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Father/daughter duo Jack and Erin Reiser along with chef Mike Soleau opened Captain Jack’s on the Coast less than a year ago. (Photo credit: Doug Young)

It’s southern-skewed, locally sourced seafood for the win at Captain Jack’s on the Coast in North Sea.

THE GIST: Perched above Peconic Marina and overlooking Wooley Pond is Captain Jack’s on the Coast, owned by local father/daughter duo Jack and Erin Reiser. Open not even a year, the Reisers and chef Mike Soleau specialize in locally sourced seafood in the style of southern comfort food classics with a nautically rustic setting. “I’ve wanted a restaurant since I was 12,” says Erin, whose parents previously owned an eatery in Sag Harbor until the mid-90s. “And I wanted it to be reasonably priced.” 

THE VIBE: Near the entrance is a shoulder-high partition with a couple of high-top tables on one side and 10 short, cushiony stools on the other, ready to accommodate the well-attended Monday to Saturday happy hour (5 to 7 p.m.) that spills over from the 12-seat, half-moon-shaped bar. Dark wood tones and navy blue and white accents run throughout the interior while the main window-lined, waterview dining room to the right holds about a dozen or so tables set simply beneath a pitched roof. 

THE FOOD: Paying homage to its seafood-centric dishes with a pinch of whimsy, the menu is divided into “set sail,” “light breezes,” “sheet creasers” and “open waters.” The food is definitively down-home (with a handful of gluten-free options and a user-friendly kid’s menu) but with sophisticated and nuanced flavors that elevate what might be dismissed as run-of-the-mill fare. Localism is a strong theme, with purveyors such as Braun Seafood and Multi Aquaculture Systems of Napeague. 

Lobster Hushpuppies These golf-ball-sized morsels have large chunks of lobster meat and whole corn kernels tossed in a cayenne-seasoned batter made from freshly ground, non-GMO artisanal cornmeal from Palmetto Farms in South Carolina. Served piled high with a side of jalapeno-honey dipping sauce and deep fried to a golden brown, they remain plush and soft on the inside. 

Chicken and Waffles A star menu staple, chicken thighs are pounded thin (think southern-style Milanese), dredged in crushed pecans and panko then pan fried and shingled atop an equally sized handmade Belgian waffle. Well-balanced to a fault, this crowd-pleasing riff on a classic is complemented by a not-too-sweet bourbon-maple glaze pooled on the bottom of the plate and accompanied by a zingy carrot/apple/Brussels slaw, providing an oh-so-welcome and refreshing relief to an otherwise rich plate.

Broiled Oysters Oysters from West Robin’s Oyster Company in Southampton are topped with a dollop of slightly smoky, herb-forward bacon chimichurri, offering brightness and briny balance. Throwing out the old-fashioned rule of “no cheese with seafood,” each oyster gets a healthy shaving of peppercorn Asiago — a robustly flavored alpine-style cow’s milk cheese — giving a great salty sharpness that totally works. We’re not mad about it, and you won’t be either.

Crab-Stuffed Soft Pretzel If you find yourself second-guessing whether or not to order this, just do it. An unassumingly killer appetizer, it’s giving mini-lobster roll vibes, if you swapped out the lobster for beer-cheesy crabmeat and morphed the roll into a pretzel. It’s equally delicious and maybe even more decadent. Warm, soft and pillowy, the Bavarian-style pretzel sticks are a more than worthy vessel for the ample but delicate sweet crab, smothered with melted Fontina.

Blackened Mahi-Mahi Reuben Soleau’s rendition takes the classic delicatessen sandwich and spins it on its head, in a really smart way. Tender, flaky mahi-mahi lends itself well to being tossed in Cajun seasoning and pan roasted. Coated with melted Swiss and a healthy schmear of creamy rémoulade, the fish is topped with a crunchy cabbage-based slaw and placed between pieces of well-toasted thick-cut rye bread. 

Captain Jack’s 

1109 Noyac Road, Southampton


Thursday through Tuesday: 4:30 to 9 p.m., Sundays: 12:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Closed Wednesdays)

Happy Hour: 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday

Instagram: @captjacksotc