see a beloved local spot have to close its doors, but sometimes change can be for the better. We’ll have to wait and see what the new occupants of the old Dockside Bar and Grill location have in store for us. Either way, we’ll always remember the good times we had at the Dockside.

BURRATA, BURRITOS AND MORE!

East End Mangia Mania: New Restaurants Arrive in EH 

It’s May the 4th but I’m not thinking about Star Wars.  (MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU!) NO!   My eyes and stomach are focused on Cinco de Mayo.   Why?   Because Mexican food is my desert island pick and there’s some muy bueno news for me to taco-bout.    So, let’s say goodbye to chili weather and warm up with the thought that some new places to eat, drink and be merry will soon be coming to the east end.  

Two appetizing moves worth mentioning are —Sotto Sopra in Amagansett is becoming il Buco al Mare, while Rita Cantina is setting up shop in the former home of Bel Mar Ristorante and, more famously before that, Michael’s, the vaunted Springs restaurant that called it quits in 2019. 

Rita Cantina 

Mexican Makeover at Michael’s

Created as a modern and coastal Mexican concept by brothers and business partners Marc Miller and chef Eric Miller, and located at 28 Maidstone Park Road in Springs, Rita Cantina will celebrate Mexican food using locally sourced fare, including all the ingredients that “swim, graze and grow” in Gardiners Bay and the surrounding area. Like any great Mexican establishment, they’ll also offer an extensive, tequila-focused bar program. Unfortunately, we won’t get to sample those tequila specialties for Cinco de Mayo on Wednesday, but they’re perfecting the space and aiming to open by Memorial Day, so there’s plenty of time to plan a visit. 

The Millers have close to four decades of experience working in fine dining. Eric helped pioneer dock-to-dish and farm-to-table dining in the Hamptons, while Marc, who is handling front-of-house operations, owned and operated East Hampton’s Bay Kitchen Bar from 2014–2018. Keeping things in the family, Eric’s son and business partner Adam Miller lays claim to what promises to be an inventive bar program. 

iBuco al Mare 

I don’t have a ton of info on this one, but I recently learned that after 12 years at 231 Main Street in Amagansett, chef Josh Savi’s Tuscan spot, Sotto Sopra has closed. In its place comes il Buco al Mare, a local extension of the il Buco Family, including the original il Buco, Donna Lennard and Alberto Avalle’s beloved Mediterranean restaurant and rustic antique shop—well known in NYC for its quality and atmosphere on the still-cobblestone Bond Street in NoHo—and il Buco Alimentari & Vineria on Great Jones. 

So long Sotta… Bienviendo Buco… Il Buco!

For those who will miss the Italian fare at Sotto Sopra, don’t fret: il Buco is “part Italian, part Spanish, part invention” and dedicated to sourcing excellent prime ingredients locally and in Avalle’s native Italy, where he now resides full-time. According to an online posting seeking staff for the new Hamptons operation, “il Buco al Mare will share in the convivial spirit, exquisitely sourced ingredients, and immaculate wine lists that guests have come to expect in Manhattan and combine it with sea-side appeal and relaxed vibes of the Hamptons.” 

Who’s excited to do some eating this summer? 

ClIFFS NOTES FOR HAMPTONS DINING!

Spring has sprung here in the Hamptons.    The crocus have bloomed, the trees have buds and new restaurants are popping up everywhere.   But before I go into what’s new, let’s talk about what is no longer around.   Let’s bow our heads for a moment of silence and say something kind about a few of the shuttered establishments.

Old Stove Pub-They really knew how to kill a cow twice.

Hudson Blue Crab House – They employed a lot of people in witness protection.

EMP Summer House – I always knew who was there every minute… thanks Instagram.

Bay Burger – The Jazz nights were very jazzy.

The Princess Diner – It was better than prison food.

Now onto the brighter side of things.   There are more than a few new restaurants coming to the east end this summer.    One bit of news is that we’ll have not one but TWO new Mexican restaurants coming to town.   One is from the folks at Nick and Toni’s and La Fondita.     It’s called Coche Comedor and from what I read on Edible East End, it’s going to be amazing.  You can read the details by clicking here.   Although, they said they were opening in April, my “sources” tell me it’s actually opening later this week which believe it or not is MAY!    I’m sure it will be great and besides I’ve always been a fan of Commodores (especially with Lionel).

The other Mexican is an upgrade from La Superica in Sag Harbor.   I actually liked the food at Superica but found

Coche
The Old Honest Diner is now Coche Comedor

the party atmosphere (which often included the staff) a little frustrating and too much for even this hipster.  Anyway, the folks from Sen in Sag Harbor are upping the ante, renovating and hoping to open K-Pasa by this memorial day.  The Sag Harbor Express broke the big news back in February but the clever name was just announced recently.   K-Pasa…. Get it!?!?!  Personally I would have preferred if it were named “Tequila  Mockingbirds” or “Taco bout It” or “Guacstar” or … Ok, I’ll stop.   You can read more about by clicking the link to the article here.

