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Beaumarchais à la Plage review

The crab cakes at Beaumarchais à la Plage

The crab cakes at Beaumarchais à la Plage in East Hampton. (July 28, 2012) Credit: Adrian Fussell

Beaumarchais à la Plage zips the meatpacking-district restaurant's joie d'excès to a flashy summer home.

Bring your dancing shoes.

Tabletop, Bain de Soleil-tinted brunch-timers warm up more than the French toast. They embody the are-we-having-fun-yet image Beaumarchais cultivates so tirelessly. Champagne-fueled "Beau brunch" teases appetites in Manhattan and East Hampton.

Beaumarchais à la Plage has stepped easily into the former site of Philippe, adjoining the velvet-rope SL East nightspot, which is the heir to Lily Pond. To enter Beaumarchais, you go to the patio, itself a little bit of L.A. more than a lot of Saint-Tropez. Inside, the dining room has all the expected shimmer, especially at the bar.

Executive chef David E. Diaz and chef de cuisine Vincenzo Pezzilli keep the cooking light and mostly sunny. It takes in some French provenance, some New American, some Asian — a marketable mélange that should keep even the artfully distressed jeans of your waiter from displaying more than intended.

The only real exposure here may be financial. Beaumarchais is an expensive bonbon, course by course and drink by drink. "Les cocktails," for example, begin at $18. The comically overpriced wine list must include a built-in cover charge for the entertainment.

So, nibble of the seviche of local fluke, pearly and good, served with nori seaweed chips, confident that only an $85 chenin blanc would complement it before you contemplate Champagnes $175 to $1,275. Or dip into the tomato gazpacho, finished with onion, piquillo pepper, basil and the barest suggestion of Catalonia.

Crabcakes, each rising like a modest stack of poker chips, are satisfying, accompanied by a mesclun salad. But the rouille alongside is surprisingly short on spice. There's more heat in the tomatoes arrabbiata sauce that finishes pasta alla chitarra with fresh tuna.

Risotto with lobster and Champagne, and completed with chives and caviar, seems more like an upscale combo of shellfish and rice, with neither complementing the other. Rich ingredients, of course, but you'll find more harmony at a Ted Nugent retrospective.

Steak au poivre stars Black Angus sirloin and a respectable pepper sauce. Ordered rare, it arrives medium-well. You're better off with the roasted chicken, juicy and right, with summer vegetables. Pan-seared striped bass also is recommended, with quinoa salad.

Desserts are few, as you'd expect. A "mega sundae" materializes in an oversize glass with a sparkler; the $40 price may add fireworks.

For the record, it doesn't have either the ambition or the impact of that most mega of sundaes, the Jahn's "Kitchen Sink."

Besides, a waffle cone at Scoop du Jour in downtown East Hampton starts at $5.95.

Enjoy that vacation.

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