With sister locations in Manhattan and Bridgehampton, Almond may boast decades of restaurant history, but that doesn’t mean it neglects to keep things fresh. Reinvention is a must at an eatery where the menu hinges on what’s cropping up locally and the reigning philosophy is: “The less a chef does to an ingredient, the better.”
A commitment to shopping local purveyors—including Kai-Kai Farm, Holman’s Harvest, Bread by Johnny, and Bedner’s—means the menu at this deliberately simple American bistro must change with the seasons. But there are some nonnegotiables, like the duck confit and kimchi taquitos served with black bean ssam sauce and taqueria condiments. “We tried taking these off the menu once and there was a revolt,” C.J. Fernandez, director of restaurants, says with a laugh. “They’re here to stay.” One taste and you’ll understand the cult following—these taquitos could convert even the most duck-leery diners.
So how does Almond satisfy regulars while also incorporating what area farmers are harvesting now? Take a staple dish and rotate in the vegetables of the moment—the house-made ricotta cavatelli, for example. On the spring menu, the dish has veal and pork sausage, bitter greens, pecorino, and lemon oil. It still tastes familiar to those who love it, but with a seasonal twist.
This spring, there’s also the must-try “Bedner’s street corn our way” served with kimchi mayo, smoked feta, and aleppo; hot-and-cold brussels sprouts; and the “Halal cart” with spiced lamb shoulder, roasted carrots, saffron rice, green harissa yogurt, and house-brewed sriracha.
The cocktail menu also received some spring cleaning to make room for drinks like the refreshing “Same but Different” cocktail, which contains vodka, St-Germain elderflower liqueur, and lemon, colored a soft lilac by the presence of butterfly pea flower and topped with an effervescent splash of Champagne.
Dine inside the zebra wallpaper–lined eatery or alfresco for weekday lunch, weekend brunch, nightly dinner service, or midday “inbetweenski” offerings from 3 to 6 p.m. daily. With specialty bites starting at $6 and half-priced cocktails, it’s arguably one of the island’s best happy hours. But be sure to choose wisely which day you visit, as the “plats du jour” rotate throughout the week, with some—like the Thursday ramen—having generated decades-long devotees.