BYLINES BY SCOTT
SAVOR DOLCE VITA
As the story is told, the original Sant Ambroeus was created in Milan by two pastry chefs who sought to offer patrons a bit of what their city stood for. “Craftsmanship, genuine talent and exacting standards” continues to be the creed of this storied eatery. It also seems fitting that the brand eventually found its way to Southampton, a ton of like-minded foodies and entrepreneurs who can appreciate a good cappuccino or a plate of linguine alla vongole when they see one. Over the last 26 years, the cafe quickly became the eastern outpost for the who’s who flocking from the city to the East End. With a recent update by designer Robert McKinley, the restaurant has a vibrancy and sophistication worthy of its name. Whether you’re popping in for a perfectly made cappuccino or taking a seat on the vine-covered patio, the air of hospitality and Italian culture permeates the walls.
Staying true to its original mission, Sant Ambroeus Southampton is led by culinary director Iacopo Falai and executive chef Fabio Gutierrez. With 20 years of experience at the restaurant between them, they both share the same vigor and passion for quality, excellence and unrelenting hospitality as the original. For Falai, “the love of the brand started for me as a customer. It was their Spaghetti Aglio Olio, a very traditional dish and tough to do well made at the restaurant with Cavalier Giuseppe Cocco spaghetti, Italian red peperoncino, garlic confit and Sant Ambroeus extra-virgin olive,” that cemented his desire to join the company years later.
Both admire freshness and sophistication in the food but also emphasize the simplicity of each dish. Steps from the sea and local farms, Gutierrez is always keen to discuss the “magic of the flavors” or the inspiration he gets from the local area. Picking through the produce at The Green Thumb in Water Mill is one of his favorite activities. That commitment to quality is also exemplified in the relationship with Local Bushel, an organization that connects restaurateurs with farmers.
The sophistication of thoughtfully sourced products plays out in deceptively uncomplicated dishes like vitello tonnato or caprese salad, which may seem simple, but the complexity and freshness of the flavors make all the difference.
And as with any Italian meal, a signature Negroni puts everything in perspective, while mentally transporting you to Milan, where it all began.
Read the Article at ModernLurxury.com HERE.