Flounder Milanese at Ketch in Westhampton.

Flounder Milanese at Ketch in Westhampton. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marucs

Sometimes location is the best advertising. For months, drivers traveling along Montauk Highway in Westhampton saw a “Coming soon: The Ketch” sign in front of the old Buoy One seafood restaurant, which closed in February after 13 years. (Buoy One’s original Riverhead location remains open.)

So it should have come as no surprise to Gina Stefanidis that when The Ketch opened its doors on June 7, it was mobbed. “We did nothing but post on a few local sites, but Friday, Saturday and Sunday — it was a full house all weekend. The community seemed to be excited for something new to open.”

Gina and her husband, Chris Stefanidis, gave the rustic, whitewashed restaurant a gentle refresh but left alone the layout: a large dining room that can seat about 100 people (or that can be divided to create a private room), a bar that seats 24 people and, outside on the patio, another 24-seat bar and tables for 36.

The deck at Ketch in Westhampton.

The deck at Ketch in Westhampton. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

They also kept a number of familiar faces, including general manager Andrew Zaglas and manager Alicia Mannerz . In the kitchen is Cory Schorsch , formerly of Sundays on Dune Road in Hampton Bays. His menu leans hard on fish: Starters include clams or oysters on the half shell, baked clams, mussels, fried calamari, togarashi-crusted seared tuna and seafood poutine (fries smothered in lobster sauce topped with shrimp and cheese curds). Among the seafood entrees are flounder Milanese, linguine in clam sauce, sea scallops with herb risotto, grilled swordfish with sautéed spinach and tomatoes and waffle fries and homemade lobster ravioli.

But Schorsch has also expanded the repertoire beyond the sea to include appetizers like roasted beet tostada and braised pork belly with radicchio-apple slaw. There's a flatiron steak with chimichurri sauce plus strips, rib-eyes and a pork chop that come with red wine demi-glace and garlic butter. At lunch, there are “handhelds” such as lobster roll, lobster salad BLT, fried chicken and flatiron steak sandwiches and fish tacos. Starter and sandwich prices range from $16 to $23, mains are $26 to $55 (for the rib-eye steak).

Ketch, 62 Montauk Hwy., Westhampton, 631-998-0375, the-ketch.net. Open 7 days a week noon to 9:30 p.m.

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