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Wolffer Kitchen closes in Sag Harbor after a five-year run

Lemon curd between fragile layers of caramel-filo crisp,

Lemon curd between fragile layers of caramel-filo crisp, as served at Wolffer Kitchen on Main Street in Sag Harbor. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

When it debuted in the summer of 2015, Wolffer Kitchen in Sag Harbor was the first restaurant to be opened by a Long Island winery. Five years on, it has closed.

The end of May marked the last service for the restaurant at 29 Main Street, according to a statement from the team there. "We will miss Sag Harbor greatly," it read, but added that the Amagansett location of Wolffer Kitchen — also owned by the Sagaponack winery, which was cofounded by Joey and Marc Wolffer — is still open.

A satellite of MTK Lobster House will open in the same space within weeks. That restaurant, first opened in Montauk in 2018 by Diego Flores, trades in all things crustacean — lobster tacos, lobster rolls, lobster quesadillas and lobster melts — as well as chowder, calamari and other seafood.

Wolffer Kitchen 1.0 opened five years ago as a modern bistro with mirrored columns and chef Deena Chafetz in command of Mediterranean-influenced menu; the wine list was created by Wolffer winemaker and partner Roman Roth.

Wolffer's Summer in a Bottle rose has since gone on to conquer the East End, and is used in at least one vinaigrette in Amagansett, where the wood-fired oven turns out pizzetta and the menu arcs toward summery plates such as burrata salad and branzino with panzanella. 

That restaurant has been equipped to meet the Phase 3 regulations for the food industry, according to Wolffer, with amply spaced tables and "a focus on keeping all windows and doors open during service." (Masks and frequent disinfecting are a given).

Despite the closure, it's a busy month for the winery: This week marks the return of visitors to the Sagaponack winery and its sister wine stand, as well as the release of a handful of new products: A low-calorie rose cider called LoRo and several new bottlings, such as a trebbiano and a pinot gris, both from the 2019 harvest — "a dream-come-true vintage," said Roth in an interview this week. (More on those soon).

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