While many East End restaurants change hands on a yearly basis, B. Smith's in Sag Harbor was one of the longest-running shows in the Hamptons. It is now the home of Harlow East.
What can you expect from this new outpost of a New York City hot spot run by Richie Notar, who began his career at Studio 54 and was more recently a partner in the Nobu restaurant group? Good food, great views. Notar hasn't done much in the way of renovating. It's the same beautiful setup, with the square bar near the entrance, comfy nautical striped banquettes along the dining room wall, and a wraparound deck overlooking yachts in the harbor.
More spacious than most Hamptons restaurants, it provided plenty of room for the Kardashians and their camera crew when they all dropped in for lunch recently.
But the food is the real draw. To start, there are raw bar items and ceviche, along with a selection of tapas.
Salads were standouts. A Niçoise salad, simply perfect, included seared tuna, very fresh local lettuces and a hard-boiled egg with a beautifully creamy center. Made with roasted beets and carrots from Sang Lee Farms, the root vegetable salad had a luxurious scattering of soft burrata cheese that contrasted well with the chewy veggies and a drizzle of apple cider reduction.
The tartines (served only at lunch), grilled flatbreads with a variety of toppings, are a good start. The grilled shrimp with lemongrass aioli was a spicy, briny delight.
The towering burger comes with a small pot of sweet-and-savory bacon marmalade on the side. The grass-fed beef was juicy, the bun was brioche and the fries sprinkled with truffle salt were included. Other main courses offer interesting but not crazy spins on pasta, chicken, beef and fish. The Atlantic salmon with chipotle corn, Asian pear and cilantro salad was a successful fusion of Mexican and Asian ingredients. The lobster mac and cheese, more creamy than cheesy, was rich but not heavy.
Lobster sliders were unusual and very good, with plentiful chunks of lightly dressed lobster meat stuffed into freshly pan-fried golden mini flatbreads.
Desserts are straightforward and refreshing. Several, including a deconstructed strawberry shortcake, feature local berries in season. The Harlow Sundae is a festive way to end the meal. It consists of three small scoops of homemade ice cream, chocolate sauce, rainbow sprinkles and a cherry on top.
Servers in striped dresses match the upholstery but aren't merely decorative. From beginning to end, a posse of waitstaff and busboys swept in when needed, friendly and flawless in their attention to detail, filling water glasses, removing crumbs from the table between courses, and delivering food at an efficient but not rushed pace.