As we emerge from our winter burrows and venture forth in search of springtime treats, the South Fork is complying by offering a plethora of new restaurants for the upcoming season. They include an old friend at Spring Close getting a facelift, a perennial favorite, Almond, in a new location, and a city cousin, Nobu, taking up residence in Southampton.
Starting off in East Hampton, Spring Close restaurant is set to open its doors in the next few weeks with Colin Keilor, a former manager of Nichol’s restaurant in East Hampton, at the helm along with a partner, Michael Lomansey. The restaurant is at the corner of Pantigo Road and Spring Close Highway, and the new owner is well aware of the game of musical restaurants that the site has been part of. It was home to the now-defunct Laundry and before that to the Farmhouse, and once upon a time it was called the Spring Close House.
“The whole concept is to be year round,” said Mr. Keilor. The restaurant will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, and for breakfast and brunch on the weekends. The new eatery will be warm and inviting — old-fashioned rather than modern — and the food will be mainly continental American, but Mr. Keilor said there are some twists in the menu that he’s not ready to reveal yet. “We plan on being here for a while,” he said with a laugh.
The Beach House is the new moniker for the former JL East-Prime 103 location, across the street from Nichol’s on Montauk Highway. Michael Gluckman sold Bamboo, a bit east of there, earlier this year (it’s now Shiki, a Japanese restaurant), and renovated the Beach House, which will open in the next few weeks. As of press time, there was little information available, although it is obvious from the major renovation work that the property will be spruced up in time for the opening.
Shiki, which recently received a positive review in this paper, serves up sushi, sashimi, and other Asian delicacies at 47 Montauk Highway. Specialties include black pepper tuna sushi, a miso Scottish salmon main dish, and a barrage of raw fish platters with tempting names like Black Pearls roll, Sweet Heart roll, and the Pink Lady roll. Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, Shiki offers bento boxes for lunch.
One of the bastions of North Main Street, Della Femina, is changing hands. Its final day of business will be on Saturday. Jerry Della Femina, who opened the popular eatery in 1993, sold the building and restaurant to the Hillstone Group, which owns many restaurants including the upscale Houston’s chain. The new restaurant will be called the East Hampton Grill, not to be confused with the Grill on Pantigo, part of a group of restaurants owned by Ben Krupinski. It opened last year on Pantigo Road in East Hampton.
Page at 63 Main in Sag Harbor is the latest restaurant from Jerry Wawryk. Formerly Blue Sky, a well-reviewed Mediterranean restaurant, the spot has an enclosed patio area where fresh, local organic produce and healthy snacks will be sold. The market can be accessed from an alley without disturbing diners. Other items, suitable for a picnic or to go, will also be available.
The restaurant’s menu also focuses on sustainable and organic ingredients. Jessie Flores, who has worked at Della Femina for the past nine years, is the executive chef.
Why Page? Mr. Wawryk explained that is a nod to his family’s lineage: George Page, c. 1810, was one of the last whaling captains out of Sag Harbor. The restaurant will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.
Eric Lemonides and Jason Weiner of Almond, which recently closed on Montauk Highway west of the Bridgehampton Commons, will reopen their restaurant in downtown Bridgehampton on the corner of Montauk Highway and Ocean Road. The new spot will give the 10-year-old restaurant a larger dining space, as well as some sidewalk tables.
The duo plans to keep the integrity of the historic space intact, including its 100-year-old tin ceilings and hand-carved back bar. Mr. Weiner, the executive chef, will bring back some of his signature favorites such as roast chicken with hand-crushed potatoes and steamed black mussels with shallots, white wine, and parsley. Plats du jour will include such dishes as rack of lamb, bouillabaisse, and whole roasted fish.
“We are very excited about our new home for Almond. We look forward to seeing Almond fans again and introducing them to our new home,” Mr. Lemonides said.
Almond is slated to reopen in May. Initially the restaurant will serve dinner starting at 6 p.m. daily. Lunch and brunch service will be added at a later date.
Only a few weeks ago, Dan Murray was given the lease to the restaurant at the Poxabogue Golf Course in Sagapanack, which he ran as the Fairway restaurant until last year. Known for stacks of pancakes in the morning and hearty sandwiches in the afternoon, the restaurant will return to the golf course in the coming months.
Upscale Japanese cuisine from Nobu Matsuhisa, a world-renowned chef, will be settling in at the former Capri Motel on Montauk Highway in Southampton. Nobu at Capri is one of three new businesses that will occupy that spot, along with a Cynthia Rowley store and the Bathing Club at Capri.
Steven Kamali Hospitality, of Montauk’s Surf Lodge, has partnered up with Nobu to create the new eatery, which also plans to offer catering. Word also has it that Surf Lodge is taking over Second House Tavern in Montauk.
New over the winter, Patrick Glennon and Damien O’Donnell of Harbor Bistro on Three Mile Harbor Road in East Hampton took over the former Fiddlers Cove space. Their family-friendly restaurant is called the Harbor Grill, and according to the father and son-in-law team, it offers “old-school East Hampton dining with the prices to match.” Some choices include Mongolian barbecue chicken wings, burgers and steaks, and fish and chips, with an assortment of other comfort foods from meatloaf to pasta. The Harbor Grill is open seven days a week, serving dinner starting at 4 p.m. Beginning in June, lunch will be served as well.
As the season approaches, other food news is sure to come, as some restaurant spaces are still empty and waiting for their next chapter. What of the Amagansett space occupied by Exile? The former Old Stove Pub? Or the space that Almond recently vacated? Stay tuned