- scene: White wood, pops of blue and soft lighting; beachy and chill with a neat and clean edge
- sip: custom cocktail; wine in cute stem-less glasses
- savor: ceviche; pork milanesa
- sit: With your significant other; with any of your friends in Quogue
- spend: $$
- address: 412 Montauk Highway, East Quogue
- phone number: 631-996-4050
- website: www.stationeq.com
All of the hype about “new openings in the Hamptons” usually rolls right over the sleepy little town of Quogue like a locomotive. With “the Hamptons” so generalized, it is hard for an ambitious but not pretentious place to get some love when mentioned in the same breath as Southampton restaurants that offer sky-diving bottle service and farmy beachy places in Montauk that pretend they don’t cater to summer tourists. The Station is the most exciting restaurant to come to Quogue/East Quogue in a long time, and it is the perfect “stop” for the hungry and laid back locals.
The Station makes the most of its sort of awkward positioning right off of Montauk highway- it is neatly landscaped and has some cool outside areas, for guests to hang out and take care of overflow from the bar. The inside is bright and homey, done like your coolest friend’s beach house. There is a professional but not uptight staff; reservations are needed, but guests are more than welcome to eat at the bar. Owner Rafe Worthington or his girlfriend Marina are both likely to be on the floor, greeting friends and chatting with diners. Candles flicker and the vibe early is more romantic and gets more lively later in the night, as larger groups roll in and are fueled by samples of the housemade rum (Boyfriend warned me that just because it is free it is not a good idea, but um, lights out for me!). The prime table is a banquette in the back, with fluffy pillows and a view of the action.
Chef Lucia Soria is from Uruguay, and those accents excite straightforward dishes; this is a place that will see a lot of weekly diners, and the menu is approachable but varied enough to satisfy repeat clientele. I was determined to have date night with Boyfriend regardless of the torrential downpours all day, and while we were not the only ones to weather the storm, The Station was definitely not its busiest. No worries, more attention for us. There is a list of carefully crafted cocktails that is being worked through all of the time, and even though there is a complete bar they are still not fully stocked. I started with a tuna ceviche that was bright and citrusy as it should be, a burst of freshness on a rainy night. I tried to resist the homemade bread and herb butter, an exercise that predictably proved futile. Boyfriend had a pancetta and shrimp dish that was also quite good, a nice kick of salt. Next we split the pork milanesa with homemade breadcrumbs, a lovely salad with radishes and a sriracha dressing. This dish is crave-worthy and perfect; I can not stop thinking about the texture and the balance of all of the flavors, and how gorgeous the salad was. We also ordered something called Potato Domino, which are really thinly sliced potato (mandolin thin) that are cooked crispy- almost like fancy potato chips but still soft enough to know that they were made with great care; another dish that I have been thinking about.
We finished with a big old piece of chocolate cake, because, hey, why not? We bellied up to the bar to take in some live music, and we are already thinking about purchasing our return ticket. This is what a summer destination restaurant should be, so don’t miss the boat…(train).