TBar Southampton, which has taken up residency all summer long in the former space of Jue Lan Club, is set to close its doors on Saturday, September 28. For those who haven’t had the chance pop in to the pop up, there’s still time.
TBar is the project of restaurateur Tony Fortuna and his business partner Derek Axelrod. Together, they’ve brought the popular NYC restaurant, TBar Steak and Lounge, to the Hamptons — going from the Upper East Side to the East End. While the primary location is a vision in white with touches of green, the Hamptons eatery is casually elegant with black décor. Its modern speakeasy style with light touches transports patrons, in spirit, to the city quicker than the adjacent Long Island Rail Road. Walk toward the back of TBar to find an outdoor terrace with heat lamps and couches, alongside a garden area with tables, perfect for end-of-summer and early fall dining temperatures.
On its website, TBar is described as a “new spin on the classic steak house . . . plus inventive New American entrees.” It’s accurate, but it’s an understatement. Executive Chef Segundo Pelaez brought to my table colorful dishes, with inspiration from around the world.
The rainbow of flavorful appetizers included guacamole with tortilla chips that serves two; a Margarita pizza for two, which would satisfy any pizza lover’s craving; a Burrata salad and larger-than-life shrimp cocktail; a thinly sliced zucchini carpaccio with goat cheese, capers, basil, and mint, which proved as delicious as creative; seared Spanish octopus with potatoes, celery, and olives, and crispy sushi.
Then my four main dishes arrived, representing both land and sea. The New York strip for two came with a béarnaise and a poivre sauce. It was cooked exactly to my liking — lightly crisp on the outside and light pink inside. The prime aged Angus burger retained the same flavoring with juices pouring out with every bite. A very lightly crispy Long Island duck with sweet potatoes and orange glaze, and features combination of savory and tangy flavors. I wasn’t particularly craving fish, but when the herb grilled branzino with fennel agrodolce, tomato, and parsley came out, I couldn’t resist. These two final dishes were certainly the highlight of the meal— so far.
Then, dessert arrived: a banana parfait mille feuilles with coconut and caramel sauce, and a strawberry sundae with shortcake, meringue, brandy, and cream. In a battle of which to overstuff myself with, the banana parfait won with its crispy, hardened top layer and swimming in sauce below.
Although the above sounds like a lot to dine on, I’d recommend everything I ate. TBar is the ideal setting for those who can’t agree on what type of restaurant to go to, because it has a dish for every craving.
TBar Southampton is located at 268 Elm Street and currently open Thursday through Sunday. Call 631-283-0202 or visit www.tbarnyc.com.