Ocean to Table

Get the freshest catch at these four Hamptons seafood restaurants

With clean sands, charming towns, and lively bunches of beachgoers filling them, the Hamptons have plenty to boast about during the summer months – not the least of which is its seafood. Caught and served in the same day, fish won’t be found fresher elsewhere, especially not at these restaurants, serving the fruits of the ocean both straight up and refashioned into haute cuisine.

Founded more than 60 years ago by fishpackers and agents for Manhattan’s venerable Fulton Fish Market, Gosman’s Dock has grown into a local, Montauk empire of all things seafood. There’s Gosman’s Restaurant, where standards such as clams casino, calamari, surf and turf, and fish and chips comprise a classic lineup. The Clam Bar is perfect for a quick bite with rarely a wait for tables and the likes of cold beer and soft serve to wash down lobster rolls and clams on the half-shell. Topside, meanwhile, is the fine-dining outlet of the group, with panoramic views, a cocktail bar, and globally inspired dishes such as soy-glazed salmon with soba noodles and some of the best seafood Fra Diavolo on the island. (500 West Lake Dr., Montauk)

A renovated seafood restaurant that was more shabby than chic, Dave’s Grill on the harbor in Montauk is now quite the opposite. The rustic exterior and window flower boxes keep it inconspicuous among the surrounding fish shacks, but inside, the globe lighting and navy banquettes prove it an upscale local favorite. Make a reservation, as seats fill quickly with diners coming out for the spicy Thai mussels, smoked tuna spread, a decadent butter-poached lobster roll on brioche, and its famed signature Cioppino. A meal here isn’t complete, however, without its “chocolate bag” for dessert – Belgian chocolate molded into a box and filled with vanilla ice cream, raspberry sauce, and crème anglaise. (468 West Lake Dr., Montauk)

The seasonal menus of Plaza Café are the brainchildren of chef-owner Douglas Gulija, and though their offerings rotate, the quality is consistently spectacular, having earned the restaurant some of the highest Zagat ratings in the Hamptons. Tucked away in a shopping area in Southampton Village, the restaurant is homey with a fireplace, cathedral ceiling and wrought iron chandelier. Wines from Long Island pair with creations such as local fluke sashimi with fleur de sel and jalopeno-yuzu emulsion, a rendition of surf and turf made with wagyu beef carpaccio and grilled seafood sausage and bacon wrapped monkfish stuffed with lobster. Come on Fridays for a romantic soundtrack of live jazz. (61 Hill St., Southampton)

Westhampton’s star seafood joint is the appropriately named Starr Boggs, a quaint renovated white house with vines hanging down over the entryway. Here, local produce and seafood is prepared into simple dishes done well. The menu is extensive, as are the options of where to dine: the private club room, main dining room, screened in porch, handsome mahogany indoor bar, or outdoor bar set amidst beautiful landscaping and a waterfall. And to order, there’s a crab cake with scallion and ginger slaw, seared scallops with poblano chili mousse and tasso ham, sautéed soft shell crabs with a biscuit and pecan butter, striped bass with French lentils and salsa verde. With one of the most extensive wine cellars in the Hamptons, oenophiles are sure to feel at home. (6 Parlato Dr., Westhampton)