5 East End Restaurants Highlighting Local Produce

Heirloom tomatoes (finally) abound—and the chefs at these restaurants know what to do with them.

Tomato season is here. Dine out where they know how to celebrate it. • Photo courtesy of North Fork Table & Inn

The time is nigh. If you’re skipped out on a CSA this year but still want the best of what the farmer’s markets have to offer, dining out on Long Island’s East End can be a seasonally transformative experience.

Here are five restaurants that highlight the best of the season.

1. The North Fork Table and Inn

As ever, this Southold stalwart represents the very best in farm-to-table dining, and this season is no exception. The restaurant’s tasting menu and a la carte menu both change along with the market, so you can expect to find everything from white asparagus soup with rhubarb to rack of lamb with ramps. As an added bonus, the restaurant’s food truck, which has a permanent home at the back of the parking lot, serves up—among other delicious items—a seasonal salad of grains, local vegetables, and greens.

The North Fork Table and Inn, 57225 Main Road, Southold, (631) 765.0177, open Monday, Thursday 5:30 to 8 p.m., Friday 5:30 to 10 p.m., Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m., and Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

2. Almond Bridgehampton

Chefs Jason Weiner and Jeremy Blutstein bring the seasonal ruckus to Bridgehampton, with a regularly rotating menu that features all that is good and locally grown. Recent interpretations have included pork ravioli with flowering broccoli rabe; sea scallops with smoked beets, buttered radishes, and pickled green strawberries; and sea urchin risotto with ramps, sunchokes, and basil oil. As the season progresses, diners can expect more outrageously tasty creations based on market availability.

Almond Bridgehampton, 1 Ocean Road, Bridgehampton, (631) 537.5665, open daily at 5 p.m.

3. Noah’s

Chef Noah Schwartz has always dedicated himself to local ingredients, and one look at his menu shows his seriousness. A focus on local seafood is bolstered by the use of local ingredients (pea shoots, fava beans, lettuces, and various other spring vegetables make their appearances in nearly every dish). Each menu boasts the tag line “from farm to fork,” in case you weren’t already clear on the restaurant’s ethos. When the season really gets going, plan to see an expanded array of fresh fruits and vegetables, straight from the North Fork’s best farms.

Noah’s, 136 Front Street, Greenport, (631) 477.6720, open Mondays and Thursdays 5 to 9 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sundays 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

4. EMP Summer House

Although EMP Summer House—last summer’s Most Wanted Hamptons Reservation—is still technically a pop-up, it’s a pop-up with locavore gravitas. Menus betray a fierce dedication to the locally grown, featuring such items as hummus with herbed ricotta and fava beans; lettuce and mint salad; and, when the season permits, burrata with tomato and basil (you’ll have to wait until mid-to-late summer for that gem, though). The summer-only experience delivered upon its promise last season to provide thoughtful, tasty, warm weather-inspired cuisine to the East End. We are happy to report that this year’s version is just as delicious.

EMP Summer House, 341 Pantigo Road, East Hampton, open Wednesdays and Thursdays 5:30 to 11:30 p.m., Friday through Sunday 12 to 3 p.m. and 5:30 to 11:30 p.m.

5. Nick & Toni’s

Would any East End roundup really be complete without mention of Nick & Toni’s, one of the most established restaurants on the Island? The restaurant’s Italian-ish menu changes year-round, highlighting whatever happens to be best at the market. Right now, diners can expect a spring pea and prosciutto appetizer, and spaghetti served with ramps, grilled trumpet mushrooms, and a duck egg. Nightly specials are ever-changing and feature even more market deliciousness.

Nick & Toni’s, 136 N. Main Street, East Hampton, (631) 324.3550, open Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday, and Monday 6 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 6 to 10:30 p.m.

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Hannah Selinger

Hannah Selinger is a freelance food and wine writer and sommelier living in East Hampton. Her work has appeared in the such publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and RawStory.com. She is the wine columnist for the Southampton Press.