The restaurant on the corner of Old Country Road and Montauk Highway in East Quogue has changed hands many times in its existence. This summer two ambitious restaurateurs, Rafe Worthington and Marina Rutherfurd, have partnered with the culinary team from Lucifer in Uruguay to create a restaurant that will try to stick to this difficult spot. Their template: really good food in a comfortable environment.
Most Popular: Zucchini and Fennel Salad; $15
Signature: House Made Rotolo; $25
Chef’s Favorite: Braised Leg of Crescent Farm Duck; $30
Mr. Worthington and Ms. Rutherfurd decided a year ago that the problem on the East End is that you can’t find a place that is fun and relaxed but still serves fresh, high-quality food. So they partnered with chef Lucia Soria and her culinary team to solve that problem. Ms. Soria’s head chef from Uruguay, Agustina Gagliardi, is in front of the stove and everything passes in front of her eyes before reaching the dining room.
The goal the couple has is to host a really fun, comfortable dinner party every night with killer food and a relaxed atmosphere.
“You shouldn’t have to have white tablecloths for an exceptional meal,” Mr. Worthington said.
He’s spent the past seven years traveling around, most of it in the Middle East, finishing with a stint trying to open restaurants in Paris, then Cuba. Eventually, Station was the best spot to open the eatery he wanted, he said.
“I found America to be more hospitable to entrepreneurship, holding true to what it’s about,” Mr. Worthington said.
So he returned home to Quogue and embarked on opening Station in the neighboring hamlet.
“We wanted to have a sense of the exotic and when you look at the dining room hopefully it looks a little different than the ordinary,” the restaurateur said.
The space is exotic yet homey, and a bit rustic. The food is seasonal, and the chef wanted to respect the climate and proximity to the beach when developing the menu. Mr. Worthington said the goal was to create dishes that are as simple as possible, all about substance and simplicity while combining flavors.
There is also a pastry chef who makes all of the bread in-house, as well as fresh pasta.
The customers’ favorite dish is the Zucchini and Fennel Salad. Thinly shaved zucchini and fennel are laid atop mint, basil, goat cheese and toasted almonds which are lightly tossed in a lemon vinaigrette and seasoned with crunchy salt and freshly ground pepper. It is vibrant and fresh and smells of a backyard garden in the summer .
The House Made Rotolo is the signature dish. The fresh pasta is rolled with spinach, mushrooms, goat cheese and fresh cream. The pasta is made fresh daily and is a must-try, according to the chef.
Ms. Gagliardi’s favorite dish is the Braised Leg of Crescent Farm Duck. The tender, braised duck leg is served with sautéed kale, golden shallots and grilled Asian pear.
Station wants to take the pretension out of fine dining, and this is evident on its wine list. Although a few big-priced bottles are available, the bulk of the list is in the $30 to 50 range.
The average two-person check is also under $50 for the dining portions. Being able to provide such fresh prepared food at a reasonable price is a source of pride for Mr. Worthington.
“We’d be happy making less money and giving people good value. Our goal is not to be the next Bill Gates but to provide something for the community,” he said.
Station is located at 412 Montauk Highway. The cafe will be serving sweet and savory pastries for breakfast, starting July 12, Tuesday through Sunday from 7 to 11 a.m. Dinner is served Tuesday through Sunday from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays, and 6:30 to 11 p.m. on weekends. Brunch will be served on Saturday and Sunday mornings.