Hamptons in Sumter makes Food Network's Best Rooftop Restaurants in Country list


Out of 32 rooftop restaurants from major cities like New York City, Chicago, Dallas, Seattle, Indianapolis and Atlanta, Sumter's own Hamptons made a splash on the Food Network's Best Rooftop Restaurants in the Country list.

The article described Sumter as "full of hidden gems," including Hamptons and its rooftop bar, Rafters.

Danielle Thompson, Hamptons owner/restaurateur, said the restaurant got the recognition from running at the level it's at for the last 10 years.

"It draws a lot of people from out of town," Thompson said. "It's getting us recognized more than just at the Sumter level. It's taken a lot of years to get that recognition on a bigger level."

Hamptons was the first restaurant Thompson, who also owns Sidebar, opened downtown to help spur a revitalization effort that has since brought the likes of the Hyatt Place Hotel and what will soon be Sumter's first brewery. Originally, it was set on Hampton Avenue before moving to 33 N. Main St. in 2018 and opening the upstairs Rafters indoor and rooftop bar and the adjacent La Piazza as an outdoor event venue.

The restaurant offers a fine dining experience in a historic town.

It offers course meals, a lunch menu, a dinner menu, Sunday brunch, brick oven pizzas, desserts and more. They even offer a casual bar menu for Rafters.

"The food, everything is done fresh," Thompson said. "The fish is being brought in whole, the steaks being brought in whole, everything is broken down and done piece by piece."

The menu, a regional American cuisine with an Italian twist, is created by Executive Chef Raffaele Dall'Erta, formerly of the Inn at Little Washington by way of Milan, Italy. He changes the offerings often based on season and what's available.

Food Network's description on the list mentioned dishes such as fried oysters with Asian slaw and ricotta gnudi with short rib ragout.

Thompson said the recognition also comes from the venue, chef and food all piecing together into one main component.

"We have a bar that matches what we do with the food. Our serving staff equals what we do with the food, also," she said. "It's just all the components coming together to make for a great dining experience."