If you are looking for a fabulous vibe, great drinks and delicious food, Rita Cantina needs to be your next food stop! Wether you attend for their new brunch menu, just a cocktail or for dinner, this restaurant is a MUST-try! I had the pleasure of attending for drinks + dinner and enjoyed every bite….and sip! KDHamptons has more delicious details below…

The delicious Mexican restaurant, Rita Cantina, located in the bayfront hamlet of Springs, East Hampton has a new and refreshed  menu with expanded services. After a fruitful hiatus, the father-son duo of Executive Chef Eric Miller and Director of Operations Adam Miller welcomes year-round and seasonal customers back to the East End favorite for the renowned agave-focused bar program and locally-sourced contemporary Mexican cuisine. With La Factoria vet, Diego Rivera, behind the scenes, the well-known neighborhood gem has enhanced their food & beverage menus and launched a new weekend brunch, presenting an innovative, fresh and sustainable experience for guests this Summer.

Rita Cantina is located at 28 Maidstone Park Road, East Hampton, NY. As of June 26, Rita is open seven days a week! The space offers Daily Happy Hour from 4 pm-6 pm featuring $1 oysters and $10 margaritas. Rita Cantina is now serving Weekend Brunch from 11:30-2:30 pm on Saturdays and Sundays until Labor Day Weekend so make sure to make your brunch reservations before summer is over!

“As we embark on our third season with great anticipation, we are delighted to welcome our returning guests, and introduce new visitors to our Springs eatery,” says Executive Chef and Co-owner Eric Miller. “We have spent the off-season carefully refining our classic dishes while introducing exciting new elements to innovate and elevate the dining experience. We are confident we have put our best foot forward for Summer 2023.”

Rita Cantina is known for their flavorful and coastal seafood based menu of ceviches, tacos, and large plates. They are now introducing  even more sustainably-driven dishes from Gardiner’s Bay and nearby East End purveyors. Chef Eric Miller continues building on his deep relationships with independent local fishermen and farmers, such as Satur Farms, Multi Aquaculture System and Gosman’s Dock, which has guaranteed the kitchen access to the freshest ingredients.

New on the menu is the “Tostadas” section featuring the delicious items below:

  •  Hard Shell Lobster Ceviche – avocado, jalapeno, and lime cilantro
  • Black Bean Avocado – leafy greens and cotija crumble
  • Grilled Octopus – salsa verde and adobe potatoes

New to the “Taco” section:

  • Ancho Rubbed Lamb Shank Tacos New to the “Large Plates” section:
  • Herb Crusted Tuna – habanero yams, black bean sauce, and avocado New to the “Desserts” section:
  • Dulce de Leche Flan

Standout dishes on the menu from the previous season remain, including Tuna Ceviche, Fluke Ceviche and Chorizo Clams. And of course, fan favorites like Short Ribs Birria Tacos, Local Harvest Fluke Tacos, Crescent Farms Duck Carnitas and Chorizo Burger are still available. Finally, the adored Churros will keep their place on the menu for a sweet finish.

Weekend Brunch

Rita Cantina has recently added Weekend Brunch offerings to their repertoire. Brunch dishes feature freshly-crafted Mexican-inspired favorites like Masa Pancakes, Chilaquiles, the first Rita Breakfast Burrito, and the innovative Churro Waffle – a twist on their famous Churros in breakfast-waffle-form. The restaurant  approaches Brunch beverages the traditional way, offering sweet and savory notes. Beyond the Guava Cava Paloma (instead of a mimosa), the beverage team has debuted their version of a Bloody Mary – a Bloody House mix fusing umami flavors with classic Mexican spices – and a coffee-infused cocktail. Additionally, a shot program offers a sweet or savory shot to pair with respective cocktails, including the signature Sangrita shot, a compilation of carrot and passion fruit to help cure any hangover. You can find the full brunch menu here.

Delicious Drinks 

If you dine at Rita Cantina, you can enjoy a delightful selection of colorful beverages, including a wide variety of mezcals, tequilas, agave-based spirits, whiskeys, rums, and digestifs. The bar program at Rita Cantina focuses mainly on the margarita, finding innovative ways to perfect the classic cocktail while keeping sustainability in mind. For two years, Beverage Director Adam Miller has been perfecting the Paloma, utilizing modern clarification and carbonation techniques, and preparing to release in-house-made sodas as an addition to the beloved Rita sips. With fresh ingredients and creative techniques, the team offers flawless beverages that quench the thirst of all guests.

New to the cocktail menu are the following drinks…

  • Pino Coco Margarita – Cazadores tequila, pineapple, toasted coconut, lime – clarified
  • Guava Cava Paloma – Cazadores tequila, fresh Guava cava soda
  • Rita Paloma – Cazadores Tequila, fresh grapefruit soda
  • Guanabana Margarita “Sour Sop” – Blanco Tequila, Guanabana Juice, Guanabana Pulp Syrup, Lime (clarified)

Rita Cantina presents an extensive selection of margaritas on draft, including Pina Coco, Mango, Passion Fruit, Guanabana, Watermelon, or Cucumber. For Frozen Margaritas, guests can enjoy Classic and the newly-added Guava flavor. All can be prepared spicy or not, by request. For those seeking zero-proof refreshments, Agua Frescas come in Mango, Watermelon, Cucumber, and more, sparkling or flat. A range of select Mexican beer, bottled and on draft, and high-quality wines is also available. Guests also have the option to enjoy all of Rita Cantina’s Margaritas in bottles, meant to stay fresh on the go in either a single serving or a liter bottle.

