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Rhumba Rakes In The Raves

Originally Posted: May 04, 2010

Douglas MacKaye Harrington

  |   13 Comments · Print Article

Rumba's exquisite Crab Cake Salad. (Douglas Harrington)

Hampton Bays - Rumba in Hampton Bays is raking in the raves. Open only a few weeks and this bay side oasis has already garnered an enthusiastic cadre of devoted fans.

Owned and operated by Chef David Hersh and his wife Rachel Hersh, Rumba Restaurant and Rum Bar is defined by its "island inspired cuisine," which Hersh admits was influenced by the Caribbean influenced culture of his native Miami. That is hardly the whole story as he has also opened several restaurants in New Orleans prior to coming to the Hamptons, cooked in California and trained in two kitchens in France. "I am creating the vibe of an island getaway. The food is a blend of everywhere I have ever lived, every place I have ever worked at and I do a lot with Northern seafood as well," the eclectic and well traveled chef explained.

Chef/Owner David Hersh preparing his Crab Cake Salad.

Based on the early buzz it is likely they will find their way from Southhampton, Sag Harbor and East Hampton, but Hersh insists he did not set out to create another glitterati eatery for the Hamptons rich and famous, "I am a year-round place, I am here for the locals. I don't charge much for my food. My 10 oz. filet, that I got $38 for in Florida and $36 for in California, here I am charging $28. My food costs are higher than I'd like them to be, but I am doing that because I want people to be able to come here a couple of times a week. I want this to be their local place. I want this to be their home away from home."

Along with a commitment to great fare at reasonable prices, Hersh is committed to local grown and harvested produce and seafood and that includes his wine list wherein every white in the selection is a Long Island wine, along with numerous local grown reds. He states "Ninety percent of my wine is Long Island wine, it has got to be. We are on Long Island and that is the way it should be. It is like going to Napa and not having any Napa but all French wine on your list. It doesn't make any sense to me." There is also the "Rum Bar" aspect of the operation which includes exotic island cocktails made with fresh squeezed juices that come in 16 oz. mason jars and are priced to induce smiles, not sticker shock.

Hersh and his wife were considering a move to the Caribbean, but with the arrival of their first son decided they wanted to raise a family here on our island paradise, "We decided to bring the islands to us, we are committed to making people feel the way they do when they are at an island getaway. We are going to do live Reggae, some acoustic Reggae over the summer; we want it to feel like you are at a Sandals resort."

Rumba Restaurant and Rum Bar on Canoe Place Road in Hampton Bays.

The feel is definitely accomplished with warm, dark wood tables and chairs, whirling overhead white canvas fans, colorful island art and a huge outdoor deck that gives every table, both inside and out, a spectacular view of the bay. Come by car (there is ample parking), come by boat (there is a dock), just be sure to come prepared to step into a distinctive new restaurant with exquisite food, friendly service and an island paradise ambience, as that is exactly what you will find at Rumba. Cabana wear optional, but undoubtedly encouraged.

Rumba Restaurant and Rum Bar, 43 Canoe Place Road, Hampton Bays, 631-594-3544.

The views from every table at Rumba are spectacular.

Frequently mistaken for the "Most Interesting Man in the World" from the Dos Equis commercials and the iconic gray-bearded Sean Connery, DMH is the Senior Contributing Editor at Hamptons.com. www.hamptons.com Hamptons HamptonsOnline HamptonsOnline

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susie says::
GREAT TACOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nov 26, 2011 5:13 pm

Guest (Maddie ) from Jamesport says::
Rumba was absolutely delicious! The ribs were divine. It may be pricey for some people but you should come on down if you want great food and a laid back and summery island ambience.
Nov 13, 2011 7:28 pm

Guest (Ilona) from Rumba Hampton Bays says::
Great service! Yummy food:) Great for lunch, loud fun good drinks!!
Aug 6, 2011 8:02 pm

Guest (Costello) from Hampton bays says::
I want Frozen Drinks!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jun 15, 2011 1:22 pm

Guest (Guest) from East Quogue says::
Rumba is my our favorite restaurant period! The food is excellent. The service is great. Atmosphere mixed ages and beautiful. Prices are reasonable. To the guy who complained about the drinks, you probably got lost on your way to CB's. EAT HERE YOU WONT REGRET IT.
Sep 26, 2010 7:42 pm

Guest (Guest) from Guest says::
A large group of local people wanted to have an event here, but were totally turned off by the owner who demanded we notice that the drinks were made with real orange juice. 45$ for 3 drinks at 3pm on a Thursday afternoon is nuts! Good luck lasting in this town.
Sep 8, 2010 2:22 pm

Guest (Guest) from E. Quogue says::
The fillet was very very tender. The garlic chicken salad was excellent. Spinach dip terrific.
Sep 3, 2010 9:07 pm

Guest (Guest) from E. Quogue says::
Great Menu, excellent food, fine service. Music not loud but patrons were. It was the night of Earl so only the inside was available for seating perhaps that contributed to the high volume of voices. Will retrn.
Sep 3, 2010 9:04 pm

Guest (Guest) from East Quogue says::
Sylvia, don't make Hampton Bays people look cheap. Great food in not free. There is a McDonalds down the road.
Aug 29, 2010 5:29 pm

Guest (Guest) from 'southampton' says::
omg T went with my husband tonight we both work in the restaurant businness I waitress and hes a chef the food was out of the world and the service was brilliant, when you go to Rumba its like been on vacation, love it love it love it
Jul 25, 2010 10:54 pm

Guest (carole oshaughnessy) from westhamton ny says::
Just got home what a nice evening great food the mahimahi the filet the ribs oysters,artichokes,fried onions, excellent drinks superb service and chef owner with the most incredible dimples now granted that has nothing to do with the food but very nice to look at!!!
Jun 27, 2010 10:15 pm

Guest (sylvia) from hampton bays says::
do you have a prifix menu?
May 18, 2010 12:57 pm

Guest (Linda J. Maiorino) from East Quogue, N.Y> says::
Dear David and Rachel: Congratulations and best of luck. I believe a restaurant of your calibur will surely be a hit in the hamptons for both the young and mature as well the hamptonites and the locals. I too believe dining should be enjoyable and with good food reasonably priced and a romantic atmosphere with breathtaking views locals and vacationers have a winner. My fiance and I need a special date nite and I think we found the new hot spot. See you soon.
May 14, 2010 4:32 am


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