This is a quick post about a dinner I ate this weekend in the Hamptons. My parents were there with my brother and his girlfriend, Tali, for a party, and I came the day before to spend time with everyone. We had a really forgettable lunch in Westhampton at 75 Main–country club food, indifferent service–and I was expecting the same for dinner. But where we ended up, The Stone Creek Inn (located in East Quogue), offered up a memorable dinner, even if it wasn’t quite a success story.
What I liked best about The Stone Creek Inn was the feel inside. How could you not fall in love with a room like this?
It reminded me a bit of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, one of my favorite restaurants ever. The service here, like Blue Hill, was courteous but relaxed and I knew we were in for a happy evening.
Here’s everyone at the table, in case you need a refresher on what my family looks like:
And here’s what I ate first: an arugula salad with figs and prosciutto. (My computer doesn’t recognize the word “prosciutto” and when I auto-corrected it changed it to “prostitute.”)
Obviously, you can’t see much of this salad because the prosciutto is covering everything. What it’s covering is some really fresh arugula–peppery, and as far away from that waxen stuff you get in the plastic container at the grocery store as you can get–and ripe, fruity figs. It was a nice salad and a good start.
(My brother, quite sweetly, followed my lead having read Chapter Three of my book, “Expand Your Palate.” Unfortunately, his palate didn’t have room for figs or prosciutto: he switched with my dad.)
The dinner went downhill with the entrees. It was a sad state of affairs because everything else about the meal was so successful, and the entree failures were simple ones, easily avoided.
Take my lamb chop:
Nicely cooked, but way underseasoned. The crust on the outside–an herb crust with garlic and rosemary–wasn’t so much a crust, as a mush. The potatoes, served in a little copper container, should’ve been crisp and flavorful. Instead, they were slimy and bland. And the zucchini that you can barely see was best kept hidden: really flavorless and bad.
Everyone else’s entrees fared similarly: no one was dazzled. Were they bad? No, not at all, but again it was just disappointing: what could’ve been a great meal sank to just ok.
I enjoyed this lilac peach dessert:
But it didn’t quite redeem the meal for me.
Maybe the kitchen was just having a bad night. If I ever return to East Quogue, I’d be happy to try it again. And the room was so beautiful, it’d be nice just to sit in there and have a drink.
And that concludes our class trip to the Hamptons.