News for Foodies - 05.26.11

New for the Season
    Memorial Day weekend marks the big start-of-the-season flashpoint for the chefs in the kitchens of most of our nearby restaurants, which will be presenting menus full of new dishes and some special events for the holiday weekend.
    Almond is open for its 10th anniversary year in its new location at One Ocean Road in Bridgehampton, at the corner of Montauk Highway. Followers of the restaurant, which was bumped from its former space at Bridgehampton’s western end, will find a larger dining room that seats 120, including some sidewalk tables. Interior changes to the building maintained its 100-year-old tin ceilings and hand-carved bar, while new touches include bathrooms wallpapered with pages from classic cookbooks by Craig Claiborne, Gael Greene, and Julia Child, and one wall papered in a zebra print from Gino, an Italian restaurant founded in Manhattan in 1945, which closed last year.
    Jason Weiner, Almond’s chef and co-owner, has included many of the bistro’s favorites on a new menu and added dishes such as English pea and lemon ravioli with truffle butter and black pepper, and pan-roasted local fluke with tiny clams, casino butter, baby fennel, charred leeks, and pancetta. There is also a raw shellfish bar. For now, the restaurant will serve dinner beginning at 6 nightly, except Wednesdays. Lunch and brunch hours will be added later.

Honeybee Cafe
    It’s all about the bee at the Honeybee Cafe, a new stop at Marders nursery in Bridgehampton. The cafe is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, and the menu includes organic local foods, offering sandwiches, cappuccino, and espresso. To emphasize the importance of bees and their connection to our food, there is also honey made from nearby hives and products such as handmade organic chocolates made with honey.

A Bistro Concept
    New this year is Turtle Crossing American Bistro, a fresh incarnation of the East Hampton restaurant known for its Southwestern and barbecue cuisine. The interior of the restaurant, now in its 16th year, has been redone, as has the menu, which now includes a selection of “light and wine-friendly” dishes such as organic salads and vegetables, poached fish of the day, and grilled quail.
    Among the new dishes are grilled artichoke with herb butter and lemon tarragon dipping sauce, Asian tuna tartare with avocado, sweet onion, and sesame seeds, local seafood ceviche with ricotta crostini, mango, citrus, and cilantro, smoked and grilled quail with bacon, creamed corn, and a cheddar biscuit, and duck confit with potato cake and black currant. The Large Plates include prime-beef burgers, Oregon grass-fed sirloin steak, and cold-smoked then grilled Scottish salmon.
    Signature slow-smoked barbecue platters — brisket, pulled pork, and pulled chicken — are available on weekends, and there is a kids’ menu as well. Takeout and catering services will continue to be offered. The tradition of Friday night music by Mamalee Rose and Friends will continue from 5 to 7, with $5 tap beer deals, and there will be a happy hour from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday with half-price selected tap beers and $3 off house cocktails and wine by the glass.

Waterfront Dining
    Navy Beach restaurant gets the season under way this weekend with lunch, dinner, and a “beach menu.” Service begins at 11:30 a.m. daily. There will be live music on Saturday and Sunday. Paul LaBue, the chef, produces a “fish-centric” menu at the eatery, which is on the beach at Fort Pond Bay.
    The Beacon restaurant, on the Sag Harbor waterfront, is open for 2011 and serves dinner from Wednesdays through Mondays starting at 6 p.m. Lunch service will begin on June 16.
Weekend at Avanti
    The Avanti Culinary Market, a new grocery in Water Mill, will host several events for foodies this weekend.
    From 3 to 7 p.m. tomorrow, samples of Hint Water, a flavored water, will be served. The market will play host to Jonathan and Michael Small, two brothers who will stop in on a 100-mile bicycle trip from Port Washington to East Hampton that is raising money for Little Shelter, an animal rescue and adoption center in Huntington.
    On Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon, as well as on Sunday during the same time, visitors can sample some of Avanti’s signature dishes, made by Matthew Guiffrida, the executive chef, including Grandma G’s spinach cakes, which are gluten free, and Loco Burgers, a vegan dish that is both gluten and dairy free. From 1 to 4 p.m. there will be a tasting of Kobe beef barbecue items such as sliders and hot dogs. From 5 to 6 p.m., the Avanti Kids Cooking Club will offer a chance for kids to make their own snow cones.
    On Sunday from 2 to 6 p.m., tastes of Steve’s Ice Cream will be available, including dairy-free selections, and children will have a chance to make their own mini sundaes. In honor of Memorial Day, the market will donate a portion of the day’s profits on Monday to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Cooking Classes, Wine Dinners
    Mr. Guiffrida, who is also the chef-owner of Muse Restaurant and Aquatic Lounge, which, like the Avanti market, is at the Water Mill shopping center, offers private cooking classes and wine dinners at the restaurant or in private residences.
    A menu will be put together based on clients’ preferences, and complementary wines chosen in conjunction with Southampton Wines. Prices vary depending on the menu, beginning at $100 per person for dinners at the restaurant and $150 each for off-site meals. Appointments are required, and there is an eight-person minimum.

New at LT
    There are some new items on the menu at LT Burger in the Harbor for the summer. They include chipotle nachos with chopped brisket, a burger made with Snake River Farm American wagyu, jerk chicken with scotch bonnet peppers, coleslaw, and fried onions, tuna burgers, and fish and chips with watercress and vinegar waffle fries. There are new shakes and dessert items as well.

Montauk Marlin Dip
    Lucy’s Whey in East Hampton once again has Montauk Marlin Dip, a spread made from fresh fish. The cheesemongers there have recommended that customers set on getting some call in advance to reserve a container. Orders are also being taken for fruit tarts, sandwiches, and cheese platters.

Phao Hours
    Beginning on Wednesday, Phao, a Thai restaurant in Sag Harbor, will be open Sundays through Thursdays from 5 to 10:30 p.m., and on Fridays and Saturdays from 5 to 11 p.m.

Wine Tasting
    Hamptons Wines & Liquors in East Hampton will host Tuscan table tasting,” on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. It will be catered by Company Catered Events and feature wine pairings by Solstars.