Bay Kitchen Bar, an East Hampton favorite for locals and visitors alike, has reopened for the summer season with a new nautically-inspired interior design, and a revamped local, sea-to-table menu. Tucked away on an East Hampton marina with stunning views of Gardiners Bay, chef Eric Miller serves up the Hamptons’ best seafood, working with local fisherman to highlight flavorful, fresh dishes such as Montauk Tuna Tartare with avocado and grated horseradish; Mussels with ginger, red miso, garlic, lemongrass and coconut; and Buttermilk Fried Soft Shell Crab with a summer veggie slaw and passion fruit consomme.
We arrived on a Wednesday afternoon at 4pm, right when they open. There were two dining parties that entered just after us. Within about forty minutes, the restaurant welcomed three additional parties. Form what I have been told, it gets very busy during happy hour and on the weekends from opening thru to close. Everyone we encountered was very hospitable, our waiter took his time when explaining the menu offerings, and each dish was served at an appropriate time.
To drink, my mom and I started with Kipling’s Swizzle: Beefeater London Dry Gin, Ceylon Cinnamon Syrup, Pineapple Juice, Lime Juice, Tonic, Green Cardamom Tincture, and Angostura Bitters ($15); and Strawberry Rhubarb Pisco Sour: Encanto Pisco, Strawberry Rhubarb Syrup, Egg White, Lemon Juice, and Chuncho Bitters ($15). Our drinks were a refreshing pairing with the view of the harbor. Superbly crafted cocktails, which made for a very special way to toast the afternoon. Second, came the bread bowl. The bread was freshly baked, warm with some steam expelled when we broke our bread. Our favorite was the pretzel roll, the creamy butter was salty and sweet. I sprinkled a touch of Amagansett Sea Salt on the bread, a perfect compliment.
Beverage director Adam Miller has created an inventive cocktail menu that complements the seafood-centric menu with summer standouts including the Mexican Firing Squad ($15), a tangy combination of tequila, mezcal, grenadine, lime juice and habanero tincture; a Watermelon Caipirinha ($15) and a Horchata Colada ($16) served in a rose gold pineapple punch bowl with vodka, rum, horchata, pineapple juice, vanilla and lime juice. I particularly like that they display the glass the cocktail will be served in so you could create a mental picture before you choose.
To start, we were given two raw oysters on ice topped with a corn and pepper salsa. Soon after, we split the Crab Cakes under “Small Plates”: Carolina gold rice salad, sweet corn, avocado, tomato, crispy zucchini ($24). There were three good size crab cakes with a mustard and remoulade sauce. Dense, lump crab cake that flavorful and tender with a little crisp in each bite.
For our main courses, I chose the Lobster Roll: hand shucked on potato brioche with herbed fries with celery and lemon mayonnaise ($29); and my mom had the Harbor Fluke: Sicilian capers, summer vegetables, kale, spinach, toasted orzo ($37). For the lobster roll, an alternative to the celery and lemon mayo is having it served with a warm sweet butter drizzle. Our waiter informed me that he always loves the warm butter drizzle. That was my first choice, but I was inclined to order what was most popular for patrons. Both entrees were excellent; my daughter loved her herbed fries: crispy and golden brown with a dusting of dried, flavorful herbs.
For dessert, my daughter had a scoop of Strawberry Gelato ($11), and we split the Blueberry Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote ($12). A great way to end the meal. My favorite was actual the gelato, so creamy and refreshing at the same time. I loved the tall, stem glass the gelato was served in! I also had a cappuccino, simply perfect. Additional dessert choices include a Pound Cake Sundae ($12) and a Marquis of Chocolate ($14).
Bay Kitchen Bar also offers two nightly happy hours pairing fresh oysters ($2) and crisp rose by the glass ($6) 4pm-6pm daily, and 10pm-close Friday-Saturday only. Opening hours are Wednesday-Sunday beginning at 4pm until 10pm (Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday), and until 11pm Friday-Saturday. Bay Kitchen Bar will be open daily beginning June 22.
http://baykitchenbar.com // 631-329-3663