Manna At Lobster Inn: Celebrating Aquaculture

It was a successful first summer season following the launch of Manna at Lobster Inn. Southampton’s newest waterfront restaurant offers a sustainable seafood dining experience and brings aquaculture to the forefront in a variety of ways.

Manna at Lobster Inn splashed onto the Hamptons dining scene this past June. The restaurant brought new life to the historic restaurant, which served the community as a seafood spot for 75 years, and as the iconic visual landmark at the eastern end of Sunrise Highway. 

The property was initially acquired in 2018 in a collaborative purchase with the Town of Southampton. The town purchased the marina, the restaurant group purchased the restaurant, and Manna Fish Farms purchased the land across from the restaurant for fish farming, selling back the development rights on that farmland to the town. Additionally, approximately two acres were purchased and preserved by the Town of Southampton. 

An official ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, October 18, featured Manna at Lobster Inn’s leadership team including offshore aquaculture pioneer, Donna Lanzetta, Sag Harbor restaurateur, Ryunosuke Jesse Matsuoka of Sen and K Pasa in Sag Harbor, and Executive Chef Thomas Bogia alongside Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman.

Photos by Jessica Mackin-Cipro

The culinary team at Manna offers a seafood-centric menu with a commitment to local products. The restaurant serves classics such as clam chowder, baked clams, lobster rolls, and fish & chips, and creative dishes like lobster poutine, lobster bisque ramen, and trout and caviar carbonara.

During a recent Sunday night visit, we sampled the local fare. With a lighter and brighter feel to the restaurant’s design and a menu that focuses on preserving the past, the locale pays tribute to the history, all while modernizing the space. The original dining tables are a fixture within the new design, while the white walls accented with navy blue give it the maritime feel it calls out for.

The cocktail menu is impressive. The laced spa water made with vodka, infused with watermelon, strawberry, lime, mint, cucumber, and seltzer is refreshing and light. You also can’t go wrong with a margarita made the way it should be — tequila, agave, and lime juice. 

Menu highlights included the lobster roll, served classic or Connecticut style, and the fluke Milanese served with arugula cherry tomatoes. You also can’t go wrong with anything from the raw bar, the Red Truck oysters, from just feet away from the restaurant, were fantastic. While, the menu is seafood-centric, you can also find other items like the double smash burger or small plates like the ricotta meatballs. Save room for dessert with options that include a decadent chocolate brownie for two.

On the aquaculture front, Manna Fish Farms is aiming to operate one of the first permitted finfish farms in U.S. federal waters off New York and Florida. Utilizing the latest in submersible net pen technology, Manna Fish Farms plans to build and operate a sustainable commercial fish farm growing finfish and researching Integrated Multi Trophic Aquaculture with macroalgae (kelp) and shellfish, including sea scallops, mussels, oysters.

The operation is led by Lanzetta, an aquaculture pioneer in the open ocean fish farming industry. An attorney and sustainable seafood business leader, Lanzetta sits on the boards of the World Ocean Council, Manna Ocean Foundation and The Ocean Stewards Institute, as well on the Advisory Board of the USFRA. As CEO and Founder of Manna Fish Farms, Inc., she and the Manna team lead the way for responsible, transparent, and sustainable ocean farming and seafood industry innovation, development, and transformation.

Lanzetta and The Manna Companies have inspired partner Matsuoka — who is also a Sake Sommelier and second generation restaurateur — to showcase his knowledge of seafood, accumulated through years of work in various aspects of the seafood arena, including working as a young man at the largest fish market in Japan, Tsukjji Fish Market.

At the beginning of November, Manna at Lobster Inn launched Manna Mondays. The weekly educational aquaculture program features guest speakers, presentations, and, of course, Manna’s locally sourced seafood.

Each week features a guest speaker discussing topics related to aquaculture and seafood including farming, wild capture fisheries, IUU fishing, food traceability, habitat restoration, working waterfront revitalization, workforce training and sustainable seafood production and sourcing. Discussions are followed by seafood and cooking demonstrations, seafood tastings, and special curated chef dinners.

Orchestrated by Lanzetta and Matsuoka and sponsored by the not-for-profit Manna Ocean Foundation, the Manna Monday weekly program is designed to educate the public about seafood traceability and sustainable seafood production and sourcing.

On November 29, Aram Terchun and Laura Fabrizio of Moriches Bay Project will discuss the mission and accomplishments of The Moriches Bay Project, followed by a dinner featuring a custom menu designed by Chef Bogia.

The series will continue through April with guest speakers including Dr. Dan Benetti from University of Miami, Brian O’Hanlon, the Founder of Open Blue, Half Shells for Habitat, Dr. Chris Gobler of Stony Brook University School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Christine Santora of Shinnecock Bay Restoration Program, Dan Esty, a Hillhouse Professor at School of the Environment and Yale Law School and the author of “Green to Gold,” and Peter Malinowski of the Billion Oyster Project on Governor’s Island.

Tickets are $100 per person and each event begins at 6 PM, with proceeds shared by Moriches Bay Project and the Manna Ocean Foundation.

Manna at Lobster Inn serves lunch and dinner six days a week and is closed Wednesday. A full bar is available, with happy hour offered Monday through Friday. The restaurant hosts private events from smaller intimate dinner parties to larger events up to 200.

Jessica Mackin-Cipro


Jessica Mackin-Cipro is an editor and writer from the East End of Long Island. She has won numerous NYPA and PCLI awards for journalism and social media. She was previously the Executive Editor of The Independent Newspaper.

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