Topping Rose House in what will soon be a full service inn, complete with pool and spa – a rare find in the Hamptons. The chef/TV personality, who has a home on the North Fork, ventured south for the opportunity to become a boutique hotelier. The Top Chef host is also playing locavore: the restaurant makes use of produce that is farmed on an nearby acre of land.
Throughout the summer, passersbys watched workers busily restoring the mansion and barn, originally constructed in 1842, and now the restaurant is finally being unveiled (though the 22 rooms have a little way to go).
Classic wide wood plank floors, oversized windows, Windsor chairs and copper accents retain a historic feel, while contemporary works from local artists, along with an aqua lacquered bar, and rock tunes in the background, update the mood.
In an area where most of the popular spots serve steak or seafood, Colicchio’s creative farm-to-table menu focuses on vegetables and grain, with protein taking a back seat. Openers ($15-$24) include fennel, radish and celery salad tossed with Greek yogurt dressing; summer vegetable ragout with bone marrow and poached egg; spicy watermelon, cilantro and arugula accompanied by fluke crudo; and braised zucchini with fried zucchini flowers and burratta.
Among the perfectly al dente pastas, which range from $19-$22 for appetizer size and $26-$30 for entrees, are spaghetti with fresh tomato and bottarga; sweet corn agnolotti with leeks and summer truffle; and bucatini with clams, chili and parsley.
Main courses ($38-$42), which are all listed with produce as the headline and protein in smaller print, include roasted peppers and eggplant with grilled lamb loin; pickled watermelon and chanterelles with roasted saddle of rabbit; braised onion saffron and fennel with spice-roasted rabbit; and cranberry beans, lemon confit and olives with braised yellowfin tuna.
Now that summer crowds are gone, the area is more low-key. Topping Rose diners are sure to be a mix of locals, New Yorkers weekending at their Hampton homes and visiting foodies, anxious to sample Colicchio’s latest dishes.
The Details: 1 Bridgehampton Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton; 631-537-0870