Finding The “Best” In the Traditional


On the East End the culinary scene may be dominated by increasingly expensive fare, sometimes not living up to its hefty price tag or the hours spent waiting for a table, but for those who really appreciate food on the Twin Forks what makes this place special is the availability of fresh, local ingredients.

For those chefs who focus on our regional, seasonal fare the bounty is indeed plentiful and when executed correctly – focused on the clean flavors of the ingredients while still allowing for individual creativity – is representative of the best of East End cuisine. From farm stands teaming with virtually every variety of seasonal vegetable to our region’s maritime tradition rich with local seafood, there is much to draw on in the creation of Hampton’s cuisine. This is what a truly great menu is about for me, and I believe, for many self professed foodies on the East End. 

The Dock House, located on Sag Harbor’s storied Long Wharf, represents a dining and take out establishment based on the very principle of fresh, local ingredients, specifically speaking – seafood. The Dock House boasts a menu featuring a number of appetizers including baked clams, calamari, crab cakes, and steamed mussels and steamers, as well as seafood salads, grilled platters of tuna and swordfish, fried seafood platters of virtually every shellfish imaginable, and of course, lobster. But for those looking for a simple, tried and true menu item from The Dock House look no further than its clam chowder – voted Sag Harbor’s best in both Manhattan and New England varieties during last year’s HarborFest celebration Clam Chowder Contest. The New England clam chowder won its category in a landslide victory, and revisiting its flavors this week there is little question as to why. 

Not too thick, not too soupy, The Dock House’s New England clam chowder is creamy with the slightest hint of sweetness. The chunks of potato and diced celery offer a nice texture balance to the succulent clams, which The Dock House certainly does not skimp on. What takes the chowder to the next level is its heat, amply supplied and providing a peppery contrast to the creaminess of the dish. As an added bonus, patrons can feel proud they are supporting a “green,” Sag Harbor business. The Dock House now boasts bio-degradable containers and utensils, which actually best their plastic counterparts in form and function. 

For those looking for a less “Hamptons” and a more Sag Harbor dining experience, The Dock House is the perfect antidote to the extravagance and frivolity that can be the East End in July and August. Those looking for a scene need not apply – this place is all about the food, not who is eating it. 

The Dock House is located on Long Wharf in Sag Harbor. For more information, call 725-7555.