Even though I would prefer to eat at home in the Hamptons, because the food is better, it is nice to go out and not deal. After all, I’m on summer vacation too. I really don’t want to cook and clean every night so instead we continue to try new stuff each week with hopes that we won’t complain about it the rest of the weekend.
Thursday night we headed off to the Clam Bar as soon as we exited the train. My favorite place in the Hamptons. What you see is what you get. Outside and simple seafood. Hands down better than Lunch a bit closer to Amagansett down the street. Admittedly I order the same thing every time. Fred always has the New England clam chowder. It is excellent with a splash of tabasco (you are on your own here) thrown in. He wavers back and forth on the main course but generally has a Dos Equis with lime. The lobster chowder is really good too. I’m happy with steamers and corn. All good. They literally go out and dredge up the steamers that morning and they are served happily to you that afternoon or evening. Cash only.
Our new try this week was Laundry. Laundry used to be in East Hampton across from Schmidts (now East Hampton Market) and around the corner from the train station. It was OK but not great. They have moved into new digs where the Farmhouse used to be on Route 27 coming into Amagansett from East Hampton. You can’t miss it. They have done a really nice job with the interiors. A long bar when you walk in and simple modern tables and banquettes in the back room. Once you move past the back room there is an outdoor area which is an nice bonus. There is a bar back there too. Very airy.
We had reservations but the bar had 2 seats open so we sat there instead. The service is just OK. Everyone seems a bit overwhelmed. That is a theme out here. Summer help that changes yearly. By the time everyone gets it, the summer ends. So, in terms of service, I’ll give them a pass. We weren’t starving because we just chowed down on popcorn at the movies (FYI East Hampton has the best popcorn of any movie theater I have ever been to – not sure why). We were going to split an entree but they charge you $10 to do that which seems ridiculous so we went with 2 appetizers each. Iceberg letter with Roquefort dressing for Fred. Baby arugula, shaved Parmesan, Serrano ham and a light vinaigrette for me. Both OK but apparent that the salads are totally pre-made and have been hanging out in the refrigerator. Too bad. For the main course/other appetizer, I had the crab cakes and Fred had the ribs. You can smell the smoker in the parking lot so we were interested. The crab cakes have loads of crab not so much filling. They are crispy and quite good. Unfortunately they are served over an avocado salad and greens that have also been hanging out in the refrigerator all afternoon so the lettuce gets soggy and the avocado loses taste. The ribs pulled off the bone. Inside the meat was juicy but the outside was burnt tasting which really took away from the flavor of the meat. I gather they are still figuring out the smoker.
As a whole, the food was actually OK. Here is the part that is annoying, it is outrageously expensive. I could go to some of the very best restaurants in NYC for the same price. Appetizers (including salads) run from $12-16. Entrees run from $32-44. I understand that all the money out here is made in three months so they need to charge high prices but wow. Hopefully in the fall they will change the menu and prices because I don’t see the locals or Nyer’s who come out here every weekend during the year, paying those type of prices. If you are going to charge those type of prices, run a better prepped kitchen instead of preparing everything in the morning and shoving it into the refrigerator until it is ordered. Is that too much to expect at $14 for a small salad? Maybe in the Hamptons it is.
Great post – My wife and I couldn’t agree more with the general observations on the Hamptons dining scene. I’ve included a link to a recent posting I wrote on dining at Bamboo.
We went to the Laundry on Sat. 7/22/06 & had a TERRIBLE time for over $200.00. Food was just OK but the worst part was how we were seated. We were wedged in between 4 people to our left & a round table of 8 to our right. We could barely get into our table for 2. We were so close we could eat the food from neigboring tables. Waiter had to hand us our food. Worst part was a women who kept flicking her long hair into my husbands face & pushing her chair back into us. She also took the menu off of my seat & told me of course you don’t mind while the men at table were laughing. As it turns out they were related to the owners of the restaurant & one women was working there & kept getting up. This was a rude way to treat people at any restaurant. It was so crowded when you came in you had to wait 20 min. to get a drink & reach over everyone at bar who were eating dinner. What a joke. Only thing good was decor. When a call was made to manager he was also extremely rude & defensive but did relate the owners of the restaurant were at the round table next to us. Someone needs to teach them mannners in a restaurant & better seating should be for 2 people in room to left of bar where the AC was only working. Other rooms AC was not working & in the bar as you came in I was under a AC vent which was leaking & black particles fell into my drink. A total disaster. Owners shoud not be in restaurant business.