Sam's by the Beach — Sam Elias' seaside hideaway

By Carole Dixon

Sandwiched between Giorgio Baldi and The Hungry Cat on the lovely Channel Road, this quiet bistro feels like your own private hideaway. And it sort of is, having been something of a well-kept secret for the past 14 years, catering largely to locals and word-of-mouth diners who’ve come to covet the cozy booths and candlelit dinners. The Californian-Mediterranean menu is shaped around local ingredients that come from Chef-owner Sam Elias’ regular market visits, resulting in a modern take on European classics accompanied by thoughtful accents like freshly made breads and signature olive oils.

Look to time-honored dishes like the veal Cordon Blue—tender veal pounded and rolled with prosciutto and Swiss cheese, then pan sautéed, finished in the oven, and topped with a rich mushroom sauce. The “birds nest,” a work of art involving shredded phyllo dough with a rose water and pistachio meringue, is a sweet standout, though you can count on classics like tarte Tatin to hold their place on the dessert menu, too.

... on the side

off the menu
Regulars know to ask for the sea urchin risotto, wild sardines from Norway, and soft shell crabs (when in season and available), before hearing the nightly specials or perusing the menu.

secret mixologist
Sam is also a whiz behind the bar and is known to whip up creative cocktails on the spot for guests—even sans alcohol, such as the blackberry, cucumber, and thyme concoction with optional vodka

Very low


Tue–Sun 5:30 PM–10:30 PM
Closed Monday

price range

$12 (soup of the day) to $30 (grilled filet mignon)