Citta Nuova is going on summer number 3. The place is consistently packed. Location is everything but again so is the vibe.
Large open air restaurant that extends onto Main Street in the middle of East Hampton. A large bar with TV's hanging from above can be seen from the street. Sort of an upscale Italian bistro. I really do like the vibe there. When you walk in, you are still part of what is happening on the street. The back is big an spacious and there is a garden in the back, more outdoor space.
The problems always seem to outweigh the positives in the Hamptons. Why? I have no idea. Is it the crowds? Is it the waiting? Is it the frustrating service? Perhaps it is a mix. To me, it is really the food. As much as I like the vibe at Citta Nuova and I want them to have good food, they simply don't. They try. The menu seems like it will be good but it just isn't. I wait and come back the following summer but am always disappointed. My expectations are pretty low too.
The caponata which we started with is actually decent. A bit on the mushy side but flavorful. For dinner we all had something different. The lasagna is just not as rich or tasty as it could be. The pasta with sweet sausage, broccoli rabe and a dash of chili is bland. The sausage isn't cooked enough, the rabe should be cut into pieces and it is too oily. The tuna was rare, as asked, served with a eggy custard. The linguine with clams was overloaded with garlic, no surprises there but again very oily and not that interesting. The grill Cornish game hen was charred and really salty served with a oily Israeli couscous and grilled sweet Italian sausage. It didn't really compliment each other and the sausage could have been charred more where the hen could have had less. As a whole, just a big bummer.
The best thing to do there is have a glass of wine and sit at the bar or the tables on the street. Perhaps have some cheeses or small pizzas which looked pretty good. It is a drag. Great place, great vibe, mediocre food. I'm still looking for the whole package in the Hamptons. Although if I found it, so would hundreds of others. Home cooked meals look better every day.