Restaurant Review: Estia’s Little Kitchen

Estia’s Little Kitchen is that adorable little place on the West side of the Bridgehampton Turnpike, just outside of Sag Harbor. I’ve heard good things about it for years, but until last week I had not been inside.

It’s just as cute on the inside and the service is friendly. We were a dinner party of four so we were able to try many different things. One member of our group had been there many times before, but only for breakfast or lunch.

To add to the festive atmosphere, I started the evening with a bright orange mimosa served in a big, round glass. My husband enjoyed a glass of Paumanok Chenin Blanc 2009 with the appetizers and switched to a Paumanok Late Harvest Riesling for the dessert course. Estia’s drink offerings include local wines from Wölffer and Grapes of Roth, plus beer and wines from abroad including a selection from Spain, Chile and Argentina. [expand]

We started with an assortment of appetizers. The Turtle Rolls are little wrapped yummy bits – seasoned black bean purée with avocado and Napa cabbage in a flour tortilla. Tasty. (Luckily we didn’t finish the Turtle Rolls and had them wrapped to take home—more on that later.) Guacamole and Corn Tortilla Chips—the chips were still hot from the fryer and the guacamole creamy, smooth guacayummy. Crab Meat Tostadas—yum! A corn tortilla stuffed with all fresh-tasting ingredients— crab, cilantro sprouts, carrots, beets and guacamole. I also quite enjoyed my Tortilla Soup—the tortilla strips were light and crispy and the feta and avocado added a welcome earthiness.

I ordered a special, the Shrimp Quesadilla on a Corn Tortilla with Tequila Sunrise Mojo, for my entrée. My first bite made my brain say, “Oooh, authentic.” This is a tortilla that can’t be bought in any store. My husband ordered Grilled Fish Tacos with Sunrise Salsa. He’s all about fish tacos and he thoroughly enjoyed these. Dining Companion E ordered the Potato-Crusted Flounder with Mixed Vegetables. Yum! The vegetables included broccoli, zucchini, asparagus and edamame, all fresh and a touch crisp. Dining Companion G ordered, and very much enjoyed, a special, the Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Local Asparagus Risotto.

We all made liberal use of Estia’s housemade sauces—the red Rosito to heat things up and the minty green Mojo to cool it down a bit. When all was eaten, my lips were kind of on fire and I was cool with that.

Ah, dessert. Dining Companion E scored the hit of the night, the Chocolate Flan. A layer of flan AND a chocolate cake layer. Dining Companion G enjoyed his ice cream. My husband drank his dessert as usual, declaring that the Paumanok Late Harvest Riesling has a “nice, deep flavor.” Guava fans, you know who you are, you want to order the Guava Cheesecake. It comes on a graham cracker crust and it is strictly for those who truly love the fruit of this tropical member of the myrtle family.

It’s easy to see why Estia’s Little Kitchen is so popular with weekenders and year-rounders alike. Good, flavorful food, nothing fishy—except the décor; fish prints and sculptures abound.

I so appreciated that our wrapped, leftover Turtle Rolls were handed to us as we passed the front counter on the way out. I could have forgotten to take them otherwise. I happily put them on the backseat of our car and…forgot about them completely. The next day I had to run to the Bridgehampton Commons to take some photographs. I was feeling peckish when I happened on those Turtle Rolls. They were about room temperature, ‘smelled okay…I enjoyed the best lunch ever consumed in the King Kullen parking lot!

Estia’s Little Kitchen, 1615 Bridgehampton Turnpike, Sag Harbor. 631-725-1045. www.estiaslittlekitchen.com.

Also Reviewed by Dan’s this week: A Touch of Venice

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