There’s a new restaurant concept in town, and it’s guaranteed to please most palates.
On Memorial Day weekend, Brooklyn Chop House opened in the Capri Hotel in Southampton. The busy hotel, which occupies prime real estate on Route 39, has a storied past. Despite the spate of great restaurants that have graced its grounds — BLT Steakhouse and Nobu among them — the Capri established itself as a lively nightclub, with extended late-night hours. Unsurprisingly, the hotel butted heads, on more than one occasion, with the town.
But those days are no longer, said owner Stratis Morfogen, one of Brooklyn Chop House’s owners. Morfogen has a long history in New York restaurants, as well as a long history out east. “For the last 15 years, I’ve owned Chinese restaurants, one being Philippe. I’ve recreated what my father did in 1950,” he said. Morfogen’s father ran the successful Chelsea Chop House, and Morfogen’s own restaurant experience spans decades. On the East End, he was responsible for the successful summer version of Philippe on East Hampton’s Three Mile Harbor, which he ran in the restaurant’s early years.
The new concept at the Capri Hotel will be a seamless blending of Chinese and American sensibilities. “When you ask Chinese culture about the word chop, it’s a position in the kitchen,” Morfogen said. “When you ask an American, they say, ‘Oh, it’s a steakhouse.’” Brooklyn Chop House — an outpost of the New York City restaurant by the same name — will marry steakhouse cuisine with Chinese cuisine. Classic diner sandwiches, like the Rueben and the bacon cheeseburger, are reinvented in dumpling form. On summer weekends, beginning at the Fourth of July holiday, the restaurant will feature a proper dim sum brunch.
The menu will pay proper homage to dry-aged meats, naturally (the group has a substantial locker filled with aging steaks with famed butcher Pat LaFrieda’s), but if it’s dim sum you’re into, well, you’re in luck there, too. “There’s no restaurant on earth where you can get a 3-lb. dry-aged porterhouse steak by Pat LaFrieda with a 4-lb. salt-and-pepper lobster and a Peking duck, all on the same table,” Morfogen said.
The ambitious concept required a renovation of the existing space, including a complete kitchen overhaul. Food service will not be limited to the dining room. The space will also feature poolside service, room service, and a series of event spaces available well after the season has officially ended. Since the Capri Hotel stays open until November, catering events (there are three spaces appropriate for catering, which can hold, respectively, 50, 75, and 250 people) will continue until the hotel itself closes for winter. Morfogen envisions Brooklyn Chop House, Southampton a long-term endeavor.
As for the Capri Hotel’s longstanding reputation as the life of the proverbial Hamptons party, those days, Morfogen promised, are over. “The landlord and I have gotten together and the way we’ve aligned our partnership is that we’re looking at it for the hotel guests as well as the restaurant guests,” he said. “We’re not going to have the nightclub open until 5 in the morning, like it’s been notoriously done in the past.”
Diners will find a wide variety of options and price points on the restaurant’s menu. A massive, dry-aged porterhouse for two will cost around $140, but it will be possible to get quality food, drinks, and service for far less. Morfogen estimates that the average dinner check for two will come to between $65 and $100. “Lunch by the pool, you’re probably looking at $25,” he said.
Most of all, this restaurant will not be the traditional, stuffy, creamed-spinach-on-the-side steakhouse of yore, and Stratis Morfogen is adamant about that. “This is not your dad’s steakhouse,” he emphasized. “This is dim sum and chops. That’s the whole concept.”
Brooklyn Chop House opened at Capri Hotel in Southampton on Thursday, May 23. The restaurant will be open for breakfast and lunch daily, and dinner Wednesdays through Sundays until July, when it will be open Tuesdays through Sundays. Delivery will be available through UberEats. Visit brooklynchophouse.com/sh for more information.