Chef Megan Brown joins Cinzia Gaglio in the kitchen

Osteria Salina Pops Up Through October




PDR, the restaurant at Water Mill Square helmed by chef Megan Brown, opened briefly, but has now been absorbed by Osteria Salina, which made its return to the Hamptons on August 8.

“We had overwhelming requests from our clients to bring the restaurant back when we ran into them here, in New York, and in Florida,’’ said Osteria owner Tim Gaglio, whose wife, Cinzia, is the restaurant’s chef. The pair had a place in Boca Raton this winter, but have returned north for this pop-up, which will run through October.

“This opportunity came up and we are almost all booked for this weekend already,” said Gaglio. Brown, a CIA graduate who trained under Marcus Samuelsson and John Fraser, has stayed to join the Osteria team. “Megan is wonderful, but she didn’t have a following here, so now she is in the kitchen with Cinzia,’’ said Gaglio. The first week, Osteria served up favorites like burrata with balsamic blueberry marmalade glaze on top of prosciutto; salad with dandelion greens, arugula, local baby spinach, and aged pecorino; swordfish with caponatina; and hand-dipped ricotta cheesecake, but the menu will keep expanding.

And, no: Paola’s is not breaking child labor laws! Those adorable underage chefs in paper toques are kids learning the art of pizza making from Olivella Salvatore, one of New York’s top pizza chefs, who has worked with everyone from Danny Meyer to David Burke. Classes, which take place every Wednesday night from 6 to 7:30, are not only complimentary, participants get to devour the pizzas they create, along with a glass of wine (for participants of drinking age).

For those who would prefer to enjoy the regular menu while the younger diners feast on margarita pies, there are some wonderful options, including a perfectly al dente taglierini with mushrooms and black truffle; papardelle with duck ragout; and grilled porcini-rubbed Wagyu skirt steak with baby arugula and shaved arugula.

Italian food aficionados should also head to Amagansett for one of the best dining deals out east. Sotto Sopra offers half-price drinks as well as bar menu items from 5 to 7 every night, and this summer, baked clams, meatballs, and baby lamb chops are among the offerings. It’s also worth checking out the standard Tuscan-influenced menu, which includes wood-grilled pizzas; robiola crostini with grilled figs, spiced walnuts and orange vinaigrette; fluke Oreganatta; and pork chop with sage and mustard mashed potatoes and poached raisins.

As much as we love to go to The Palm for mammoth crustaceans and sizzling New York prime, the much-loved meat palace has ventured beyond its classics to add some new items this summer. Among those worth checking out: watermelon and burrata salad, branzino sautéed with braised escarole, blistered tomato and calamata olives; and fresh local corn with pancetta and pearl onions.

There are wonderful places for waterfront dining in the Hamptons, but if you’d like to go a step beyond observing from afar, Kelpie, a magnificent schooner, is offering meals on board, with a range of catering options including Sen’s sushi, Cavaniola’s cheese and caviar, freshly shucked mollusks from West Robyn’s Oyster company, and farm-to-table fare from a range of private chefs. Service is full-on crystal and linen, and there are few things more romantic than sipping champagne as you sail off the coast of Shelter Island. To book, contact captain@yachtkelpie.com.

Blu Mar has gone through some transitions since star chef Terrence Brennan departed at the beginning of the summer, and it’s worth a second look. The $90 per person branzino was adjusted to $60, and now is a reasonable $42, particularly considering the size and quality.  Other fish are also well priced, including incredibly fresh and perfectly prepared halibut, seared wild salmon, and skewered local swordfish.

That $10,000 pasta extruder Brennan purchased that became a central point of contention in his disagreement with the restaurant’s owner, Zach Erdem, is still in operation, turning out deliciously al dente spaghetti which is available with a simple pomodoro, or a strozzapreti with black truffle, garlic, and oil sauce, served with shaved black truffle. And, because the initial pricing and controversy scared off customers, you can actually get a table.