A village on Gardiner’s Bay, Sag Harbor is partly in the town of Southampton and partly in East Hampton, and is about a 45-minute ride to the tip of Montauk. Sag Harbor is a welcome paradox for visitors and residents alike: it has a charming village vibe and a simultaneous feel of glamour, neither competing with the other. Sag Harbor’s village streets proudly showcase rows of bougie boutiques, antique shops, art galleries, and fine restaurants. Historic homes and modern mansions mix easily here. The harbor offers a breathtaking backdrop, resplendent with yachts, sailboats, and motorboats; many still in their slips hosting parties or quiet sunbathing on deck.
THE DOCK HOUSE — ONE LONG WHARF
On Long Wharf at the end of Main Street, The Dock House restaurant has a location that can’t be beaten. Easy in and easy out at this fresh fishmonger/eatery allows for everything from a grab and go to a casual sit-down lunch. It even offers an ample showcase with an array of raw and prepared seafood for purchase. The chalkboard lists catches of the day, cold-cracked lobster, local Peeko oysters, various clams, mussels, and crab cakes, to name a few. Enter and be instantly amused by the whimsical claw-footed tub stocked with live lobsters, an antique scale — patina and all, and a whaler’s harpoon. A wall of windows lets you watch boats as they go in and out of their slips or lollygag at anchor. Relish the scene while you enjoy a platter of freshly shucked oysters or fried soft-shell crab served on a baguette with crispy waffle fries. Instead of eating in, you could pick up some freshly prepared lobster bisque and perhaps a clam strip platter to go. Head to a shaded bench for a picnic right on the harbor at Long Wharf and boat gaze the day away. Why not?
LE BILBOQUET — ONE LONG WHARF
A visit to Sag Harbor wouldn’t be complete without dining at the renowned Le Bilboquet. Devotees of the Upper East Side French bistro, which first opened in 1986, can now relish dining at this sister spot, right at the marina. Featuring indoor and outdoor seating and a horseshoe-shaped main bar, this place is alive and hopping at the bar, yet romantic and private in the dining areas. Outstanding bar options are the ceviche du jour, a half cold lobster, and caviar selections. Equally fabulous table options include a range of seafood, fowl, and beef dishes, from sea bass to Cajun chicken to Wagyu filet. Practice your French or don’t bother at all, an experience of a lifetime awaits you.
MTK LOBSTER — 29 MAIN STREET
This is year two for Sag Harbor’s MTK Lobster (in the original Wölffer Kitchen space). Just as the Montauk location is a beloved fixture, so to is the Sag Harbor site. The seafood-centric menu is stocked with a great variety of choice dishes. Famous is the Montauk lobster roll and the Lighthouse lobster roll, both winners. The Montauk version is a chunky lobster salad served cold, while the Lighthouse is served warm with clarified butter and fries. The lobster mac ’n’ cheese is creamy and satisfying, a true guilty pleasure side. The grilled branzino with fingerling potatoes, spinach, and lemon vinaigrette is consistently prepared to perfection. If a no-frills dozen clams on the half shell, followed by a down and dirty grilled lobster with corn on the cob is more your style, dig in. You will leave satisfied and happy.
THE BELL & ANCHOR — 3253 NOYACK ROAD
The Bell & Anchor restaurant now offers al fresco dining, so you can soak up the picturesque views of the Mill Creek Marina. Start your meal with the bacon and oyster shooters, made with the house version Bloody Mary. Follow with an appetizer, such as baby back ribs covered in guava sauce, served with baby spinach and pine nuts. Choice entrées include the popular bouillabaisse or the cured Duroc pork chop with potatoes, oyster mushrooms, local ramps, shallots, thyme butter, and ginger balsamic.
LULU KITCHEN & BAR — 126 MAIN STREET
Lulu Kitchen & Bar, a year-round bistro with an open kitchen features cuisine cooked in a wood-burning oven or on a wood-burning grill. The talented French-trained chef, Philippe Corbet, is at the helm. Seafood platters such as Montauk pearl oysters, top neck clams, and tuna tartare are featured along with wood-fired pizzas such as the Artisan pizza with heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella, basil pesto, and olive tapenade. Other wood-fired entrées include branzino with smoked tomato Provençal and pan-roasted duck breast with fennel, and a reduction of peaches, blueberries, and hibiscus. Enjoy your meal with an inventive cocktail like the Smoke N Fire, jazzed up with jalapeno-infused tequila, mezcal, lime juice, and smoked volcanic salt.
K PASA — 2 MAIN STREET
Located on a corner opposite the bay, K Pasa American taqueria is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. This true dining experience proves the talent and effort of chefs David Hart (a co-owner) and Miguel Reyes (formerly of Estia). For breakfast, a selection of tacos, toasts, bowls, and more offer tasty options to start the day off right. For brunch, lunch, or dinner, choose from an impressive variety of tequila and mezcal. The watermelon & mint Rita, one of several Ritas, is a refreshing take on the classic Margarita. The Laced Spa Water is Ketel One botanicals, strawberry, lime, mint, cucumber, and seltzer, a tasty drink and great complement to the food and oh, the food. Order the grilled octopus and expect a sizable tentacle grilled perfectly, elevated by a smooth peanut sauce for dipping. The tacos here are inventive and unique, introducing new flavors while remaining true to Mexican cuisine. Try the chicken tinga taco or the Mexican-Greek fusion dish of a savory lamb taco with pomegranate, chimichurri, and feta cheese. The three-cheese quesadilla is both old school and updated, just like Sag Harbor itself. A well-deserved nod goes to the artist and tattooist Danny Lawless, who painstakingly designed the remarkable logos and murals on K Pasa’s walls.
THE BEACON — 8 WEST WATER STREET
Perched above the Sag Harbor Yacht Club, overlooking the cove and brought to you by the experienced restaurateurs David Loewenberg and Sam McCleland, farm-to-table cuisine is the star here. At this upscale eatery, tasty starters include steamed mussels “Beacon style,” with garlic, white wine, lemon, thyme, cream, and tomatoes, or the popular pork belly pretzel buns with hoisin, pickle, kohlrabi slaw, and sriracha. Entrées like the blackened local fish with beets, asparagus, potato puree, and citrus beurre blanc as well as sesame-crusted tuna with soba noodles, napa cabbage, jicama slaw, and Asian glaze are consistently satisfying. Add a full bar menu, featuring craft beers, specialty cocktails, and an extensive local, continental, and international wine list available by the glass or bottle and the dining is more than a meal . . . it’s an experience.
- BARONS COVE — 31 WEST WATER STREET
Baron’s Cove is a full-service resort directly facing the harbor, allowing for sublime water and sunset views. Just a short stroll to Main Street, this 67-room hotel has rooms and lofts with calming décor in gray, white, and navy. Amenities include a heated saltwater pool, a tennis court, a state-of-the-art fitness studio, spa treatments, and an indoor and outdoor restaurant and lounge. The hotel also offers complimentary beach service: a shuttle bus, chairs, towels, and umbrellas. For onsite dining, the restaurant at Baron’s Cove is a classic American dining room, lounge, and bar. Its diverse menu ranges from appetizers like crispy artichokes to tuna tartare and entrées like lobster pappardelle with wild mushrooms and rosemary breadcrumbs to an eight-ounce filet mignon with asparagus and garlic jus.