One of the breakfast special at Estias Little Kitchen in...

One of the breakfast special at Estias Little Kitchen in Sag Harbor is Isabella's Request -- Tuscan toast topped with goat cheese, wilted spinach, tomato, onion and two poached eggs. It's served here with fresh squeezed orange juice and a cappucino. (November 3, 2010) Credit: Photo by Daniel Gonzalez

It's been a few years since Colin Ambrose, chef-owner of the successful Estia in Amagansett, opened Estia's Little Kitchen, a charming cottage on the outskirts of Sag Harbor. Like its older sibling, the restaurant offers breakfast and lunch in coffee-shop surroundings and, come evening, is transformed into a white-tablecloth hideaway.

Here, the chef uses impeccably fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs, most grown in the Amagansett restaurant's garden. At breakfast, light buttermilk blueberry pancakes burst with berries that taste just-picked. An omelet called the East Ender, made of egg whites, onions, mushrooms and feta cheese, is plump and assertively flavorful.

Dinner begins with a loaf of peasant bread and a dish of garlicky white bean puree drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil. Irresistible Montauk fish cakes feature three thick, crisp disks revved up by a side of wasabi cream and a sesame-accented seaweed salad. Another appetizer called "vida" stars skewered jumbo shrimps over a marvelous Thai- spiced Caesar salad, the romaine cut into thick strips resembling a slaw.

It's difficult to neatly tackle the crab and avocado Napoleon, made with crisp tortilla layers sandwiching cumin-spiked hummus and spiced crabmeat, but the combination of flavors and textures makes it worth negotiating.

You'll have no trouble with Ambrose's divine roasted chicken, a bird that's boned, pan-roasted and finished in the oven, imparting the best qualities of both fried and roast chicken. On the side are fluffy mashed potatoes plus vibrant sauteed snap peas and carrots. Chicken Bolognese over house-made pappardelle tastes herbal and authentically Italian. Linguini with clam sauce, a winning spin on a classic, is made with bacon and lots of fresh littleneck clams.

Finish with creme brulee, crackling on the outside, silky beneath.Or fragrant, flaky apple pie. Or a brownie sundae made with super-fudgy homemade brownies, freshly whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, fresh raspberries and--the clincher--frozen bananas enrobed in dark chocolate and crushed peanuts.You'll smile.

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