As someone with a love for fresh, local, seasonal ingredients, it baffles me that more restaurants in the Hamptons do not capitalize on the many farms that congregate on the East End of Long Island. There is so much to savor in our immediate surroundings, from day boat scallops locally caught off our shores to vegetables that have just been plucked from the earth less than a mile away. The food found nearby doesn’t need much to shine. And yet, many restaurants in the area have a tendency to serve fare that is far heavier than what Mother Nature offers. All too often, these eateries either miss out on what we have in our own backyard or mask the vibrant produce with heavy sauces or overwrought preparations.

Enter the breath of fresh air (and fresh food!) created by Chef David Standridge of newly-renovated hotel The MaidstoneThe Maidstone is a mainstay in East Hampton. It has been around for ages – built in 1740 – and was previously a bed & breakfast before being purchased and reimagined by Swedish hotelier Jenny Ljungberg in 2008. The property truly embodies Hamptons charm. It recently got a décor refresh by hospitality firm Partners and Alchemy, a co-owner of West Village restaurant Cafe Clover, plus a little love in the kitchen thanks to Chef David, also of Café Clover. The update served to lighten and brighten things up at Maidstone.

Chef David and I have known one another for about two years. We met literally days into his opening of Café Clover, where we created his famed white lentil risotto seen here on EyeSwoon. Now here we were again, only a short while after his taking the helm of the kitchen at The Maidstone, making another superb lentil dish together – scallops with turmeric lime butter, black lentils and ginger chives. The dish is super flavorful yet simple enough to let the beauty of each ingredient shine. AMEN, Chef, you are my Hamptons savior. more