Take Out

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 entrées, 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. 🙂

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