This article first appeared in The Independent Newspaper. Read more about #EverythingEastEnd here
Amid a slew of storefronts closed down in the village of Southampton, a restaurant opens that gives locals and tourists alike a hope for a thriving village, and something new to boast about.
Michael Gluckman, whose prior establishments include Boathouse, Madison and Main, and Service Station, has teamed up with chef partner John Sagadraca and managing partner, Hillary Steedle, to open The Tackle Box, a year-round establishment taking over the former space of Little Red. With a beautiful outdoor area, the family-friendly venue has lawn benches, outdoor swings, and a lounge set up, all tucked under an awning and hidden by hedges. The interior layout hasn’t been changed from the former tenant, but has been painted blue, with sea boat rope, pictures of surfers, and all things nautical, making it casual yet comfortable.
And then there’s the food. Sagadraca’s studied at the Culinary Institute of America and has worked at Michelin-starred Daniel, Bar Boulud, Colonie, and Chez Moi, to name a few.
The raw bar sampler, including violet cove oysters with uni from Orient Point, little neck clams, and cocktail shrimp with tomato, cucumber, onion, and jalapeños — a personal favorite.
Next, two lobster rolls sitting side by side. Sagadraca puts a spin on the typical New England-style choices and offers one with hot uni butter and the other wasabi sesame, both of which proved to be equally as rewarding as they were creative.
Following that were two dishes that would possibly be served as my last dying meal at sea: charred Spanish octopus with chorizo and smashed fingerling potatoes, and seared local sea scallops with Long Island sweet corn succotash. Dessert included a key lime pie and chocolate cake. All cocktails are made with fresh juices and, for the eco-friendly diner, all straws are made of actual straw.
The menu rotates every other week, always providing what’s fresh, local, and inventive. Based off of the tasting I experienced, I have no doubt that every dish will have seafood lovers leaving entirely satisfied.