I just got back from the Hamptons, and had such a bad food weekend. Dinner at Nick & Toni's was actually pretty good--my whole roasted fish was excellent, even if the caesar salad was anemic and lacked any piece of anchovy or residual taste thereof--but otherwise, until I got wise and just started cooking my own food, yikes.
I went, as recommended on this board, to Rowdy Hall, and had fish 'n chips, one of my favorite foods and the alleged house special ($14, no less); the chips were soggy (not even Britishly mushy) and the fish was greasy; the food was also a little cold, so perhaps the fish and chips worked up a nice greasy soggy pallor because they were waiting overlong for delivery to my table.
I also went, as recommended by friends, to a place whose nickname is "Lunch" halfway between East Hampton and Montauk; allegedly, the place for lobster rolls. While my onion rings were surprisingly tasty, the lobster salad on my roll was (not exaggerating) half celery and a quarter mayonaise, so the admittedly generous helping of salad on my roll was not so appreciated.
Wearying of Hamptons food trauma, I went to the Barefoot Contessa for takeout. I will concede that the takeout food was excellent--even reheated, the sweet potatoes, pasta, and shrimp with moroccan couscous were tasty and had lovely texture--but the bill for said takeout was $45, an extraordinary sum. Now I understand how said barefoot gentlewoman has transformed herself into a Contessa.
I was sad to see that the Hampton Chutney Company appears to no longer have an Amagansett outpost, as I've had any number of nice dosas there over the years. I admit that my Hamptons experience was also colored by the fact that I usually head there during the off-season, so I don't have to contend with either the crowds or the pressure that they put on restaurants to serve food quickly; I've been to Nick & Toni's during January weekends and had truly wonderful food and service, and to the Palm over Christmas break and had excellent experiences; however, wild horses (or better recommendations) will be necessary to drag me back to the Hamptons during the summer.
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