Todd Jacobs, who cooked at the American Hotel in Sag Harbor and then at Tierra Mar in Westhampton Beach before moving to the Allegria Hotel in Long Beach, has come home to the Hamptons. Taking over the Bridgehampton space that formerly housed the beleaguered Southfork Kitchen, he has opened Fresh. As its name indicates, the new venture is all about farm-fresh produce, organically raised meat and poultry, and sustainable seafood.
Jacobs hasn’t done anything with the comfortable interior, which is still attractively rustic with comfy booths and plenty of space between tables. But that is where the restaurant’s resemblance to its predecessor ends.
While Southfork Kitchen had a pricey menu that was so complicated it had to be explained twice to me before I understood how to order, Fresh’s menu is large and flexible but perfectly clear. There are build-your-own salads starting at $9 (your choice of lettuce, add-on vegetables, cheeses and nuts, and dressing). There are main courses you can order in ¼- and ½-pound portions or by the pound for the table. And there are more than a dozen vegetable side dishes ($5 each/$20 for 5).
I was a bit skeptical when my dining companion, a vegetarian, ordered the Raw “Fresh” Summer Roll ($8). Would it be one of those joyless health food store imitations of the real thing? But it turned out to be a pristine arrangement of beets, carrots, peppers, avocado, scallions and asparagus, and more wrapped in a collard green leaf and served with a spicy vegan aioli.
Most Hamptons restaurants serve gargantuan slabs of beef at equally heavy prices, so I was delighted to be able to order just 4 ounces of Moroccan Spiced Hanger Steak for $14. This lighter style of dining should appeal to the summer crowds. I hope the wait at Fresh doesn’t get too long (no reservations accepted) as the weather warms up.
Fresh is at 203 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Tpke., Bridgehampton, 631-537-4700, freshhamptons.com