Tom Colicchio—the New York chef behind the Craft Restaurants group and Bravo’s Top Chef series—heads for his latest project to the bucolic East End of Long Island, where he has transformed a pillared Greek Revival mansion into Topping Rose House, a luxury inn and restaurant with firm foundations in the local pastureland.
The restaurant, Colicchio’s smallest, opened in September with a 50-seat dining room and a 25-seat bar. The 22-room inn will follow early this year under the guidance of general manager Jeff Morgan, who was previously with Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos. Colicchio calls the Bridgehampton property "a quiet oasis" amid the Hamptons party scene. "When the bar is one person deep," he says, "it will be closed."
Colicchio has a home nearby, on the agricultural North Fork, and he and chef de cuisine Ty Kotz marvel over the farmers (and neighbors) who deliver just-picked turnips and microgreens to the restaurant’s back door. His menu emphasizes that bounty—some of it grown in the inn’s 1-acre garden—with each dish listed vegetables first. "Braised Onions, Saffron, and Fennel" introduces the spice-roasted lobster, while "Sweet Potato, Spigarello, and Fresh Syrah Jus" headlines roasted duck. "To me," Colicchio explains, "the heart and soul of a dish is what other people think of as the second-string players." Topping Rose House, 631.537.0870, www.toppingrosehouse.com