Hamptons high season may technically have just a few weeks left, but given the current climate, many well-heeled New Yorkers have opted to take up at least semi-permanent residence out east.
And while in-restaurant dining certainly looks different than it does in years past, that doesn’t mean the Long Island restaurant scene is any less enticing. In fact, it’s in many ways more relaxed – no crowds for a seat at the East Hampton Grill bar, and the outdoor tables at Moby’s are still a predictably hot ticket.
But if we had our way, it would still be the summer of takeout. What’s better than packing a picnic for the beach, or simply dining alfresco (perhaps poolside) with a batch cocktail or bottle of Wölffer Estate rosé?
Here are some of our favorites to savor this summer or during the extended season.
Don’t Miss Dish: Thai Night Faves
A longtime staple for in-restaurant dining, the team behind NYC’s Eleven Madison Park and sushi joint Shuko elevates casual classics (think spit-roasted chicken with corn salad and tender burrata with local stone fruits) in a total pivot to takeaway meals. One of the few spots in town to cure a Thai craving, the restaurant turned a regular set of features into new menu staples, like miso-glazed salmon over lo mein noodles, green papaya and crab salad, and even whole-roasted Peking duck on Fridays. Pop it up with craft cocktails or a bottle of wine, delivered directly to your car. If you really want to dine in, sister spot Main Street Tavern is newly opened in Amagansett. If you want to get really fancy, you can even set up catering — the chefs have an Autostrada pizza oven that they can drive over to make homemade Neapolitan pies, or a custom-curated sushi meal by Chef Ry Nitzkowski can be set on your back deck as well.
Don’t Miss Dish: Picnic Baskets or the Monday Night Special
Carissa’s pickled rye and gorgeously decorated cakes have long had a cult following, leading chef/owner Carissa Waechter to open a second location on Pantigo Road last summer. Online ordering is a breeze at both shops, and we love that they’ve added a selection of everything from to-go breakfast sammies and signature croissants to picnic baskets perfect for an evening on the beach. Sign up via email to receive notice of the Monday dinner special, which has featured everything from Korean BBQ to an Argentine Grill, Halibut en Papillote, and more.
Don’t Miss Dish: Signature Summer Picnic Box
When something lasts for eight seasons in a row, you know it has to be good. Perfectly positioned on Pantigo Road, the coastal Italian hotspot offers ample outdoor seating (plus lawn games) as well as a full-service market offering creative lifestyle and pantry items for perusal if you wish to shop while waiting for your takeout order (think Estudio Ka cutting boards, Rrres rugs, and one-of-a-kind African woven baskets). Expect simple, ingredient-driven dishes including pizzas from a wood-burning oven, housemade ice cream, and a gorgeous antipasti selection for a light night of snacks at home by the pool. We also love the bottled cocktails to go, like the ‘Gansett Sunset, made with fresh watermelon, Aperol, gin, and lemon juice.
Don’t Miss Dish: Red Lentil Dal or Pork Porterhouse
Neighborhood staple Fresno has been on our regular rotation for more than a decade, and it’s no surprise that they pivoted well during the first wave of COVID-19 re-openings, repurposing their ample patio and parking lot for dine-in. But we also love that you can get the whole menu for takeaway, including large-format cocktails that know how to please a crowd couple, like their version of a quarantine, made with Titos, lemon, local honey, and rosemary.
Call 631-324-8700 to order.
Don’t Miss Dish: Baby Back Ribs
Perennially popular East Hampton Grill’s parking lot is still packed with people doing dine-in on a weekend, but the restaurant also offers a well-edited menu of favorites like tuna tartare and their signature ribs for takeaway. We appreciate the resto’s limiting of options to those things that re-heat well, as well as the easy curbside pickup. We only wish we could replicate the servers who bring you a second chilled glass midway through your martini at our home bar. But that’s what husbands are for, right?
Don’t Miss Dish: Fish Tacos
On most summer days, you’ll see cars parked all the way up the side of Pantigo Road for the signature clams, oysters, and fried fish at Bostwick’s. This summer, the secret is simple to skip the line – order ahead and take that seafood bounty direct to the beach, with a to-go Lily Pond Lemonade in hand.
Don’t Miss Dish: Takeaway BBQ Package
Round Swamp Farm is a farmer’s market-meets prepared food stand that perfectly blends the line between grocery, market and restaurant. This year, it’s easier than ever to snag Lisa’s cinnamon rolls or the skinny chicken parm right online, and even to pre-arrange delivery to your door. Montauk and East Hampton are allowing for limited in-person shopping, but for a $125 minimum, you can also get items direct to your door.
It’s hard to drive a mile in this area without passing at least one farm stand, but Balsam has been dishing out quality produce, grocery goods and specialty jams, jellies, and more since 2003. Offering an amazing in-market system that lets you enjoy no-contact shopping for fresh-from-the-farm tomatoes, corn, blueberries, and more, as well as loaves of bread, dairy and even meat from a careful selection of local farms, this spot is sure to please even the pickiest home chef. But it’s also simple to pre-order for pickup or delivery if you’d rather spend that time on the golf course or at the beach.
Have another favorite spot we didn’t mention? Send us a note.