The restaurant  approaches Brunch beverages the traditional way, offering sweet and savory notes. Beyond the Guava Cava Paloma (instead of a mimosa), the beverage team has debuted their version of a Bloody Mary – a Bloody House mix fusing umami flavors with classic Mexican spices – and a coffee-infused cocktail. Additionally, a shot program offers a sweet or savory shot to pair with respective cocktails, including the signature Sangrita shot, a compilation of carrot and passion fruit to help cure any hangover.

Happy Hour + Summer Fridays 

From 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Wednesday through Monday, Rita serves happy hour cocktails from their agave-focused bar. With drinks created by Beverage Director & co-owner Adam Miller and Head Bartender Diego Rivera (La Factoria vet), the springs hideaway is the perfect spot for happy hour with friends upon their weekend arrival. Fan favorites include the Pino Coco Margarita Cazadores tequila, pineapple, toasted coconut, lime-clarified, the Guava Cava Paloma – Cazadores tequila, fresh Guava cava soda, the Rita Paloma – Cazadores Tequila, fresh grapefruit soda, and the Guanabana Margarita “Sour Sop” –  Blanco Tequila, Guanabana Juice, Guanabana Pulp Syrup, Lime – clarified.

Rita Cantina’s Team

Rita Cantina’s Executive Chef and Co-Owner Eric Miller crafts his menus using seasonal and local ingredients to give customers a well-rounded view of contemporary Mexican food. His experience from more than three decades of fine dining work established him as a pioneering proponent of the Slow Food, dock-to-dish and farm-to-table movements and an advocate of local fishmongers, diggers, producers, and farmers on the East End. His culinary philosophy is based on sourcing the finest and freshest ingredients with as much locally harvested as possible. Not only does Miller have excellent culinary experience but he has great hospitality too. He visited my table to chat and I instantly felt how genuine he was.

Adam Miller is the Co-Owner of Rita Cantina, overseeing the restaurant’s design, cocktail program, and market offerings. Adam, alongside business partner and father Chef Eric Miller, was inspired to open Rita Cantina as a coastal Mexican destination offering guests the highest quality ingredients at an approachable price point. At Rita Cantina, Adam is motivated to provide locals and travelers with a restaurant & bar where they can dictate their own experience, whether enjoying a catch-of-the-day taco, indulging in a multi-course dinner, or unwinding with friends by the outdoor fire pit with a killer Margarita.

Diego Rivera, a long-time beverage enthusiast born and raised in Carolina, Puerto Rico, is the Head Bartender, overseeing the innovative agave-focused bar program. After a year and a half in his barbacking role at La Factoria, he progressed into a bartender position, developing his knowledge of mixology and harnessing his welcoming, customer-facing skills. After moving to New York in 2019, Rivera worked as a bartender at Gurney’s Star Island in Montauk, frequenting the Hamptons during the summers and ultimately guiding him behind the stick at Rita.

Sustainability at Rita Cantina

Rita Cantina is dedicated to reducing waste and responsibly sourcing products with a minimal carbon footprint. In order to achieve these goals, the team extends the shelf-life of fresh products by utilizing every part of the product. For example, lime shells are utilized to make stocks in the kitchen, and all garnishes and juices are put to use in beverage preparation, avoiding unnecessary disposal.

Ambiance at Rita Cantina

Adam Miller’s Oaxacan-inspired design offers a truly unique and unforgettable dining experience. With seating for up to 75 guests both indoors and outdoors, the restaurant features a vibrant, coastal atmosphere with twinkle lights, sand, and beach grass. Enjoy a full-service outdoor dining experience at one of the six picnic tables beneath vintage yellow umbrellas, or grab a seat at the full bar, with 10 bar seats and 65 seats at dining tables, including five booths. From golden hour through the night, guests can savor the flavors of Mexican cuisine in an inviting atmosphere, with a bar rail lining the circumference of the outdoor area for a refreshing margarita.

Not ready to part with Rita Cantina when your dining experience is over?

Rita Cantina is delighted to offer loyal customers and newcomers extensive to-go offerings and branded retail merchandise. After the overwhelming response to their Rita hats last summer, they have now debuted a new limited edition “Springs” collection in four different colorways: Black, Green, Black & Cream, and Green & Cream, as a tribute to their home and the Springs community. Additionally, a newly-minted range of graphic tees in Green is now available for sale.

Reservations are available via phone at 631.329.3663, through their website, or on Resy.

Written by Nicole Vawter

Images: Noah Fecks and Nicole Vawter