But enough about Mexican, this is the Hamptons…. where is the seafood?   Well for those who like to have their fish and filet it too there will be Ed’s Lobster Bar in Sag Harbor.   Going into the slot formerly occupied by Bay Burger on Sag Harbor-Bridgehampton Turnpike.   The building will be refitted to resemble a sea side cottage and feature both indoor and outdoor seating.    My idea was to keep it Bay Burger but add roller skating waiters and have trays for the car window.   But hey there’s a reason I’m not in the restaurant business.    Apparently Ed’s is a big deal in SOHO and they’ll be bringing the same cool vibe to here in the Hamptons.   If you want more details, you can read more about Ed’s in 27 East by clicking here.

Finally, some major switcharooing in East Hampton.   Hold your hats for this one…. The folks behind Bay Kitchen in East Hampton which used to be Bostwick’s are heading to the site of the former Princess Diner in Southampton.   The new establishment will be

Silver Linings
The Princess has left the diner!

called Silver Lining Diner.    The menu will be a bit more upscale than your average diner and you can read more about it here.   Ok, are you following me?    So, now the place that was Bay Kitchen for the past few years and The Boat House before that will become Bostwick’s once again!   Meanwhile, Bostwick’s which is currently on Rt. 27 at the former Snow Flake will stay put and remain Bostwick’s Chowder House.   So you’ll have two Bostwick’s to choose from this summer.

Oh and one last thing, if you’ve driven by the site of the former Agave, Mercado and Hudson Blue Crab House you may have noticed there has been some renovating going on.  Rumor has it they’ll soon be reopening as the Gawanus Canal Lobster Company!   Just kidding,  I’m not actually sure what’s going on but I heard a new restaurant will be going in the spot, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.    Also, Michael’s restaurant in Springs is relocating to the site of their other location known as The Blend on Three Mile Harbor Rd, East Hampton.

That’s all folks.

 

 

 

 

 

Salsa… Soros… and more!

I’ve griped forever about how there isn’t a good Mexican “sit down” restaurant in the Hamptons.    I’ve complained and complained.  Yes, I like La Fondita and Sabrosa but I can’t really see having a nice quiet dinner at either location.     But this summer, it seems we finally can get the whole enchilada and enjoy it too!

First in Southampton is Union Cantina.   Located at the site of the former Southampton Public House,   the “Cantina” opened in mid-June and has been packing it’s tables ever since.   So far, the reviews have been pretty good.   I haven’t yet been but FOHC (Friends of Hamptons Chatter) have been telling me the foods pretty solid… not outstanding but good.    The standouts according to my sources are the enchiladas, roasted peach glazed pork and the freshly made salsa.  While the prices are certainly not Taco Bell they’re not exactly Nello either.    So based on the word of mouth around town it seems Union Cantina is worth a visit.    If you’ve been, let me know what you think.
Secondly,  The Blue Parrot in East Hampton has long been a punch line for bad food and bad service in my book forever!  I went a few years ago when it first opened under the new management which includes Jon Bon Jovi and the girl from Jerry Maguire who has a name I can’t spell.   The food was overpriced, lousy and served with a snarl from the surly staff.      If that wasn’t bad enough they used to have a bouncer there which would have lead you to believe, folks were clamoring to get inside…. and they weren’t.   Anyway, for whatever reason I decided to stop by for a visit last week after a hiatus of close to three years.      The first thing I encountered was a friendly staff and no bouncer!     I had to wait while my table was being prepped so I sat at the bar and had a really great margarita… at $15 bucks it was no bargain but the pour was generous and the mason jar/drinking glass was filled pretty high.
I’m sorry… I’m sorry… I like you!!!

After about 5 minutes, the table was ready and I sat down as fresh tortilla chips and salsa were being dropped off at the table.      That was followed by the house Oaxaca salad and Lime Chipotle fajitas.  While I know fajitas aren’t exactly gourmet and probably not the best way to judge the cuisine, I have to say they were really good and served with fresh made corn tortillas.     By the way, yes you can make bad fajitas I should know, I worked at a Chi Chi’s in college (for those of you who don’t know, it was the Mexican Olive Garden of the 80’s).     My partner in crime Peter had the fish tacos which which also garnered a big thumbs up.      The final verdict is that I take back all the negative things I’ve said in the past about Blue Parrot.    The snarky Go Fund Me page for the chef to take cooking lessons has been taken down and my mea culpa is complete.     So ,  if you’ve not been to The Blue Parrot in years, take my advice and give it another shot.

Finally, just in time for August some good news about what makes the Hamptons such a fun place to live.    According to sources, billionaire investor George Soros made a stop with a few friends at the American Hotel in Sag Harbor.   While that’s not anything to set rumors flying what happened when the check was delivered is the interesting part.  Apparently Mr. S. (as I call him) paid his hefty check with 4 figures not including cents and added on a 100%+ tip for the staff.     While I haven’t been able to confirm this Christmas come early gift from the tight lipped staff at the hotel… my sources are pretty reliable.     Besides, what’s so wrong with being nice!?