Food Inspires Art at Amagansett’s Coche Comedor

Steve Miller. Lindsay Morris photos

Coche Comedor was easily one of the hottest new restaurants in the Hamptons this year, and it opened with a splash. Complementing the regional Mexican flavors is a series of art featuring an explosion of color and creativity. And we’re not talking rectangular paintings hanging on the walls. The art at Coche Comedor — created from a pool of local talent — covers every table in the establishment, morphing the classic diner space into something entirely new and incredibly colorful.

The group of artists was led by co-owner and artist herself, Toni Ross, whose restaurant group includes Nick & Toni’s, Rowdy Hall, Townline BBQ and La Fondita, located right next door to Coche Comedor on Montauk Highway in Amagansett. Other artists included Christopher French, Sabra Elliot, Oscar Molina, Don Christensen, Almond Zigmund, Bastienne Schmidt and Steve Miller. All created indoor tabletops with the exception of Miller, who fashioned his surfboard art into outdoor tables. In addition to the table art, the restaurant commissioned a graffiti artist from Brooklyn known as Host18 to paint an interior wall mural which is the centerpiece in the bar area.

“I feel that I’ve been given the gift of a certain kind of creativity that causes me to experience many things in ways that are maybe unique and/or intense,” said Christensen, a 40-year-old musician turned painter. “The composition, color and drawing that are integral to my work are usually a representation of something I’ve seen before in our world or in my dreams.”

Walking into Coche Comedor is an assault on the senses. Ross has long had an interest in enclosed sculptural forms in which the interiors are uncertain and infused with a sense of mystery. In that philosophy, the tabletops at Coche Comedor and its menu of authentic Mexican cuisine are perfect complements — colorful, surprising and pleasing to the senses. Which brings up a sidebar. If the art at Coche Comedor seems dreamlike, do not walk but run to try the coconut tres leches or the churrosundae. Why, after all, should your eyes have all the fun?

Toni Ross
Christopher French
Bastienne Schmidt
Almond Zigmund