The Boathouse Restaurant in East Hampton really sums up what the Hamptons are all about: laidback, yet chic, nautical, and expensive.
Thanks to a rainy departure from the city, we arrived later than expected and were the sole diners in the midst of 20-somethings in polo shirts enjoyed cocktails as the dining portion of the evening morphed into a nightlife scene. Though the nightly entertainment doesn’t start until July (look forward to live bands and DJs on the weekends), the crowd swayed to tunes ranging from John Denver to Usher in the open space adorned with nautical flags and oars.
Having opened just this season under the direction of famed restaurateur Michael Gluckman, the maritime restaurant rests on the harbor, delivering good food and breathtaking views but has a few kinks to work out service-wise (per others’ reviews, and our own follow-up experience at the end of the weekend).
The appropriately aquatic menu began with a raw bar and apps such as roasted Piquillo peppers stuffed with crabmeat and garlic, jumbo crab cakes, spicy calamari with chipotle mayo, and grilled shrimp soaked in tequila. The main entrees were divided into land- and sea-fare: Long Island crispy duck with sun dried cherry sauce, New York sirloin with sautéed Vidalia onions, roasted Montauk swordfish, 1-1/4 broiled steamed lobster and seared sushi-grade tuna were just a few items that grazed the menu.
Though our roasted peppers, crab cakes, seared tuna, and shrimp stuffed with snow crab were delectable, the dessert menu left little impression on our taste buds. Consisting mostly of typical dessert shop confections, the only one that stood out (strawberry shortcake made with cornbread) failed to tickle even our sweetest tooth.
Regardless of any flaws, it’s hard to beat drinking one of their signature watermelon martinis on the open-air deck watching yachts sail in and out of the harbor — truly this is the Hamptons experience.
The Boathouse Restaurant
39 Gann Road
East Hampton, New York 11937