Take Out

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With football season here, friends and I have been getting take out food and bringing it home to watch the game(s). Here are two places we’ve gotten food to go lately and our experience.

First, the Meeting House in Amagansett Square. Always consistently good. You have a selection of small and large plates, and a decent wine list. When eating there in person, I found the portions to be adequate. When we got take out, it appeared we’d ordered the mac & cheese from the children’s menu, and not the large plate that cost $17. However, if you’re a mac & cheese fan, you must try this. Another large plate item we ordered was the pan roasted strip steak au poivre for $41, cooked to perfection, and the cold Thai peanut soba with cilantro and cucumber, $18, was delicious. For small plates we tried the Tuscan kale with apples, ricotta salata, toasted pumpkin seeds, and maple vinaigrette for $13. A winner for kale enthusiasts and received a thumbs up from our non-meat eating friends. What went over just as well was the vegetable curry with basmati rice, $15. It wasn’t too spicy. I would put it in the mild side for a curry. If you like an extra hit of spice, I’d ask if they could could accommodate you. A vegetarian favorite. Overall, we enjoyed the food and figured the slightly high priced items were balanced with the not so highly priced items. The steak was a good size for a large plate meal. Our only complaint being we felt shorted on some of the dishes. But take it home and put it out on your own plates, perhaps add some garnish, and decide for yourself. Remember, when ordering meat to go, ask for it at least one temperature less done than you’d normally like it as it continues to cook in the container until you get it home. You can always pop it under the broiler if you find it hasn’t cooked enough to your liking.

The next time we had take out most recently, it was from the Indian Wells Tavern on Main Street in Amagansett. I’ll start off by saying the food was okay. But the attitude of the staff really stunk. They were rude and condescending at best. When I’ve been a patron many times in the past, I never noticed anything but polite service. Perhaps it was the thought of a take out order that turned everyone off, as most people don’t tip. And, by-the-way, I never order food to go when it’s likely busy. Anyway, we ordered the onion soup au gratin which was typical, but too salty for my taste, $8. The mussels with fries which were steamed in a broth of white wine, garlic and butter were nothing spectacular. It’s not indicated on the menu, but it looked and tasted like they added coconut milk to the sauce, which didn’t add much flavor, $12. You have a choice with the Tavern wings of buffalo style, BBQ, or honey spiced. We chose to have buffalo wings, which apparently only come in one degree of spiciness. I would call it medium. It’s served with the usual blue cheese dressing, carrots and celery sticks, $10. The Asian chicken potstickers were good. The wrappers were crisp and on the thin side, not heavy. When dining in, I usually order these as an appetizer to share. It normally comes with three sauces, sweet chili and two kinds of soy sauce. I like to dip mine in both. Oh, it seems you only get two dipping sauces when ordering to go, but it was fine. For the $8, it’s a treat. For entrĂ©es, we chose the fish and chips, $17, and a bad choice for take out as the once crispy crust gets steamed in the container and is soggy by the time you get it home. The house smoked ribs at $23 were another favorite. They weren’t overly sweet or smokey and had a nice kick to them. We also tried the Tavern burger. A half-pound char-grilled, $13. You’ll notice on the menu it states the ground meat is from Cromer’s. If you don’t know, Cromer’s is one of the better meat markets on the east end. The burger was cooked medium rare and came out juicy. We chose sweet potato fries as an accompaniment and they were the first things gone. Lastly, we had the blackened shrimp, avocado, and mango salsa quesadilla. Very flavorful with a nice hint of spice, but not too overwhelming, $14.

These are two very different restaurants and atmospheres. I don’t mean to compare apples to oranges. I only want to give you a sense of our overall take out experience, and what we found desirable, and that which we did not. I hope you stop in both establishments and decide for yourself. Add our favorites to your list.

Oh, before I sign off here, let me tell you or a good restaurant that offers take out, but only of certain items, Michaels’ of Maidstone, better known simply at Michaels. I’ll review this soon. But as far as take out goes, don’t try to order the delicious dim sum as they say it doesn’t carry well. Other similar dishes on the menu that they deem don’t carry well are forbidden to be eaten outside the restaurant. I understand the reasoning. But I’d like the opportunity to try to reheat it at home and give it a shot. đŸ™‚

A Day of Fun

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Pumpkins, roasted corn, candied apples, pies and popcorn were just some of the treats at Hank’s Pumpkintown today. And what a gorgeous day it is!

New this year is a large pavilion where they serve freshly made donuts (pumpkin spice or apple cider flavored), freshly popped corn, hand dipped candied apples and more. They also served beverages. You can buy various kinds of apples or pick your own. There were pumpkins of all sizes and gourds of all shapes and colors. They offered wheelbarrows to load all your goodies in.

There’s entertainment for kids of all ages. There was a playground filled with games and slides and small bicycle races around a track. The kids enjoyed trying to find their way out of the corn maze. The playground requires children under the age of 12 to be accompanied by an adult, and tickets are $12 per person (including the accompanying adult). Outside the playground they offer wooden structures of various shapes for the kids to climb on. There was also face painting.

The roasted corn was wonderful, sweet and juicy. My favorite!

We arrived on the early side, around 10 o’clock, and there were several dozen cars there already. So, be prepared to walk. We stayed until around 2 o’clock, just as it really started to get busy. It was a fun day overall. I recommend going at least once. It’s free to enter.

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Hank’s Pumpkintown

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Hank’s Pumpkintown, on the Southampton/Water Mill border, has been a family favorite and “must do” once it opens in mid-September. Taken from their website, here are just some of the things to look forward to: “Pumpkin Picking, Apple Picking, Corn Mazes, Wagon Rides, Tractor Train Rides, Giant Slides, Games, Playgrounds and more. The New Market has Freshly Baked Pies, Cookies, Cup Cakes, Candy Apples, Cider Donuts and much more. Be sure to visit the Corn Shack for the best Roasted Corn too.” We’ve done it all and can vouch for a fun time and delicious pies and produce, the roasted corn being a family favorite (grab extra napkins). I’ll be reporting first hand this Saturday morning starting at 9:30am. Come join us! For more information, visit their website: Hank’s Pumpkintown

Introduction

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I grew up on the North Fork of Long Island and spent the weekends exploring the South Fork. When my real estate career brought me to East Hampton fifteen years ago, I made it my full time home with my husband, John, and my now seven year old son, Logan.
During my college years at the New York Institute of Technology where I studied Culinary Arts, I worked both the front and back of the house at some of the best restaurants on the Twin Forks. After my time in the restaurant industry, I turned my sights on writing for a local newspaper, writing everything from front page political pieces to a weekly social column, while always emphasizing, attending and reporting on events, festivals and fairs that would excite any foodie. When the career opportunity came along to sell real estate in the Hamptons and play an integral roll in the advertising department, I jumped at it. After taking an early retirement from real estate five years ago, I decided to return to my original passions, food, restaurants, and writing. Now, with my son in second grade, I feel I have the time to dedicate myself to writing, blogging and tweeting about the culinary scene in the Hamptons.
I hope you enjoy what is to come beginning this fall. I am always open to suggestions, change, and new ideas. Please comment and I will reply. I take each one of my followers seriously and don’t want to waste your time nor mine. So, I hope together we can evolve to make my posts and tweets the most foodie informative of the Hamptons.
Thank you!