Chef Raffaele Dall'Erta
4 West Hampton Avenue, Sumter
(803) 774-4400, hamptonsfoods.com
Open for lunch - Tuesday–Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner Wednesday–Saturday 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
The bakery and fresh market is open on Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Wednesday–Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Growing up in Northern Italy, chef Raffaele Dall’Erta learned about food in the traditional Old World fashion—he spent summers with his grandparents, who made meals an adventure as they traveled the countryside gathering fresh produce and ingredients.
“We would forage for porcini and chanterelle mushrooms, dandelion leaves, wild asparagus, pear and apples,” he says. “This was the spark for me.”
After completing culinary school in Italy, Dall’Erta traveled the world working as a sous chef in top restaurants before moving to Sumter in 2010 to become executive chef at Hamptons.
“I love cooking. I love everything about it. I learned from the best, and I needed a new challenge,” he says of his decision to bring his creative culinary flair to South Carolina. “I knew the minute when I came to Hamptons and saw the room and the kitchen, that this was where I wanted to be.”
True to his culinary roots, Dall’Erta enjoys creating seasonal dishes that often make use of the freshest seafood, game and produce harvested in the Palmetto State.
“It’s heaven,” he says with a big smile. “I love to experiment with different seasonal ingredients on the menu. I want to mesh Southern cuisine with Italian cuisine.”
Entrée prices range from $31 to $50, and each one has a dash of Northern Italian flair. The pasta dishes feature pappardelle noodles, small meatballs and Dall’Erta’s own sauce—made with tomatoes grown locally in the restaurant’s garden.
A popular first course is yellow fin tuna tartar with mango, avocado and wasabi sauce and might be followed by a main course of seared “barn door” halibut with grits, spring beet greens, arugula puree, pickled turnips and a tomato beurre blanc.
In addition to the 120-seat main dining room, Hamptons features a bakery and fresh market that’s always stocked with homemade breads, cheeses and desserts, and casual diners can enjoy the outdoor “Alley Way,” which features live music on Fridays.
The open kitchen brings an element of excitement to the dining experience at Hamptons, and the atmosphere is always warm and welcoming—because the chef wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I want to create good food that makes people happy,” Dall’Erta says.
HOMEMADE SPINACH & FARMER’S CHEESE RAVIOLI
4 egg yolks, plus 1 whole egg
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup for dusting
2 tablespoons water (if needed)
Water bottle with a spray nozzle
Mix yolks, egg and olive oil in a large bowl. Add flour and mix until well blended. Knead dough until smooth, elastic and still a little wet—add water only if dough is too dry. Using a pasta machine, roll the dough until 1/16-inch thickness, dusting with flour as you go. Divide pasta sheet into two parts right before filling.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 pound fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 pound ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano
Pinch of fresh, grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pan, add olive oil and garlic clove. Cook until golden brown over medium heat. Add spinach and cook fully. Refrigerate spinach for at least 30 minutes. Squeeze excess water from the spinach. Chop spinach, then combine in a large bowl with the ricotta and parmesan cheeses, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
Lay a sheet of the freshly rolled ravioli dough on a floured work surface. Roll spinach filling into balls (approximately 2 tablespoons per ball) and place on dough 2 inches apart. Lightly mist dough and filling mounds with water. Lay a second sheet of dough on top of filling mounds. Using a cookie cutter, cut out each ravioli. Pinch the edges together to create a tight seal.
FINAL PRE PARATION
3/4 stick butter
1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
1 cup Parmesan Reggiano, grated
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil then reduce to medium heat. In a sauté skillet, cook the butter and pine nuts together on medium heat until melted and mixture begins to lightly brown. Remove pan from heat. Add ravioli to the simmering water and cook gently for 2 minutes. Remove using a slotted spoon. Place the ravioli on a large platter and cover with grated parmesan. Glaze with butter sauce.