As the summer season comes to an end, savoring those last balmy evenings becomes a priority. Arts & Living continues to explore East End restaurants, this week in Hampton Bays, where four chefs shared which menu item is a customer favorite, which is recognized as a signature dish and which the chefs like to cook up for themselves.
1 North Steakhouse 594-3419
Most Popular: Surf N’ Turf Sliders; appetizer; $14.
Chef’s Favorite: 16-Ounce Grilled Veal Rib Chop; entrée; $32.
Signature: 18-Ounce Rib Eye; entrée; $30.
Chef/owner Chris Cariello said the Surf N’ Turf Slider appetizer cannot be ignored. The dish is made up of two ground filet mignon patties with fresh Maine lobster claw, sliced avocado and smoked Gouda cheese served on a toasted mini brioche roll.
“People are intrigued by the combination,” Mr. Cariello said. “And once they actually taste it, they fall in love with it.”
As his favorite, Mr. Cariello chose the bone-in 16-ounce Grilled Veal Rib Chop, which is wet-rubbed with garlic and fresh herbs and topped with red wine reduction, roasted garlic and served with grilled asparagus and mashed potatoes.
“I love it because I love how the plate looks,” he said. “It’s a beautiful bone-in chop and the wet rub really accents the natural flavor of the veal with the homemade red wine reduction as a perfect complement.”
According to Mr. Cariello, the restaurant’s signature is the 21-day aged 18-ounce Rib Eye.
“We are a steakhouse, so people often come in here looking for a great steak,” he said. “And this is it.”
The USDA prime-certified Angus beef is dry-aged to intensify the flavor, can be made plain, marinated or dry-rubbed, and is served with potatoes, vegetable and a house-made sauce.
“It’s such a flavorful cut,” Mr. Cariello said. “And dry-aging it makes it that much more flavorful.”
Brewster’s Seafood 728-3474
Most Popular: “PUPS” Pickup Parties/Lobster Bake; entrée; $29.
Chef’s Favorite: Hamptons Hot Lobster Roll; entrée; $18.
Signature: Seafood Stuffed Flounder; entrée; $19.
According to owner/chef Russ Moran, Brewster’s “PUPS” Lobster Bake is the most popular choice. The lobster bake includes lobster of your choice, half a pound of mussels, half a pound of steamers, four littleneck clams, five medium shrimp, corn on the cob, melted butter and clam broth. It’s all cooked and packed to stay hot for more than two hours in Styrofoam containers, according to Mr. Moran.
“It’s what we’re famous for, some people order two, some people order a few hundred,” he said. “It’s a unique way of packaging that makes it easy to take to the beach, use for parties or keep at share houses.”
Mr. Moran said his personal favorite is the Hamptons Hot Lobster Roll, made with warm lobster meat on a toasted, seeded bun with a side of drawn butter and served with sweet potato fries or french fries.
The Seafood Stuffed Flounder is Brewster’s signature dish, according to Mr. Moran. The fresh local flounder is stuffed with a homemade scallop, shrimp and crabmeat stuffing and served with a choice of two sides—sweet potato fries, avocado corn salsa, baked potato, homemade coleslaw or homemade potato salad.
“People know how fresh it is, they can see it in the case and know we prepared it right there on site,” Mr. Moran said. “I think that entices them a little more.”
The Inn Spot on the Bay 728-1200
Most Popular: Chocolate Fettucini; appetizer or entrée; $10; $25.
Chef’s Favorite: Tahitian-Style Pork Chops; entrée; $28.
Signature: Indonesian-Style Shrimp Curry; entrée; $28.
Owners and “Cheffes,” Colette and Pam, said they have developed their own spelling of the word ‘chef’ to represent being female professional culinary artists and they use their restaurant and ever-changing menu to display that talent.
As a most popular dish, the cheffes chose the Chocolate Fettucini because those adventurous customers who are willing to try it, love it. The dish features fettucini with 87-percent cocoa, caramelized shallots and shiitake mushrooms. The pasta is tossed with toasted hazelnuts and some homemade sea salt. “The surprise is that it’s savory, not sweet,” Colette said. “It’s a simple, elegant dish with a great combination of texture and flavor but it’s also unique and covers every base.”