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Michelin-starred chef Terrance Brennan abruptly departs new Southampton restaurant Blu Mar

Michelin-starred chef Terrance Brennan abruptly left Blu Mar,

Michelin-starred chef Terrance Brennan abruptly left Blu Mar, a Southampton pop-up eatery, earlier this month in a dispute with the owner. Photo Credit: Bill Brady

There's been trouble at a posh Hamptons restaurant.  

Blu Mar, the Southampton pop-up restaurant that opened to great fanfare in May with Michelin-starred chef Terrance Brennan at the helm, will remain open, at least through the summer. But Brennan will not be in the kitchen, having abruptly left the eatery soon after its opening as a result of disagreements with  owner/restaurateur Zach Erdem, as first reported in the New York Post.

Otherwise, the restaurant's hours will be roughly the same (although Blu Mar will no longer serve brunch on weekends) and the menu, with prices easily topping $100 per person, will be tweaked, according to Brennan and a Blu Mar employee. Attempts to contact Erdem were unsuccessful.

The exact nature of the dispute between Erdem and Brennan remains unclear. In the article, Erdem claimed that Brennan overspent on such things as $9,000 pasta machines, but Brennan denies this, saying in an interview with Newsday that Erdem signed off on all purchases, including $5,600 for a pasta machine that was “among the low end for a commercial machine.” Brennan also disputed Erdem’s claim that he spent lavishly on $100 china. “I think the most expensive plate was $25,” said the chef.

Among Brennan’s other claims was that Erdem’s next-door nightclub, AM Southampton, was so loud it created a monumental disturbance for Blu Mar patrons, and disputed Erdem’s claim in the Post article that all events at the club were held after Blu Mar’s kitchen closed. At least one raucous event in the club was held at 8 p.m. on a Saturday evening, according to Brennan. “It was during primetime, and the profanity was very annoying to guests.”

Brennan now says he is not interested in returning to the Hamptons. “I mean, you never say never, but you know what they say, been there, done that.” At present, he is a chef in residence at Chefs Club NY, in which chefs take over a space in Manhattan’s SoHo for three to six months at a time. Brennan’s pop-up this time will be called Cote Medi, will feature a  seafood-focused menu, and begins serving diners on July 8.

As for  Blu Mar, recent events would seem to put its future beyond the summer in doubt. “We will probably be open in summer, but maybe in September or October they will decide to go the whole year,” said one Blu Mar employee. “They’re not sure at this point.”

Blu Mar is open Sundays through Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. The restaurant is at 136 Main St. in Southampton. 631-488-4570, blumarhamptons.com.

Chefs Table NY is located at 265 Mulberry St. in Manhattan, 212-941-1100, chefsclub.com.

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