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red / bar brasserie

210 Hampton Rd. Southampton, NY 631-283-0704

Red Bar Brasserie in Southampton. (June 8, 2012)

(Credit: Ian J. Stark)

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Critic rating: 2

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Type: New American Price range: $$$$ (Very expensive) Description:

Employing candlelight to illuminate its upscale interior, this eatery serves a menu of New American appetizers and entrées. Openers include such seafood-based fare as sea scallop ceviche and grilled prawns with a Romesco sauce, while land-locked edibles like braised pork belly with a celery root remoulade and bruschetta with artichoke are also available. Main plates offer modern takes on chicken, pork, seafood and beef, as well as an option of Long Island duck breast, served with baby bok choy, wild rice, toasted almonds, mango, ginger and black tea.

Hours: Wed-Sun: 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Ambience: Good Service: Very Good Reservations: Recommended Credit cards: Accepted Accessibility: Yes
2.0

 White-hot equals red/bar. The Hamptons' restaurant, which prefers using the lower case, is all capitals for its lively scene and often very good food.

This had been the site of Balzarini's, an old-fashioned Italian spot: 1923-1998. A neon sign from Balzarini's is the source of the new name. That's where similarities end.

The dining rooms showcase the clientele as much as the meal. It's a fashion show of the basic black and imperially slim. You might wonder what they actually eat.

Over the years, some satisfying choices have been the salad of arugula, oranges, fennel, and Parmesan cheese; a braised pork shank; sauteed snapper with artichoke puree; an excellent rack of lamb, finished with a pine-nut crust; roast duck with mango-ginger sauce; pan-roasted chicken; and a grilled strip steak with arugula and pommes frites.

Baked halibut with caramelized fennel and salmon with beets are among the big swimmers.

Sweets may be led by tropical fruit sorbets and fruit tarts, and profiteroles that you assume none of the regulars consume. Pity them.

Peter M. Gianotti