Claire Harper | August 19, 2020 | Food & Drink
The masterminds behind Dopo La Spiaggia bring a new authentic italian gem to Southampton.
The masterminds behind Dopo La Spiagga bring a new authentic Italian gem to Southampton.
Argento will serve craveworthy Italian dishes like this one from Dopo La Spiaggia
Well, Southamptonites, good things come to those who wait. After spending years enviously watching your Sag Harbor and East Hampton neighbors feast on ambrosial Italian dishes at Dopo La Spiaggia, your turn in the spotlight has finally come. Exuding an “old soul” charm, Argento—which translates to “silver” in Italian, a nod to Silver’s Restaurant that occupied 15 Main St. for over 50 years—is the third jewel from co- owner trio Maria and Larry Baum and chef Maurizio Marfoglia.
The beverage program boasts plenty of innovative concoctions.
But, as the saying goes, this one is not like the rest. “Our loyal diners have literally begged us to bring a restaurant to Southampton and we’re excited to do that, but we’re not looking to create a chain, where, in our opinion, the soul of the space can be lost,” says Maria. “While the [Dopo La Spiaggia] connections will be obvious, we want Argento to have its own strong identity,”she adds. “This is our clean slate for innovation, and we want to have some fun with it.”
So what, then, does innovation look like? The word authentic certainly comes to mind. Straight from the centuries old olive trees on Maria and Larry’s farm in Umbria, Italy, their own Baciato Dal Vento EVOO will be incorporated into several of Marfoglia’s dishes, including his heavenly organic olive oil gelato (note: His Parmesan gelato with a balsamic vinegar glaze is also a must-try). “I can’t tell you the joy we have in harvesting our olives each fall for a special small-batch production that we share with our friends,” adds Maria, whose family has lived in Italy for centuries. Other highlight delicacies harvested from the farm include black summer truffles, which will be served seasonally at the restaurant. (This farm seems to be the gift that keeps on giving!)
A view of the Baums’ farm; olives from the olive trees will be used to make Baciato Dal Vento EVOO
That Italian flair extends far beyond the menu too. “The atmosphere will be airy like the seaside spots in Italy that we love so much,” says Maria, “and it’ll be mixed with the authenticity and comfort of our farm.” Even the furniture will include handmade walnut chairs hailing straight from the beautiful country—Citta? di Castello to be exact. “There are certain details, like [the chairs], throughout the space that, just by touching them, bring you to that headspace, that place of enjoying all that life brings around the table with family and friends,” she adds.
Drinks will incorporate fresh herbs grown just outside the kitchen.
Locally raised and sourced ingredients are also featured at the new locale, a main highlight being the honey, which comes straight from honeybees Marfoglia is raising down the road in Sag Harbor. The culinary genius plans to use the sweet nectar in items like ricotta and crostini—making us salivate at the thought. On the beverage menu, fresh herbs grown just an arm’s length from the kitchen are infused into unique cocktails creations. “Our bartenders go to great lengths to innovate and mix drinks using our housemade bitters,” shares Maria. “You can always expect a unique new concoction.”
Opening its doors late June, the team is working on some creative ways to adapt to our new normal and ensure the utmost safety of its diners. For now, the restaurant’s outdoor seating is available for dining and there’s hope that the town will allow tables to be placed directly on Main Street to accommodate more people. Curbside pickup will also be available, and, if you’re looking to dine alfresco, Argento offers picnic baskets with blankets so you can feast on your Italian cuisine on a park bench or sandy beach—we recommend setting up just in time to watch the sun set over the water. Ample catering-style items are also available if you’re in the mood to host a socially distanced backyard fete. Enjoy it, Southamptonites, you’re now the subject of many envious neighbors. Buon appetito! 15 Main St., Southampton, 631.488.1300, argentosouth.com
Photography by: From top: Doug Young; Eric Striffler; Courtesy of Maria Baum; Courtesy of Maria Baum; Doug Young