The Hamptons

Calissa Restaurant in Water Mill!

Hidden behind a long, green hedge is an extraordinary Greek restaurant called CALISSA in Water Mill and open throughout the Fall! Originally a steak house in the 60s known as Dick Ridgely’s and more recently Trata East, it has had its healthy share of turnover changing the quality and the culture – but this time it seems they have struck gold again once again. Calissa’s Greek style carries over from the menus to the beachy decor with a striking flair for the modern that adopts a cozy comfort with Mediterranean patterned pillows adorning the long booths arranged in designated areas – some for more privacy. Its clean sweep of beautiful mosaic floors spills out onto the outdoor bohemian lounge area for a crowd which goes late into the night.

Arriving before the crowd allowed us to have our choice of tables which as it turned out was a good idea because the place filled up very quickly with seemingly loyal patrons who knew good food and understood great service. James Mallios is host as well as managing partner – a dapper chap standing guard at the front ready to welcome everyone as part of the Calissa family for the evening – in customary European manner at many places. Emphasizing a parallel between The Hamptons and the Greek Island of Mykonos known as “the jewel of the Cyclades”, Calissa emphasizes that synergy of ethos with cuisine and design and Executive Chef Dominic Rice fuses that spirit with Southern Aegean ingredients. It’s this same mindset that encourages guests to dine socially and in abundance like feasts of old Greecian style blending flavorful food with the finer, local wines. Calissa offers over 30 different wines by the glass and verticals of the highest quality roses and during the high season boasts three full time sommeliers to assist guests with over 150 different bottles. They offer a wonderful selection of terrific Greek signature cocktails for refreshing starters on a hot summer night so we sampled the SCORPIOS – a house rum punch with orange and keffir lime.

We sprang for a glass of light, crisp Malagousia (Viognier) Gerovassiliou Macedonia. Greece is one of the oldest winemaking regions in the world and the Malagousia grape is a variety indigenous to Greece that was nearly extinct until the 1970s. It has a pleasant bouquet of pear, peach, citrus, a little mango and some floral notes. For our appetizers, one of us chose the their savory curried corn fritters and the other – the Point Judith Calamari made with giardiniera, lemon aioli and bomba calabrese which were featured as specials for the evening. We shared the local arugula salad made with pears, figs, honey brittle, sesame and kanopasti which was deliciously light and fruity on a toasty summer evening. For the entree we split an extremely generous portion of Lobster Bucatini with a confit of fennel, tomato, aleppo pepper and mint. It was actually quite a decent portion of meaty lobster with the pasta – and much more than a lot of other places. It earned its name on t,he menu. Too many times we’ve chosen a “lobster” based meal and found barely enough to call it a lobster entree! We finished with another Greek specialty -Loukoumades – a basket full of doughnuts covered in honey and walnuts and served with sesame, pistachio, orange and raspberry curd for dipping. Apoprosanatolisti! Calissa accepts reservations from Wednesday through Sunday through the Fall

We love Kahil Gibran’s take On Eating & Drinking

You can find handy links to both restaurants + lodging from Westhampton to Montauk on “The Hamptons”.com lifeguard stand

November 7th, 2017 Posted by | wine & dine...our take | no comments