As we roll quickly towards the last weekend of summer fun, there’s no better place to be (for East Coasters, anyway) than Long Island’s tony Hamptons beaches, or strolling the shops. This weekend, skip the cooking and cleaning and enjoy a meal at Highway Restaurant and Bar, East Hampton’s perfectly-perched restaurant along Montauk Highway. A TOMS Hospitality restaurant, we like to think of Highway as the sleeper hit from the team behind hotspots like Eleven Madison Park, Shuko, NoMad Hotel Restaurant and Bar, Charlie Bird and Legacy Records.
While technically located in East Hampton, the unassuming Highway is an easy jaunt from Montauk, Sag Harbor or Bridgehampton as well. The location, as the name implies, is just along the highway and in front of the VFW building, but offers ample parking and no noise from the namesake highway once you’re inside.
The Ambiance & Service
The decor is chicly minimalist, nude and white brick walls and dark wood flooring, offering a breezy-beach vibe in summer that lends itself to a cozy neighborhood bar feel even in the depths of a Hamptons winter.
The service here is always attentive and friendly without feeling intrusive. On a recent visit, our server remembered one of our guests’ preferences from a recent visit, practically bringing our cocktails before we could order. In a town where people name drop like it’s their job, these little touches really count for something.
Food & Drink
Highway, helmed by chef Anand Sastry (executive chef) and Justin Finney (chef de cuisine), offers a mostly American menu with a vaguely Mediterranian influence on some dishes, plus local fare wherever possible. Standout dishes include the split organic roast chicken, as well a large ribeye served over sauteed kale. We also love the pasta dishes, like a pappardelle with a veal and porcini ragu or linguine with fresh clams, all of which make great shareable sides as well.
To start, don’t miss the lobster avocado toast, and on the dessert menu, the house-made ice cream sandwich is a standout.
Visit on a weekend in the summer and try Shuko Beach, an omakase or a la carte style sushi experience from the team behind sister restaurant Shuko in NYC.
Cocktails are always excellent and generously sized, but we also appreciate that they also have exactly the right garnishes, like Luxardo Cherries for your Manhattan — unlike some in town (cough cough, we’re looking at you, East Hampton Grill) who have tended to skimp on their cocktails of late. An extensive wine list is also available, should you care to partake in a glass of Rose or two.
Know Before You Go
Highway is open daily, while Shuko Beach, the summer sushi pop up from sister spot Shuko, is open Thursday through Sunday with advance reservation only.
Tip: Make your reservations easily on OpenTable; we’ve generally found good availability even same day, although when we arrive — the restaurant is always crowded!