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East Hampton: Exit Della Femina, enter Palm Beach

Jerry Della Femina, Betsy McCaughey Ross and her

Jerry Della Femina, Betsy McCaughey Ross and her husband Wilbur Ross at a Body Positive function at Della Femina's home in East Hampton. (May 22, 2003) Photo Credit: AP Photo

Adman Jerry Della Femina's namesake restaurant  is being sold  to the Hillstone Restaurant Group, which operates eateries that include the Palm Beach Grill and Houston's.

Mei Li, marketing manager for Hillstone, said she expects a local version of the Palm Beach Grill to be in place at the North Main Street address by Memorial Day weekend. As of today, Della Femina is still serving. Della Femina restaurant wouldn't confirm the expected sale.

Della Femina, the bald and goateed owner remembered for his Joe Isuzu and Meow Mix ads, turned restaurateur with the East Hampton spot that for years was a mainstay in gossip columns and a year-round competitor in Hamptons dining. The restaurant originally  earned a three-star rating in Newsday for dishes such as soy-glazed pork chops and summer-tomato risotto. And a while back, Key lime cannoli were among the desserts.

This time, it's likely to be Key lime pie, one of the standards at Palm Beach Grill. Li said the concept at the East End heir to Della Femina will emphasize "classic American" fare and  "casual, upscale" style.

There is a local branch of Houston's at Roosevelt Field, Garden City.

Della Femina is at  99 N. Main St., East Hampton; 631-329-6666.

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