Local for these East End restaurants means farming, catching and raising their ingredients themselves.
NICK & TONI’S The late Jeff Salaway did it before it was cool, literally laying the groundwork in 1988 for a garden behind the restaurant that would supply the restaurant he owned with wife Toni Ross with beautiful, fresh produce. With the help of Scott Chaskey of Quail Hill Farms, he did just that and lives on as a testament to Salaway. Today, it’s a full acre of veggies, fruit, herbs and 30 free-range chickens supplying Nick & Toni’s executive chef Joe Realmuto with eggs daily. So those lettuces, turnips, radishes, squash, Swiss chard, carrots, fennel, cabbage beets, leeks, spring onions, pea shoots, strawberries, melons and a number of herbs on your plate? They were probably picked mere hours before. Now that’s fresh. 136 N. Main St., East Hampton
THE PRIDWIN Sunset Beach down the street may get all the limelight, but savvy insiders know that the best views and freshest fish in town can be had on the sweeping deck of the elegant 92-year-old Pridwin Hotel. Since the Petry family took part ownership in 1961, Dick Petry’s love of fishing and the sea informed what wound up on the plate. Today, his son, Gregg, heads out weekly for striped bass, blackfish, yellowfin, big eye and bluefin tuna, bluefish, swordfish— whatever his reel and hook find. Get there at the right time and you might even see Gregg pulling up to the Pridwin dock at Crescent Beach with the week’s fare. 81 Shore Road, Shelter Island
ESTIA’S LITTLE KITCHEN has long been a delicious part of the Hamptons scene, and no wonder—his honest, fresh, comforting Mexican-American dishes have long honored the local bounty, but it’s Ambrose’s 3 Sisters Garden that really shines on the plate in the summer months. He began it with his first Estia’s incarnation in Amagansett in 1999, and shared it with his superstar toque brethren, the likes of Charlie Palmer, Dennis McNeil, Rick Moonen and the late, great Gerry Hayden. Today, the garden is a little smaller, but no less mighty. Farmed right in back of the Sag Harbor eatery, the quarter-acre plot has several large, raised garden beds and a long table down the middle that seats up to 36, and pays homage to the Indian lore in which a trio of sisters work in tandem to grow crops that both help and nourish one another during the season. You’ll find raspberries, gooseberries, currants, pear and apple trees, rhubarb, pole beans, corn, squash, a multitude of tomatoes and lettuces, and a bumper crop of other offerings, all started from seed. 1615 Sag Harbor Turnpike, Sag Harbor
TWEED’S If you’ve never paused at the beginning of the Fork for a stop at the circa-1896 charms of Tweed’s (formerly the J.J. Sullivan Hotel in ye olde days), then you’re missing out on one of eastern Long Island’s best historical haunts. Even better, current owner Edwin Tuccio is so committed to holding up the old hotel’s steakhouse past, he purchased a couple of bison from the Black Hills of South Dakota and today raises over 300 of them on the North Quarter Farm in Riverhead, where they roam free, eating grass, local potatoes, pumpkins, hay and spent brewer’s mash from the ever-growing craft brewing scene here. Tuccio’s menu boasts an entire bison section with cuts like T-bone, filet mignon, cowboy steak, hanger steak and the everpopular 1-pound burger (don’t feel too guilty about your keto diet—bison meat is known for being oh so lean and low in bad cholesterol). 17 E. Main St., Riverhead