Foodie’s tips on where to eat in the Hamptons this summer

The main dining room at Sag Harbor's Lulu Kitchen & Bar has a lush, classic vibe.
The main dining room at Sag Harbor’s Lulu Kitchen & Bar has a lush, classic vibe. Photo Credit: @pridetrain Instagram

Vanessa Gordon knows a thing or two about dining in the Hamptons. The East Hampton native is the publisher of East End Taste Magazine. She also will be hosting the second annual Hamptons Interactive Influencer Brunch on July 20 at The Maidstone in East Hampton, where you can enjoy more of her favorite Hamptons spots.

amNewYork spoke with Gordon, who lives in Sag Harbor with her husband and two young children, about what to expect from the Hamptons dining scene this summer.

What makes the Hamptons such a unique food scene?

I was just in Melbourne, the food capital of Australia, and we’re lucky to have so many places to eat in such a small area here. I follow a lot of chefs from different backgrounds, many who hop around to different restaurants, so I visit them every year to see what new concepts they are working on.

What are some of the latest up-and-coming, “see and be seen” spots?

Brooklyn Chop House [is] coming to Southampton. The Hamptons is managing at least five to 10 new restaurants a year. Il Mulino in Wainscott has opened again for the season, plus the new Silver Lining Diner in Southampton. La Superica may be opening up again but there are a lot of hoops to jump through, it’s not easy to become established here. The rent is high, the towns are tough with liquor licensing, there is so much involved. I don’t think people appreciate how hard it is to open up a business there.

What are some of your most satisfying secret spots?

I’ve been told that The Blend at Three Mile Harbor in East Hampton at the former Harbor Grill is the best place to go for the best value — I will definitely be trying it this summer. It might not be so secret anymore! Also, I always go to the 1770 House Restaurant and Inn [in East Hampton], they have a tavern downstairs which a lot of people don’t realize with their famous meatloaf. I really love the Bridgehampton Inn & Restaurant, they always rotate their menu. Summertime is crazy, so I love going to each spot at a nice quiet time to really appreciate it more.

Steamed pork buns with red cabbage and carrot slaw are a savory appetizer at Highway Restaurant & Bar.
Steamed pork buns with red cabbage and carrot slaw are a savory appetizer at Highway Restaurant & Bar. Photo Credit: Nicole Horton

What are some of the food trends everyone will be tasting this summer?

I’ve noticed a lot of Mediterranean influence and Asian-inspired influence, fusion per se, and also Latin American influence. [The] chef … at Highway Restaurant and Bar in Wainscott travels through Southeast Asia so his menu is influenced from that as well. I’m also seeing healthier, vegan options for people looking for healthy, quick, grab-and-go items which they can enjoy outdoors. Check out Babette’s in East Hampton for great vegan entrees.

What can people expect from this year’s Hamptons Interactive Influencer Brunch?

If you were to tell me two years ago that I would be putting on something like this I wouldn’t believe it, but, we’re doing it, and there’s been quite an interest in it from people who want to have music, to be sponsors, to put items in gift bags. We have a lot of things going on behind the scenes that we just cannot wait to share.

Gordon’s East End faves

Staples: The Beacon and Lulu Kitchen & Bar, both in Sag Harbor

Brunch: “Almost anything from Goldberg’s Famous Bagels in Wainscott. I always request the Isabelle’s Request at Estia Little Kitchen in Sag Harbor — it’s their Tuscan toast with goat cheese, plenty of fresh veggies and two poached eggs. It really hits the spot, and I always try to order mine with a side of chocolate chip pancakes.”

Winery: “Channing Daughters Winery in Bridgehampton is a great place for wine nerds if you want a memorable glass of wine and a really peaceful experience where you can look out on the vineyard and sit out on their patio for a nice, quiet evening.”

Pizza: World Pie in Bridgehampton

Lobster roll: Hooked in Montauk. “Make sure to order it with their Kick’n Crab & Corn Chowder or Hooked House Salad.”

Dessert: Buddhaberry in Sag Harbor. “I always get a vanilla-based frozen yogurt with chocolate ‘fudgy’ quinoa, chia seeds and cookie dough.”

Cocktails: Page at 63 Main, Corner Bar and Baron’s Cove, all in Sag Harbor, and Zakura in Amagansett for “really good lychee martinis.”

Child-friendly: “In the summer, Claude’s at the Southampton Inn has outdoor seating and plenty of room to run around and play. Smokin’ Wolf BBQ [in East Hampton] is a great spot for children with their picnic tables and I love their avocado quesadillas.”