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Agave’s, La Lanterna, TR Restaurant & Bar: New Arrivals on the 2011 Hampton Scene

Agave’s Rum and Tequila Bar
142 Mill Rd., Westhampton Beach

Those who have squeezed into the charming little shack that is Agave’s Blue Cactus in Hampton Bays will be thrilled by the more upscale digs the same folks are taking over where Westhampton Steakhouse had a brief but infamous run a few summers ago. This three-story brick structure from the 1890s should become a destination for the same very reasonable Mexican-style menu that includes favorites like Montauk Flounder Tacos, Sesame Crusted Tuna Burritos, Chipotle Pulled Pork Enchiladas plus special entrees like Marinated Strip Steak, Bang Bang Chicken and Baja Shrimp to go along with a long list of Margaritas and Mojos. In the Agave Lounge live Brazilian, reggae and ska for your listening and dancing pleasure. Opening scheduled May 18.

La Lanterna
412 Montauk Hwy, East Quogue
Every spring, locals and summer residents alike pass by this uniquely located roadhouse, with a hopeful sense of anticipation that a new tenant will take up permanent residency. Known as “The Point” because of its location where Old Country Road meets Montauk Highway, it has housed a long list of failed enterprises, the most successful of which was called “The Point.” But from 1982 to 1996 it was La Lanterna, a family owned seafood and pasta destination run by new owner Stephen Alegria’s parents. In its new incarnation he will take advantage of the abundance of fresh local ingredients, including locally grown produce, with the main emphasis being on seafood from nearby Peconic and Shinnecock Bays as well as the Atlantic, brought to him by his many commercial fisherman friends. Plans are afoot for a reasonably priced three-course prix fixe, a possible paella and lots of appetizers to go with drinks on the wraparound patio. Alegria also hopes to begin serving breakfast when the season is in full swing. Open now.

TR Restaurant & Bar
78 Foster Ave., Hampton Bays

The hidden space behind Tully’s Seafood Market is the perfect spot for a seafood restaurant but few have been able to make a go of it, including its last tenant, Before the Bridge. Local chef Tom Rutyna, the man in the kitchen for many years at Southampton’s Coastal Grill, is aiming to change all that with what he calls “Hamptonion” cuisine. His seasonally changing menu will use only the fresh caught seafood that comes in off the boats on Shinnecock Bay outside his door or the docks across the nearby Ponquogue Bridge. He plans to cook much of the seafood on a wood-fired grill including stand-outs like grilled Maya Prawns, Rose’s Grove Oysters Mignonette and Wood-Fired Lobsters. Opening May 18 if the long-awaited liquor license comes through.


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