It is Thursday, so I’ll start with the most pressing information. Head to Hampton Seafood Co. in East Hampton tonight for Joe’s Happy Hour “Seafood Style” from 4:30–6:30 p.m.
We’ve got the “who,” “what,” “where” and “when” (note: every Thursday) down, let’s talk about the “why.” To state the reason succinctly: Because I sampled a medley of Hampton Seafood Co.’s offerings on a recent afternoon. Tucked inside an inauspicious building near the East Hampton train station, this eatery is a true Hamptons gem.
Headed by Chef Peter Ambrose of Peter Ambrose Events and catering company, Hampton Seafood Co. is a one-stop shop for all your dining needs. Lunch specials? Check. To-go dinners? Check. Catering? Homemade, premade sauces? Fresh off the boat seafood? A smattering of local produce and products? Check. Check. Check. Check. And, of course, there’s the Happy Hour, where seafood lovers can indulge in fish tacos, Hampton Seafood Co.’s famous $3 wonder.
Wooden lobster traps surround the building, a nod to the fact that Ambrose’s partners in the business own a fleet of Montauk fishing boats. (Did I mention that the seafood is fresh?) As the traps were clearly set up to be makeshift tables, I grabbed a spot and quickly found myself dining on a variety of Hampton Seafood Co.’s offerings.
Hampton Seafood Co. runs the gamut of to-go dining options, from casual, deli-style seafood salads and sandwiches to ready-made clambakes and gourmet catering. They also carry a variety of local products, including beverages from Hampton Water Company and the Montauk Beverage Company, and local produce. And if there’s one thing that unites all of Hampton Seafood Co.’s offerings, it’s the commitment to fresh ingredients and the deft culinary guidance of Chef Ambrose, who has been in the catering business for 17 years. (Peter Ambrose Events is located right next door to Hampton Seafood Co.)
I started off with a sampling of dishes that served as appetizers—a colorful array of hummus, guacamole, shrimp salad, lobster salad, tuna salad, edamame and salsa. Though I’ve obviously tasted incarnations of all of these plates, Hampton Seafood Co.’s varieties offered a unique blend of flavors that set them apart from others, a testament to Ambrose’s tenure in the business and a treat for the palate.
The hummus and edamame are a part of the Wellness Challenge, a diet that Ambrose states is “beyond vegan” in its rigid guidelines and in the nutrition it packs. Many of Hampton Seafood Co.’s offerings are prepared within the parameters of the Wellness Challenge, which focuses on limiting salt and oils. (To that note: The hummus is made with olives, not tahini, a substitution I wholeheartedly condone—and I’ve never been an olive lover.)
Then, it was on to the main courses: Pan seared scallops with a sweet corn risotto; Seared tuna over sesame noodles; linguini with white clam sauce; and ribs and filet mignon with a chimichurri sauce.
The scallops were lightly grilled—they had that elusive golden brown color most sought by scallop lovers—which brought out their full flavor, and they paired nicely with the creamy risotto.
The tuna was also simply prepared, and the accompanying wasabi sauce packed a punch without being overwhelming. The Hampton Seafood Co. ably dabbles with Asian influences, as they also make sushi daily.
Just in case the name of the establishment is misleading, however, Hampton Seafood Co. also knows its way around the meat smoker. The ribs were topped with a homemade barbecue sauce (also available for purchase inside), which made for a finger lickin’, fall-off-the-bone flavor.
Hampton Seafood Co.’s catering options work for events of all sizes. Tired of party planning and interested in simply relaxing after a wonderfully hectic Hamptons summer? Kick back with a single to-go meal. And check out Hampton Seafood Co.’s Facebook page for daily specials.
Hampton Seafood Co., 17 Race Lane, East Hampton. 631-324-9224, www.peterambroseevents.com