Restaurants in the Hamptons and on the North Fork sprout like annuals and try to become perennials.
And after a couple of recession seasons, the number of eateries either open or under way, planned or rumored, has grown like an economic indicator, edible variety. It's a hothouse on the East End, with at least 26 new restaurants.
How many will be back next year is, of course, uncertain. But summer 2011 is looking as good as a sunny day at the beach.
Page at 63 Main is the new occupant where Blue Sky shined last season. The 1890s building, complete with tin ceiling and exposed brick, hosts an eclectic, New American place. Chef Jessie Flores, formerly of Della Femina, prepares an eclectic menu, ranging from Asian steamed buns to lobster rolls, sweet-pea ravioli to a tres leches dessert. 63 Main St.; 631-725-1810. $$-$$$
The first full season for amply blogged Southfork Kitchen is under way. The striking dining room is an ode to sustainability, starting with the floor rescued from a Pennsylvania barn. Chef Joe Isidori's meticulous New American food emphasizes the local. 203 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Tpke.; 631-537-4700, southforkkitchen.com. $$$-$$$$
Almond has relocated to the more spacious corner site that housed One Ocean. The veteran bistro had been situated along Montauk Highway, west of downtown. Devotees can expect a similar menu, with favorites such as roast chicken, steak frites and mussels marinière. 1 Ocean Rd.; 631-537-5665, almondrestaurant.com. $$-$$$
M & E Contemporary Tapas returns after a brief run last fall, its small-plate-dominated menu (with a few entrees) reflecting Low Country Southern, Floridian and Southwestern influences. This from Thai-born chef Eddy Thretipthuangsin, who also runs the kitchen at Asian Bistro Next Door in Woodbury. Expect local ingredients (especially seafood) in such dishes as fried oysters with chipotle aioli and grilled swordfish with mango salsa. 964 Sag Harbor Tpke.; 631-537-1115. $$
Beachhouse takes over the former site of Prime 103 and JL East with an emphasis on stylish seafood and steak. The mahogany bar shines; wisteria-covered patio and garden beckon. Chef Dennis J. Farrell's specialties include pan-roasted tilefish with tomato-bacon marmalade and dry-aged steaks, au poivre and Bearnaise to blue cheese and chimichurri. 103 Montauk Hwy.; 631-324-1663. $$$
East Hampton Grill is the heir to Della Femina, which had a nearly two-decade run. The new spot is owned by Hillstone restaurants, a group that includes Palm Beach Grill, after which this eatery will be modeled. The Florida specialties: crabcakes, pan-fried fish, steaks and a "silver service" kosher hot dog with deviled egg. 99 N. Main St.; 631-329-6666. $$$
Spring Close follows Laundry into that big white building on Pantigo Road. Diners should expect a combination of steaks, seafood, American and Continental dishes. Years ago, an eatery dubbed Spring Close House served here; likewise The Farmhouse. 324 Pantigo Rd.; 631-324-3444. $$-$$$
Shiki takes over the former East Hampton digs of Bamboo. Here, raw fish is the center of a "neo Japanese" menu. Non-sushi entrees include Peking duck and beef negimaki. Owner Tony Lin was a partner at the long-established Shiki in Smithtown. 47 Montauk Hwy., East Hampton; 631-329-9821, shikihamptons.com. $$
Harbor Grill, a pubby spot, opened last fall with a menu of moderately priced staples such as onion soup (minus the heavy cheese crust and crouton), meat loaf, chicken Marsala, sandwiches and burgers. Under the same ownership as the more upmarket Harbor Bistro. 367 Three Mile Harbor Rd., East Hampton; 631-604-5290. $$
TR Restaurant & Bar succeeds Before the Bridge, situated behind Tully's Seafood Market. Chef-owner Tom Rutyna, former chef at The Coast Grill in Southampton, has refurbished and streamlined the rustic dining area. The emphasis will be on fish and shellfish. And, if you want to dock-and-dine, there are slips with access to Shinnecock Bay. 78 Foster Ave.; 631-728-8700. $$-$$$
Shuckers Lobster & Clam Bar is the "daytime" I.D. of Beach Bar, a club that gets going around midnight. From 2 p.m. to sunset, though, you can order from a well-priced roster of seafood specialties (roasted L.I. clam and corn chowder, steamed clams and a $15.95 lobster special) courtesy of chef Brian Mazzio (of the former Della Femina in East Hampton). Reggae tunes amp up the beachy vibe. 58 Foster Ave.; 631-723-3178. $$
La Lanterna, which had a 14-year run from the early '80s to the mid '90s, returns this season with a new generation of ownership. Diners will find a traditional emphasis and dishes such as clams casino, seafood salad, roasted peppers, mussels in red or white sauce, vegetable lasagna, and Atlantic swordfish in olive oil and shallot butter sauce. Indoor and patio seating. 412 Montauk Hwy.; 631-996-2685, lalanternaeastquogue.weebly.com. $$-$$$
is the fittingly lowercase offspring of red/bar brasserie, also in Southampton. The youngster from restaurateurs David Loewenberg and Kirk Basnight will be a year-rounder, sending out casual dishes, along the lines of roast chicken steak frites, burgers, panini and salads. Look for a June opening. 76C Job's Lane; 631-283-3309. $$-$$$
