Southampton's cup currently runneth over with awards, so grab a menu and cleverly place your mouth beneath its cornucopic outflux. Start lunch, dinner, or High Beer with an appetizing cup of New England clam chowder or potato ale soup with bacon and cheddar ($5 each), before hitting the pub favorites. Wrap your lips around a tall, frosty mug full of the brewer's burger and french fries ($9, add cheese, sautéed onions, bacon, or mushrooms for $0.75 each) or a crispy order of lager-dipped fish and chips ($14 lunch, $18 for a dinner portion). For a hearty pub dinner, pair a flounder stuffed with crabmeat ($22) and side of sweet potato fries ($6), crushing your appetite beneath the sheer weight of flavor. Check the on tap menu for a saliva-stimulating selection of micro-brewed beers, ales, and Olympian ambrosias, or ask your server to recommend the best pairing for your entree, your complexion, or the beer you just had 12 seconds ago.
Soft candlelight illuminates the pistachio-green walls and minimalist decor of The Grill Room, a Zagat-rated, Manhattan-style restaurant that draws on pancontinental influences to craft its menu of New American fusion fare. While guests mingle over plates of chili-rubbed pork tenderloin and hearty Black Angus new york strip steaks, bartenders fill martini glasses with violet, green, and marbled cocktails and shake classic gin martinis to crystal-clear perfection. In the kitchen, Executive Chef Miguel Berrios oversees the creation of delicacies such as tuna tartar, Prince Edward Island mussels, and hibachi ribs. While the weekend crowd awaits tastings of his latest masterpiece, jazz musicians set up on the stage and prepare to regale their audience with saxophone solos, walking basslines, and crooning recitations of the bar’s daily specials.
Pour the Core: A Hard Cider Festival celebrates the revival of hard ciders and perries brewed from apples and pears. For the festival, the tree covered-landscape just outside of Peconic Bay Winery in Cutchogue fill with more than 30 local and international ciders including Peconic Bay Winery’s True Believer, Angry Orchard, and Magners from Ireland. Seminars teach patrons about all the ways to use versatile cider, from stirring into cocktails to mixing up in cupcakes and pork shoulder. A How to Make Hard Cider seminar demonstrates how to brew hard cider from nonalcoholic cider at home, covering the entire process from picking the right apples to forcing carbonation back into the opened bottles.
At Vitae Restaurant & Wine Bar, executive chef Steven Del Lima puts a contemporary spin on continental fare from filet mignon to veal scallopini, a talent that helped him earn an entry in Best Chefs America. Del Lima's appetizers in particular have an international flair—beef tenderloin medallions come with hand-stretched tandoori naan, and flash-fried calamari is glazed with sweet Thai pepper.
At Vitae's opening in 2011, a reviewer from the New York Times praised both the "tender baby back ribs," brushed with house-made black-coffee barbecue sauce, and the "elegant" ambiance, enhanced by the soft glow of recessed lighting and hanging lamps. Stored behind an onyx-amber bar and in a 1,400-bottle cellar, an extensive wine selection earned the Huntington eatery a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in 2012.