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INTERVIEW: Main Street Tavern's Kit Still Dishes About The New Amagansett Eatery, Highlighting Local Produce And More

Shakir Philippe

Some of Main Street Tavern's offerings. (Photo: Or Harpaz)

From the team behind the well-loved Highway Restaurant & Bar in East Hampton, is the newly-opened restaurant Main Street Tavern, with an all-American, tavern-style menu, extensive bar program and welcoming hospitality. The latest Amagansett addition provides approachable service and a well-crafted fare in a comfortable ambiance of an open air, socially-distanced garden, designed with a safety-first approach in compliance with New York's health and safety guidelines. Along with the critically configured seating and operational touch-points to order and pay, the Tavern's table settings have also been reduced for minimal contact.

Esteemed architecture and interior design team Ronen Lev, led by Jessica Wilpon Kamel and Christina Akiskalou, thoughtfully curated the indoor and outdoor space with community and safety in mind. Food can be enjoyed through take-out or in the restaurant's 54-seat beer garden that features carefully-positioned plants and shrubbery to offer privacy. The outdoor space has been configured with spaced out dining so parties of up to six can comfortably be seated at each of the tables. "Taking cues from traditional, town-favorite meeting spots like country taverns and inns, we were most inspired by the town itself," explained Jessica Wilpon Kamel.

The outdoor seating area. (Photo: Or Harpaz)

Main Street Tavern's unique layout affords guests their choice of ambiance—a quiet family dinner indoors or a more celebratory gathering of friends at the bar, that is partitioned by glass between to create a natural, spatial distancing between diners. "We wanted the space to feel like a second home to Hamptons locals and weekenders. The refurbished design is a familiar, clean and inviting space. Taking cues from traditional, town-favorite meeting spots like country taverns and inns, we were most inspired by the town itself," Wilpon Kamen added.

The impressive balanced menu of seasonal and savory dishes was developed by Executive Chef Anand Sastry and Chef de Cuisine Yusuf Lovett, both steadfast in their attention to high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients. Chef Sastry brings decades of experience working in restaurants around the world, including the last 6 years at Highway Restaurant & Bar. Joining Chef Sastry's team is Chef de Cuisine Yusuf Lovett, who sharpened his knives at NYC's Michelin-starred The Finch and Legacy Records before heading out East for this special venture.

I had the opportunity to speak to Kit Still, the General Manager of Main Street Tavern, about what diners can expect at this new eatery and Kamel about the eatery's design.

Congratulations on the opening of the Main Street Tavern in Amagansett! Will the menu have any similarities to its sister restaurant, Highway Restaurant & Bar in East Hampton?

KS: The Highway team has kindly shared their infamous hummus recipe with us so this could be the start of some much beloved dishes making it across to both restaurants.

What can people expect from Executive Chef Anand Sastry and Chef de Cuisine Yusuf Lovett?

KS: Our chefs are both from England, and they share a love of fresh produce, seasonality and excitement for cooking. Of course, our fish and chips dish has already become a favorite. Everything is made in-house, from our pasta to desserts, like the fruit tart, made every day.

How will the Tavern be adhering to the CDC safety guidelines?

KS: We are lucky in the fact that we got to build our restaurant in light of the CDC guidelines. We built our outdoor beer garden so that the tables are 6 feet apart and the indoor bar room is also perfectly spaced to allow our guests to enjoy what might be their first night out in a few months.

A few of Main Street Tavern's sweet treats. (Photo: Or Harpaz)

What was Ronen Lev's inspiration for the overall design and layout of the restaurant?

JWK: Taking cues from traditional, town-favorite meeting spots like country taverns and inns, we were most inspired by the town itself. We wanted the space to feel like a second home to Hamptons locals and weekenders. The refurbished design is a familiar, clean and inviting space.

Main Street Tavern will be open year-round, starting with the hours 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Thursday through Monday.

The food items on the menu that people should not miss out on are the Tavern Wings, Juicy Steak Sandwich, the Classic Beef or Chicken Burger, and the Hamptons-Essential Summer Lobster Roll. There are also fresh, healthful options like the Summer Kale and Quinoa Salad and a decadent, rustic-style carrot cake with cream cheese frosting for dessert. Main Street Tavern's beverage is equally as impressive as the menu, including several classic and creative cocktails, a wide selection of spirits, and a rotation of draft and bottled beers. The wine list is smartly curated by Parcelle, the well-known boutique wine shop, offering excellent wines at affordable prices. Summer by-the-glass highlights include the Val de Mer sustainably-grown, sparkling brut rosé by Patrick Piuze from Chablis and L'Umami Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley.

Main Street Tavern is located at 177 Main Street in Amagansett. For more information, visit www.mainstreettavern.com.

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