Recently, us Long Islanders were all abuzz because we had The Hamptons Restaurant Week. I just want to hug and kiss the person who came up with the whole idea of Restaurant Week! I don't even care if it feels a little patronizing (I imagine it started off with some snooty restaurant owner saying something like "let's give these lower-middle classes a week of affordable dining at our restaurant, and get a piece of their wallets too"). Right now, I'm pretty sure all us foodies agree that it's an event that gets us jumping up and down and doing the happy dance!
Everyone has their favorites place of course, which they immediately call up to make reservations. And if I could, I'd try one Hamptons restaurant each day of this special week, but it's just doesn't make sense for me, since I live about an hour away. *sigh* ... still, I did manage to get dinner reservations at my very favorite restaurant - North Fork Inn & Table. I have no problems driving an hour for this place. Let me tell you, it's not just my favorite Hamptons restaurant, it's my favorite restaurant, ever. EVER! I don't say this lightly either. Look, I've been fortunate enough to eat some wonderful food in my life; I've had some stunning dishes at other places, both high-end and road-side. But the reason why this place gets my title for "My favorite restaurant EVER", is because every single course that comes out of their kitchen is perfect. Every single thing I've eaten there, each time I go there, has been memorable. Plus, the restaurant is beautiful, intimate and romantic. The service is always sincere and never pushy. I've never felt rushed. And best of all, DH feels the same way. Each time we've been to this restaurant, we've had so much fun, with the food, with each other, and come away with memories to last a lifetime. DH desperately wants to marry Claudia Fleming, the restaurant's pastry chef, and I've given him permission to do so! As long as I get to have a little fling with Gerry Hayden, the executive chef, on the side!
I wish I had better food pics for you, but it was dinner and the lighting was pretty dim (and my camera sucks, but that's another story). So please excuse me. Just use your fertile foodie imaginations as I describe the courses. Here goes ...
DH loved the CRISP COD & YUKON GOLD POTATO CAKES with Truffled Tartar Sauce and Micro Herb Salad. He gets this everytime, and is pleasantly surprised by how great it is every single time! He wants to lick the plate, but stops when I give him "the look" ... which is sad, because "truffled tartar sauce" deserves shameless licking! (just not in public)
I ordered a generous appetizer of HOUSEMADE RICOTTA CAVATELLI & SLOW-BRAISED VEAL-TOMATO RAGU with Broccoli Rabe, Mascarpone, Espellette Peppers and Parmesan. That pasta was soooooo satisfying, with just the right amount of fluffiness and chewiness. Oh lord, I want some more!
DH lied to me when he said that his GRILLED & SLICED BLACK ANGUS HANGING TENDER with Crispy Red Onion, Red Watercress, Horseradish Whipped Potato and Red Wine Reduction was just "ok". I felt bad for him, so I suggested that we switch plates. That's when he got this crazy glint in his eyes and yelled "NO! I lied! I just didn't want to share!!! Leave my dish alone!". I did manage to scrounge one bite - perfect steak, really well-seasoned and great crust. I'll order that next time.
I was so sad when I was too stuffed to finish my ORGANIC CRISPY SKIN EBERLY FARMS CHICKEN with Asparagus Risotto, Assorted Wild Mushrooms and Roasted Chicken Jus. Because it was the best roast chicken and amazing risotto combination that I've ever put in my mouth (my palette was singing, I tell you!).
But I'm glad I saved some room for my UPSIDE-DOWN CARAMELIZED PINEAPPLE COBBLER with Crème Fraîche. You minx, Claudia! I'm not even a big pineapple fan, but you made me love this dessert!
I barely got this shot of DH's COFFEE-TOFFEE ICE CREAM SANDWICH with Roasted Bananas and Peanuts, because he was so impatient to start digging into it. Claudia makes the best meringues ever. DH was making little joyful whimpering sounds as he cleaned up the entire plate.
The prices during Restaurant Week are a great motivator to go to fancy restaurants, but this is one place that I'd gladly pay full price for. And I do! Claudia, my sweet, I'll see you soon.