Nobu, or in full, Nobu in the Hamptons or Nobu at the Beach, is the international chainlet's first entry into East End summerland. The much-hyped, nouveau Japanese establishment takes up residence at the Capri hotel, where the nightspot Pink Elephant used to trumpet. Bring on the miso black cod and yellowtail jalapeno. 281 County Rd. 39A (Montauk Highway at North Main Street); no phone yet. $$$
Tutto Il Giorno expands into Southampton while keeping its Sag Harbor perch. Donna Karan's daughter, Gabby, is co-owner of the Italian eatery with chef Maurizio Marfoglia. 55 Nugent St.; no phone yet. $$-$$$
Informality rules at the new OutEast Cafe, where breakfast and lunch now are being served, and dinner and cocktails kick in later in the season. On the menu: omelets, salads, sandwiches and the megawatt "heat wave" burger with pickled jalapenos, hot sauce and Monterey Jack. Hand-cut fries, too. 1271 North Sea Rd., 631-259-2998. $-$$
Southampton Social Club is this year's reincarnation of last year's reincarnation (Madame Tong's Redeux). Billed as a "luxury prohibition speak-easy mixed with Hamptons style," the hot spot's menu features a chilled seafood tower, slow-cooked Pacific halibut over market vegetables and house-made pastas. Inventive drinks, too. Indoor and outdoor seating plus DJs and live music. 256 Elm St.; 631-287-1400. $$$
Buoy One, spawn of a Riverhead fish house/fish market, is a casually handsome spot with patio dining. Executive chef David Girard's seafood-centric repertoire encompasses fried baskets (clams, shrimp, calamari and the like) as well as Thai glazed codfish, panko-crusted stuffed oysters and mussels marinara. 62 Montauk Hwy.; 631-998- 3808, buoyone.com. $$
The Patio at 54 Main updates The Patio, which has been a mainstay for decades. Chef Pietro Bottero's fare begins with a raw bar and leads to a combination of New American and Italian dishes; Long Island duck with raspberry reduction to mushroom risotto; maple- glazed pork chop to "rigaton- cini" with a Tuscan pork ragu. And there's a Patio 54 burger. 54Main St.; 631-288-0100, thepatiowhb.com. $$-$$$
Agave's Rum & Tequila Bar is a three-story spot where live music, Margaritas and mojitos complement a menu of Mexican and Caribbean dishes. 142 Mill Rd.; 631-998-4200. $$
Kerrigan's Pub will serve burgers and Irish fare in the space that, for the past 40 years, housed Magic's Pub. 113 Main St.; 631-288-8830. $$
Rumors abound about sales and changes, but no major new openings so far. South Edison (17 S. Edison St.; 631-668-4200, $$-$$$) and The Backyard at Sole East (90 Second House Rd.; 631-668- 2105, $$-$$$) are among the Montauk sophomores. The sites of the departed Oyster Pond in Montauk and Exile in Amagansett remain closed.
Comtesse Therese Bistro, Long Island's only winery restaurant, serves up charm and French fare in a quaint old house. Chef Aristodemos (Arie) Pavlou of the former Coeur des Vignes in Southold, uses local herbs (some grown on site), produce, duck and fish in a simple, well-edited French menu. 739 Main Rd.; 631-779-2800, comtessetherese.com. $$-$$$
North Fork Oyster Company already is drawing crowds for its excellent seafood, served in a casual but handsome location in Stirling Square. Chef Richard Lanza is a veteran of PassionFish in Westhampton Beach. Be ready for the monkfish "osso buco," almond-crusted fluke, and a tiered tray of shellfish. 300 Main St.; 631-477-6840, northforkoystercompany.com. $$-$$$
Blue Islands is the reincarnation of the old Rhumb Line, now gone chic and Greek. In renovated quarters (tin ceiling, blue-and-white color scheme, scenic murals), chef-owner George Raptopoulos allows diners to select their own fish, meat and local vegetables from display cases. On the menu: baby lamb chops, gyros and whole fish. 34 Front St.; 631-477-8840, blueislandsrestaurant.com. $$-$$$
A Lure is slated to open where The Seafood Barge reigned for decades, at the Port of Egypt Marina. The seafood-and-chowder house with a wraparound deck comes from in-motion chef Tom Schaudel and Adam Lovett, who operate A Mano in Mattituck, where chef Jeff Uguil previously cooked. 62300 Main Rd. (Route 25); 631-876-5300. $$-$$$
Thanks to a dedicated town effort, and a new Hyatt hotel due to open later this summer, the gateway to LI's wine country may finally become a dining destination.
First and foremost is The Riverhead Project, the newest venture from Dennis McDermott (former owner of Greenport's Frisky Oyster). This striking, Architectural Digest-ready restaurant opened Friday in the low-slung, '60s-era structure that, up until two years ago, housed a Chase bank. Chef Greg Ling's New American menu is a promising blend of local produce and Asian influences. 300 E. Main St.; 631-284-9300, theriverheadproject.com.
Earlier this month, Turkuaz opened in the riverfront location that used to be Hizir Baba. The little restaurant still serves traditional Turkish cuisine, but proprietor Mustafa Gulsen (who used to own Sultan's Kitchen on Route 58 in Riverhead) has spiffed up the space and expanded the menu -- which remains very affordable. 40 McDermott Ave.; 631-591-1757.
Cody's BBQ and Grill is fixing to take over the space that used to house Casa Rica (and, before that, Michael's at the Boardwalk). Chef Michael Breheny has cooked all over the South and plans to bring the smoky flavors of Tennessee, Texas and the Carolinas to Riverhead, along with steaks, burgers, Southern comfort food and a country-Western vibe. Owner Richard Gherardi hopes to open in June. 65 E. Main St.; no phone yet. -- Erica Marcus