Chef Dave Girard’s career comes full circle, making his triumphant return to Westhampton with the second outpost of Buoy One. Girard did time in the kitchen at the Patio on Main Street in WHB, after years of study in France under legendary Chef Bernard Louiseau (renowned for committing suicide after losing one star in a French guide) and in New York with Gary Kunz.
This sprawling spot—co-owned by his wife Lorraine—with a shaded veranda, two spacious dining rooms and a beautiful oak bar, is a far cry from the retro ’30s-era car dealership that houses the original Buoy One, a fish market and café in Riverhead. And the fish is just as fresh, the prices just as reasonable.
large menu seems to vary little from the original. It’s the kind of crowd-pleasing, seafood menu you used to find all over Long Island before the advent of New American cuisine, when “shore dinners” were the norm. Shrimp and scallops are offered by the pound. A half pounder of broiled medium shrimp ($9.95) yielded almost two dozen, tail-on crustaceans, swimming in a light white wine sauce. Another good starter is the Hard Shell Clams ($9.95), which we ordered when they were short on steamers. A half pound of these in a big pot is perfect for sharing. And the oysters, ah, the oysters. I’m torn each time I show up. I know I need to do my duty as a food critic and taste as many dishes as possible, but I have to have either the ethereal Panko Stuffed Oysters (Pictured Top) ($10.95) or the just battered, fresh Fried Oysters by the dozen ($14.95/ $9.95), on a platter with good fries and slaw ($13.95) or on a bun ($8.95). The oysters are so juicy and taste like summer by the sea. But I refuse to try the Piggy Back Oysters, stuffed with pulled pork.
A special Lobster Roll ($16.95) loaded with lots of sweet meat is a bargain, as are all the entrees with only the Buoy One Clam Bake (featuring lobster and plenty of shell fish) topping the twenty dollar mark. Every entrée we’ve ordered so far has been a hit and portions are very generous. Like at the original, most entrees are plated in shallow steel bowls. Almond Crusted Flounder ($19.95) very lightly coated has plenty of flavor and sweet potatoes are sweetened with vanilla. A terrific ongoing special is the Thai Glazed Monkfish ($18.95) which sometimes subs for the cod on the menu according to what the boats are catching that week. Not too sweet it comes with jasmine rice and steamed spinach. Sesame Crusted Tuna ($19.95) is not heavily seeded and comes cooked rare, with Asian stir fried vegetables. I love the Wok Seared Sea Scallops (Pictured Bottom) ($19.95) on top of snow peas and tomatoes with bits of Tasso ham for added oomph.
There are several desserts but only one flavor ice cream, Vanilla. We wondered whether this was a tradition held over from Riverhead, where the market sits directly across from the famous Snowflake and its homemade ice cream and it was a given that diners would cross the street for dessert.
62 Montauk Hwy., Westhampton
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