Enter Chef Michael Rozzi ...
I first met Michael Rozzi at the long-shuttered Della Femina's Restaurant back in 1999. It was the year we had assumed the proprietor's reigns at the Mill House Inn. Just a short walk up North Main Street, it was one of our "locals," a warm environment where we often found ourselves enjoying a late-night dinner.
After Della Femina's shuttered, Michael would take his knives on the road for a bit before returning to East Hampton Village, but before his departure, we enjoyed many a dinner, trusting in this Chef's capable palate and skilled hands.
The "why" of Michael's dedication to cooking is well described in Edible East End’s story of a dinner he cooked at The James Beard House. Coincidentally, that monumental meal was also a celebration of the 1770 House’s 15th Anniversary. Michael answers a few questions for Dan’s Papers, talks about being a third generation East Ender, and his love of our local food and wine.
He prepared a tasting menu at 1770 a few years back that I like to describe as an "artist celebrating an artist." 27East talks about the meal and the inspiration for the good eats: it was an East End cookbook titled Dinner with Jackson Pollack of which the venerable NY Times has an opinion!
Needless to say, the soul of a restaurant lies in the heart of a chef and in 2013 Michael returned to East Hampton and the 1770 House.
Exploring 1770 House
This short story would not be complete without mentioning Kevin Penner who was the founding Chef at the 1770 House in 2002. Kevin was the talented toque responsible for opening Della Femina’s in 1992. Penner's mantra meshes well with this chef when he says, "I want my guests to feel comfortable and content." And that feeling lives on at the 1770 and is in good hands under the current toque!
There are three dining environments at 1770:
- Dinner is a rather formal event on the main level dining room.
- In season, an outdoor garden is a beautiful spot.
- It’s the downstairs tavern that is very special.
The tavern has meaning beyond the fantastic food and warm atmosphere. This is a place that lives in rock & roll history. Tales of the East End in the 60’s tell a story of the Rolling Stones leaving their Montauk haunt at the Memory Motel to travel west to 143 Main Street to party in the rustic basement bar.
Wine and the Tavern at 1770
Sitting by the fireplace speaking to the sommelier and restaurant manager Michael Cohen, you can almost hear the Stones music echo in the old walls. In 2006 he came to East Hampton for the summer and never left, a very lucky event for local wine aficionados.
Michael has a deep knowledge of wine; the beginning of learning his craft was at the venerable "Striped Bass" in Philadelphia. And, his acquisition of wine smarts continues with education, testing, and much hard work. Interested in the process? Check out the documentary Somm.
This Somm has a unique trait, one that I quite admire. He tells his guests the story of wines that interest them. Entertaining and sharing wine knowledge with a generosity of time, Michael contributes to the culture of the 1770 House. Michael is often found blind tasting select bottles with his friends; among them is Roman Roth, the winemaker at Wölffer Vineyards.
The Tavern Meatloaf has a bit of an infamous reputation. The ability to sit in this wonderful 250-year-old basement tavern and enjoy Michael’s dinner menu is a bonus. Scallops, Fluke, Yellowfin, and Hogs Neck Bay Oysters are from the fishmongers of Montauk Harbor. "Himalayan Salt," Dry Aged NY Strip, Balsam Farms Beet Salad, Hudson Valley Foie Gras, and a fine selection of cheese are the building blocks of an intimate menu of favorites. Take a look at Zagat’s for a bit more information. Please do say hello to Michael and Michael for me when you visit.
Call us or email us to book your stay and dinner reservations!