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Bay Kitchen Bar

39 Gann Rd. East Hampton, NY 631-329-3663

Bay Kitchen Bar, a New American and seafood

(Credit: Gordon M. Grant)

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Type: Lounge, American, Seafood Special features: Bar scene, Summer only, Water views, Happy hour Price range: $$$ (Expensive) Description:

This East Hampton spot is a casual bi-level restaurant and lounge, serving upscale seafood and satisfying, summery cuisine. The breezy blue-and-white decor overlooking boats and islands is one good reason to come here, but it's the overall celebratory mood that will have you coming back.

Hours: Wednesday to Sunday for dinner, from 4 p.m. Expected to be open every day for dinner as of Monday, 6/30, with weekend lunches to follow. Ambience: Very Good Service: Very Good Reservations: Recommended Credit cards: Accepted Accessibility: Elevator to dining-room level Notable dishes: fisherman soup, Fish-and-chips, lobster salad roll
The lobster roll is a refreshing main course

The lobster roll is a refreshing main course at Bay Kitchen Bar in East Hampton. (Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

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The evening show at East Hampton's Harbor-Marina arrives tonight at 8:31.

But the one lasting beyond the sunset that launches a hundred iPhone cameras is chef Eric Miller's satisfying, summery cuisine.

Miller is the executive chef-proprietor of Bay Kitchen Bar, the latest resident here, with a breezy, blue-and-white, second-floor perch overlooking ripples, boats and islands. It's the successor to several seasonals, the most recent being Andrra; the most notable, Bostwick's. Miller comes here after a stint at now-gone Madison & Main in Sag Harbor.

Bay Kitchen Bar is as noisy as any of them. Everyone seems to be in a celebratory mood, sipping a French 75 or a watermelon-basil margarita, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA or Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale on tap.

The truly blissed-out, however, must be sampling Miller's full-flavored fisherman soup, a localized, long-distance evocation of bouillabaisse, floating cuts of fluke, striped bass and tuna. A special of crisp, flash-fried soft-shell crab in savory corn-and-bacon chowder also is an excellent starter.

Less appealing are the thick discs of sea scallop and raggedly sliced local fluke dressed up as crudo; and the dull combo of Montauk tuna and fresh crab that's billed as ceviche. The opener of tomato-braised meatballs is dense, hard and underseasoned. You're better off with the spreads of hummus, roasted-pepper feta and tzatziki, served with pita triangles.

Frying is preferable, too. The eastern whole belly clams combine crunch and sweetness, accompanied by herbaceous tartar sauce. Fish-and-chips: very good, made with cod, ready for malt vinegar.

The house's lobster salad roll, on toasted brioche, with celery, parsley and lemon, is a refreshing main course. And the whole, steamed lobster, matched with sweet butter and shaved summer vegetables, is perfectly prepared. Pan-roasted local striped bass is preferable to the flaccid, mustard-crusted Montauk tuna.

If you're boycotting seafood, consider the sirloin, bacon-Cheddar burger or the ample rotisserie-roasted chicken instead of the overdone spit-roasted duck.

Top desserts are the lush Greek yogurt panna cotta with honey and a fresh berry compote, and the puck-size, compact chocolate marquise with pistachio ice cream.

The Key lime tart, however, is only routine; the old-fashioned strawberry shortcake, a nouveau parody with ice cream. Phyllo-wrapped crème brûlée suggests custard encased in logs of shredded wheat. Maybe it's a sign of breakfast coming. Bay Kitchen Bar must be pretty at dawn, too.