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Moby’s is my local go-to in Amagansett.  Created, concepted and owned by my dear friend Lincoln Pilcher and his business partner Nick Hatsatourisit’s been a culinary safe haven during my summers out east.  Both Aussies with impeccable style, Lincoln and Nick share a very specific vision of farm and market-inspired eating with locally sourced food. Enter Moby’s. Initially the duo opened Moby Dick’s in Montauk when they serendipitously met Chef Gary King (formally of Il Buco and Cookshop) and created a pop-up in the classic Rick’s Crabby Cowboy Cafe on East Lake Drive.  Refreshingly simple and unfussy—you ordered from a 5-item chalkboard menu, grabbed a red buoy with a number, and sat at a waterfront table on the lake in anticipation of your meal.

Last year they happened upon the 1800 Amagansett farmhouse restaurant that sat vacant for over 2 years and decided to expand. They discovered that it was fatefully equipped with a pizza oven, which struck Nick: “oh wow, that’s our thing, which is fantastic because it’s already there”. As sad as they were to leave Montauk, the patio and sizeable garden allowed for a similar spirit—one that is laid-back, close to nature and community-centered. There was an instant connection with the new space, because as Nick describes: “we have a lot of families that come and the kids can run around” while parents sit back and sip Moby’s on-tap rosé. (Yes, on-tap rosé makes this place pretty much automatically swoon-worthy…)

Another plus for the new location: it’s closer to all the farms. This is especially important for Chef Gary King, whose cooking style cooking is rooted in showcasing farm fresh ingredients—“that’s what we grew up eating as well in Australia” Nick points out. He describes the farm-based menu, and how in tandem with the garden space, it just “made sense to make the move.”

As for the décor, Moby’s definitely has a coastal theme and feels like you’re in someone’s home, which was always the intention. The restaurant has three unique spaces: the main dining room, the back patio and the garden. The dining room has a sophisticated Hamptons feel, expressed in a restrained nautical palette. White walls with touches of black and navy offer the perfect foundation for ocean-influenced accents of rustic sea-aged rope and whimsical buoys, which add dimension and balance. Once you step on the patio the vibe changes dramatically and is noticeably more playful. Nautical striped pillows and bright buoys sit against the crisp white picnic benches, keeping the room fun, but elevated.  Lastly, there is the garden, which is another world altogether—kids run about on the open lawn and gingerly climb those towering lifeguard stands.

Moby’s is a community restaurant to its core, and Nick, Lincoln and Gary are serious about building relationships with the families who allow them to thrive. “We’re not the first restaurant here, and we probably won’t be the last one either”, Nick concludes. That said, Moby’s has quickly won a loyal following among locals, which is good news for anyone who appreciates farm-fresh plates and flowing rosé.

Stay swooned for Friday’s feature as I cook with Chef Gary!

Moby's

swoonisms

    • Amagansett has so many farms within such a small radius – It always shock’s me that more aren’t doing farm-to-table food!

      Gary’s whole style of cooking is all about freshest, quality local ingredients and not doing a lot to them. That was very much the vision and it will continue to evolve. We also wanted to do a really simple beverage program: we have our rosé on tap which we’ve been doing for many years. We’ve been working with the same company Gotham Project and that’s great—we’ve got the Aperol Spritz on tap, we have Dark & Stormy on tap.

      What about the transformation of the space—the design and decor are so well executed—it’s easy and comfortable, and modern yet classic. 

      As far as the vision, it definitely has a coastal theme to it. We want it to feel like you’re in someone’s home, and I think that the space really gives off that feeling. This building, it’s a 1800s farmhouse. There’s been a restaurant here since the mid-1950s, so we’re not on the water but we are on the coast. As far as the transformation, we definitely wanted to bring elements from Moby Dick’s so people feel that it was us, but we also wanted to step it up a little bit and make it more chic.

      You recently began Brunch….

      Yes, brunch launched and that’s Saturday and Sunday right now. It’s a great space during the day and we want people to come and just like grab a coffee or a juice if they want. If you wanna run off to the beach, or sit back and have lunch and a few drinks, you can enjoy the afternoon that way. We want to sort of position ourselves on both of those levels. Hopefully within the next week or so we’ll have an ice cream cart out front during the day and on the weekends! Which should be cool and also we’ll be serving our house-made sodas as well for the kids. The little kids and the big kids (laughs).

      You obviously cater to the community and the needs of the community…..

      It’s a great community, and I think we’re very respectful. We’re not the first restaurant here, and we probably won’t be the last one either. There’s a great history here and we have locals that come in and say “I used to work here, I met my husband here…” Or “My husband and I we met at that bar”. And it’s great, people say that Jackson Pollack used to drink here, which is so cool! There is a really wonderful history and we just want to become a part of that.

      The simplicity in the design mirrors the style of the food. Quality and restraint all based in simple execution. Through and through, the restaurant really is your vision….

      Thank you. I mean we definitely put a lot of thought into it over the years and it’s been sort of an evolution as well. And I think each summer you sort of work out a little bit more. We’re really fortunate that we’ve had the same chef for the last four years. That’s been great because we just have that continuity. And hopefully he’ll be back again for years to come. And we’re also fortunate to have people like you that have just such a loyal following as well. I feel like a lot of our guests have grown up with us (laughs)… and that’s lovely. It’s also nice to breathe in a little bit of life into this building…

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