5 Local Restaurants You Need to Try This February

Summer is still a long time away. These local restaurants will bring sunshine to your tastebuds as you await the warm weather’s arrival.

Photo by Estefany Molina

Are you feeling a little down? Does it seem like all of your favorite East End dining spots have closed up shop until the warmer days are here? Okay, it can definitely feel like a culinary wasteland on the East End in the colder months, but all is not lost.

More and more restaurants are extending the season—and some are even staying open all winter long. With that in mind, read on for a look at where to dine when your go-to is on hiatus. 

Sen

After a massive renovation that saw them closed for all of last year’s off-season, Sen is back, with a vengeance. This 25-year-old Japanese spot now has even more kitchen space with which to work. As a result, they’ve expanded their catering footprint, as well as their operating hours. In the off-season, Sen serves lunch on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and dinner seven days a week. New this year is a small late-night menu, available only on weekends, featuring Sen favorites like spicy tuna and ramen. 

Sen, 23 Main Street, Sag Harbor, (631) 725.1774, open for lunch Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., dinner Sunday through Thursday, 5 to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 5 to 10 p.m., and late night Friday and Saturday to 12 a.m. 

Stirling Saké

Speaking of Japanese food, the South Fork has not cornered the market in off-season sushi. Stirling Saké, Greenport’s saké tasting room and sushi bar, serves lunch on weekends and dinner five nights a week, even in February. Crispy pork gyoza, homemade kimchi, and sweet chili shrimp are perennially popular, as are the hand rolls, filled, whenever possible, with local fish. A corner of the menu is dedicated to noodles, too. If deciding between udon, ramen, shirataki, and soba feels too challenging, just order them all. 

Stirling Saké, 477 Main Street, Greenport, (631) 477.6782, open Monday, Thursday, and Friday, 5 to 10 p.m., Saturday 12 to 3 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m., and Sunday 12 to 3 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. 

TownLine BBQ

Need a meaty fix in the middle of winter? You’re not alone. This Sagaponack restaurant serves classic barbecue, all of which is rubbed and smoked on site. There’s a working fireplace in the bar area, plenty of beer on tap, and a host of hot sauces to help you sweat through the cold spells. During happy hour—from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays—there are food and drink specials that will make you forget you’re in the Hamptons. 

TownLine BBQ, 3593 Montauk Highway, Sagaponack, (631) 537.2271, open Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

Lucharitos

You don’t have to head all the way to Mexico to enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine in the middle of winter. You can get your Mexican fix (queso, Mexican street corn, empanadas, tacos, quesadillas, wings, and more) at Greenport’s Lucharitos, the taqueria and tequila bar known for its festive décor and delicious food. Thankfully, Lucharitos serves their hefty margaritas and Mexican fare all year long, so you won’t go hungry in the middle of February. 

Lucharitos, 119 Main Street, Greenport, (631) 477.6666, open Monday through Thursday, 12 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Sam’s Restaurant

Sam’s has held court on East Hampton’s Newtown Lane for decades—and there’s a reason for that. Regardless of the time of year, they make the best pizza in town. These crispy, medium-thickness pies are only available in the restaurant or for takeout (Sam’s does not deliver), and you may be surprised to see a full house, even in the dead of winter. The truth is, Sam’s has been making great pizza for so long that the secret is out. Once you’ve demolished your pie, order a slice of the tiramisu, if it isn’t sold out. 

Sam’s Restaurant, 36 Newtown Lane, East Hampton, (631) 324.5900, open Sunday through Thursday, 5 to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5 to 10 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.