Rita Cantina, the Hamptons' newest modern Mexican eatery, brings an array of fresh flavors to the table with its slow-cooked dishes and extensive bar program.
Oysters with chile and vinegar mignonette
Executive chef and owner Eric Miller—known for beloved East End eateries like his Bay Kitchen Bar—spices up the Hamptons with his passion for Mexican cuisine in the new restaurant Rita Cantina. Working hand in hand with partners Adam Miller, who is the mastermind behind the innovative bar program, and Marc Miller, director of catering and special events, the dynamic trio have fashioned a Mexican cantina that is vibrant, inviting and, most importantly, delicious.
“We are delighted to open Rita Cantina so the Springs community and those all over the Hamptons can experience our version of modern Mexican cuisine,” says Eric Miller. “We are also thrilled to recognize the fresh ingredients and local purveyors with whom we regularly collaborate and forged close relationships over the years. At Rita Cantina, guests can indulge in a range of options, from select tacos to a variety of high-end dishes and an agave-forward beverage program.” Miller racks in more than three decades of fine dining experience and has become a bona fide food partner and curator with local East End purveyors like Satur Farms, Multi Aquaculture Systems, Gosman’s Dock and other independent local fishers.
Designed and built by Adam Miller, the space boasts Oaxacan-inspired fabrics and brightly colored patterns that lead into the back patio full of indigenous plants, Adirondack chairs and dove white picnic tables scattered underneath a canopy of vintage yellow umbrellas.
Tuna ceviche tostada
The lunch and dinner menus reflect Miller’s grilling and slow-cooking practices and introduce new flavor profiles in modern Mexican cuisine. Paying homage to all things local, ingredients include all that swim, graze and grow in Gardiner’s Bay and the surrounding area. “Rita Cantina will be a place for everyone,” shares Miller, “where guests can enjoy a taco or two, or a full spread of high-end dishes and killer cocktails.”
Rita Cantina’s outdoor patio
The vibrant menu offers a range of small and large plates, spotlighting ceviches, tacos, quesadillas and slow-cooked birria. Take a bite of the tuna ceviche tostada filled with avocado and charred pineapple agua chile, or mix it up with the Niman Ranch short ribs birria braised in adobo sauce and consommé. Other standouts include the local harvest fluke served battered with pickled cabbage slaw and crema, and for those looking for a plate to share, the Crescent Farms duck carnitas with butter lettuce wraps filled with guacamole and salsa is just for you.
The resto also offers an extensive bar program that spotlights a lineup of rejuvenating spirit-forward and agave-focused cocktails curated with a variety of tequilas and mezcals. The menu features bottled and frozen drinks, capitalizing on timeless recipes with a twist. For a soft mouthfeel, take a sip of the Oaxaca Old Fashioned with tequila, mezcal, agave and orange bitters, or the horchata colada with rum blend, housemade and dairy-free horchata with pineapple. Some crowd favorites include margaritas, spicy margaritas and a margarita of the week—which rotates flavors based on in-season ingredients. All margaritas are made with fresh fruit of choice, including watermelon, passion fruit, cucumber, hibiscus and more. 28 Maidstone Park Road, East Hampton, 631.329.3663
Photography by: PHOTOS BY ERIC STRIFFLER