I grabbed an early dinner with my sister Katie the other night at 75 Main, and was pleased to see that the doors along Southampton’s Main Street were wide open to allow the cool-but-not-cold night air to waft in and mingle with all of the fabulous diners.
The ambience set, I decided to start my night off with a drink. Our waiter brought me the Gabriella, an Italian Pinot Grigio. Almost immediately, a basket of warm, homemade bread appeared. We indulged in the olive oil dip, which included a variety of seasonings, and chatted with owner Zach Erdem. Erdem had just gotten back from 75 Main’s new location in Delray Beach, Fla., and he excitedly talked about its Amer-Med menu and laid back, chic atmosphere.
The word “chic” describes Southampton’s 75 Main, too, and Erdem was quick to emphasize that the original location has also evolved, maintaining its status as a leader in Hamptons fine dining. Chef Victor Pastuizaca recently joined the 75 Main team. Pastuizaca previously spend six years at Nello’s in Southampton, and he has an impressive 18 years of experience in the restaurant business. He brings his own flair to the menu while preserving the classic style that has come to define dining at 75 Main.
Katie and I were enjoying the conversation, and it took awhile for us to even glance at the menu. But, in true female fashion, once we did, we had a trying time deciding what to choose.
Erdem came around again to ask if we had any questions, and after observing our wide-eyed, ravenous looks, requested that the chef make up a special platter of appetizers.
We could not have been happier, as we indulged in tuna tartar, the 75 Main caprese, the lobster salad and calamari. As someone who is not a fan of watching my food swim in a sea of mayo, I was drawn to 75 Main’s unique take on the traditional lobster salad. With endive, basil, tomato, big chunks of avocado, lemon and olive oil, the lobster salad does not skimp on the lobster, which is cooked to perfection and then chilled.
The tuna tartar is made with ahi tuna and guacamole. Very fresh, the dish also had a little kick to it that went great with a sip of wine. It was at this point that I was made keenly aware that my glass would never go empty that night, and I appreciated the gracious gesture. 75 Main also offers the Bertaud Belieu rosé, an oft-requested wine from Provence, France.
Katie, who has been known to order calamari whenever available, was also nice enough to invite me to share “her” portion of the dish. Each bite was crispy and flavorful.
Then, it was on to the entrée. Again, we had a difficult time deciding what to order. 75 Main’s menu includes a multitude of options that span the entire seafood-pasta-meat range. As we debated the merits of each item, the lights were turned down in what I’d imagine was a precursor to the upcoming night’s lounge festivities.
More than a mainstay as a restaurant, 75 Main offers a popular night scene, especially on the weekends, with a DJ, full bar and table service. (I came back a few days later to indulge in some celebratory drinks with a friend who had just gotten a new job. In addition to the weekend entertainment, 75 Main also has a Hamptons employees night on Tuesdays.)
Ultimately, I went with the grilled salmon as a main course. The dish is served with balsamic nectar and spinach. The balsamic nectar dressing was the perfect complement to the salmon, and there was a light seasoning to enhance the flavor. I also enjoyed my sautéed spinach.
Katie ordered the penne primavera, which is tossed with a number of fresh veggies, including squash, roasted red pepper, plum tomatoes and roasted garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. She ordered hers with chicken, but seafood lovers might choose to have it with shrimp.
Erdem also recommended the Chilean sea bass, which is served with saffron rice and is topped with a leek and pesto sauce. I’ll be sure to come back for that and the linguini vongole, which has manila clams tossed in a white wine sauce with garlic olive oil.
Though we were stuffed—I gladly enjoyed some of Katie’s pasta for lunch the next day—we couldn’t pass up the Tiramisu that Erdem brought to the table. Moist and full of coffee flavor, it was prepared in true Italian form. I think Katie’s succinct, gut reaction summed it up best: “It’s really good!”
75 Main, 75 Main Street, Southampton. 631-283-7575. www.75main.com.