What is summer, if not a time to find any and every excuse to get yourself within a sightline of cool, blue water? But what East End restaurants are best for dangling your feet near the water? Read on for a closer look at waterfront dining on the East End, as we reach the peak of the season.
This casual Hampton Bays restaurant is dip-your-toes-in close to the water, with a back deck that faces the bay. An outdoor bar brings you even closer to waterfront living. And while Sundays is open 7 days a week, all year round, it’s the summer where this restaurant-with-a-view really over performs. In addition to all manner of sea-adjacent fare, the restaurant humbly produces one of the best bargains on eastern Long Island: A lobster bake for $32. All day, Monday through Thursday, guests can order twin 1.25 pound lobsters, served with steamed mussels, clams, and shrimp, and a choice of side dish. It’s a meal befitting a king—with prices befitting a Long Islander.
Sundays on the Bay, 369 Dune Road, Hampton Bays, (631) 728.2611, open 12 to 10 p.m. daily.
A shellfish lover’s dream, this new-to-this-location stalwart serves up all that is sea-worthy with the backdrop of one of East Hampton’s loveliest sunsets. Diners can expect a menu similar to the Pantigo Road outpost of Bostwick’s. Here’s hoping that the magnificent, plentiful lobster roll will be making an appearance. Since Bay Kitchen Bar will be relocating to a non-water-adjacent space in Southampton, cross your fingers, too, that Bostwick’s will offer a version of its predecessor’s happy hour, which was notorious for its dollar oysters. For anyone interested in Hamptons history, this space was the home of Bostwick’s on the Harbor years ago—so it’s more of a revival than a reopening. As far as we’re concerned, this waterfront space can do no wrong.
Bostwick’s on the Harbor, 39 Gann Road, East Hampton, (631) 324.1111, call the restaurant for hours.
Celebrating its 21st season this year, David Loewenberg’s Sag Harbor masterpiece is the place to see and be seen. It helps that it occupies a prime slice of real estate, with an unobstructed view of the water. The sunsets here are divine, and the good news is that you will probably have plenty of time to enjoy it while you wait for your table (no, Beacon does not accept reservations). Rest assured, though: Once that table becomes available, it’s worth the wait. There is not a bad seat in the entire house. Food changes, albeit slightly, each season, but expect fresh, inventive Mediterranean-inspired cuisine from Sam McCleland’s kitchen.
Beacon, 4454, 8 Water Street, Sag Harbor, (631) 725.7088, open daily in season, 5:30 to 10 p.m.
It’s hard to explain, to the uninitiated, how mesmerizing Sean MacPherson’s Montauk hot spot is. Even if it did not enjoy stunning views of Lake Montauk, it would still be worth the visit. But water lovers are in luck with this restaurant and hotel, which is perched atop a hill facing the lake. Down on the sandy slip of lakefront land, the Crow’s Nest runs a weekends-only bar, lit charmingly with strung Edison bulbs. I dare you to find a lovelier place to enjoy a sunset cocktail.
The Crow’s Nest, 4 Old West Lake Drive, Montauk, (631) 668.2077, call the restaurant for hours.
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Also in East Hampton Springs, and also home to a fantastic, value-packed happy hour, Harbor Bistro is part marina, part waterfront restaurant. From 5 to 7 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays, patrons can enjoy select wines and cocktails for $8 apiece, along with $10 “bites”—oysters and clams on the half shell, flatbreads, potstickers, goat cheese croquettes, fried shishito peppers, and more. Additionally, the restaurant offers a $29 sunset menu, served from 5 to 6 p.m. in the dining room and all night at the bar, which includes a choice of appetizer, entrée, and dessert, or, alternately, appetizer, entrée, and a glass of wine. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Harbor Bistro, 313 Three Mile Harbor, East Hampton, (631) 324.7300, open daily in season, 5 to 10 p.m.
Read more: Check out Lucy Swift Weber’s Essential Hamptons Restaurants here.