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Joe and Liza’s Fish Sandwich from Bay Burger, Sag Harbor NY.

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Three years ago in May, Joe and Liza Tremblay and took over a roadside place in Sag Harbor, NY, that was called “Linda’s Famous Cheesecake”.  I had one friend who swore by Linda’s cheesecake but to be honest, I could never figure out when the place was open.  It was desolate most of the time.  Then Joe and Liza came along and opened “Bay Burger” at 1742 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, (631-899-3915).  Joe is a former grillman at the Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien in Manhattan, generally acknowledged to have one of the best burgers in the city.  Liza is a Culinary Institute of America graduate who makes the couple’s eponymous ice cream.  The slogan for the ice cream is “It’s from the Hamptons so you know it’s rich”.

But what’s wonderful about “Bay Burger” is that it’s everything we love about the Hamptons.  Not the Hamptons of the rich and famous, it’s the small town feeling we love. And “Bay Burger” sort of sums it all up. Because as anonymous as Linda’s Cheesecake was,  “Bay Burger” has quickly become a kind of community center.  Never mind that the beef is house ground, the brioche buns homemade, and the Tots and Fries addictive, there are Jam Sessions with great Jazz musicians, Political fundraisers, and, in our case, the Rehearsal “Dinner” before our friends’ wedding at our house.  And then there’s the Fish Sandwich.
When people are feeling particularly sanctimonious and eschewing the burger, the grilled cheese, the hot dog on the homemade bun, they gravitate to the glories of this Striped Bass patty, infused with shallots, topped with tartar sauce and served on one of Joe’s brioche buns.  Oh how much healthier the fish is!   Well, not really.  The fish sandwich is deep-fried which gives it an incredible crunch and eliminates any thought that it’s health food.   But my, is it good!  There’s only one hitch here.  Bay Burger closes down for the winter.  It’s gone after Christmas and won’t re-open until April 1st.   So in honor of that fortunately fast-approaching date, here’s a recipe I put together that closely approximates  what’s on offer at “Bay Burger” and should tide you over until it opens tomorrow.   It’s not deep-fried, merely sautéed and accompanied by, what else? Tater Tots, of course.

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