It seems like only yesterday that I first visited the Harbor Grill on Three Mile Harbor Road in East Hampton – in fact it was last June. I’ve been a busy foodie. It was good to get back to a place that values simple food, done well in a family-friendly atmosphere. Heck yes, there’s a Kids Menu.
I met my friend Kate there for a meal. It was her first time. It got a little crazy. Not because Kate is a self-proclaimed “boozer,” but because I wanted her to try everything.
Our server was the friendly and efficient Jessica.
There are nightly specials, nightly soups and nightly cakes and pies but the Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae is a constant (Kate pronounced it “satisfying.”).
Some things are in-house only but most are available for take-out. Once they get the live music rolling, though, you’ll certainly want to stay.
It’s easy to see why locals endorse this place. Open seven days a week year-round from 5 p.m., the $29 lobster dinner is a steal. Steamed or broiled, a 11/4 lobster, soup or salad, corn on the cob with drawn butter and a side of coleslaw, mashed potatoes or fries, onion rings or sweet potater tots. There’s also their Sunday all-you-can-eat brunch beginning at 10 a.m. for $14.95.
Some “locals” include Wolffer’s rosé and the Southampton Publick House’s IPA and Double White
Jessica suggested her favorite appetizer, the Mussels in a garlic white wine sauce. She also drew our attention to the Shrimp Scampi and the Rib Eye.
Of course I ordered a birch beer – ya don’t see that everyday. Sipping that reddish-brown concoction took me back, back to the days before I could drink real beer (in front of my parents). I started with a lemony chicken soup – with bits of carrots and green beans, it was nicely ricey and so good!
Kate ordered up a Harpoon IPA and started with a Baked Onion Soup. She quipped, “It’s good and definitely made of cheese.”
Kate was eager to try the Crispy Corn Fritters. Hot and tasty textures, not oversweet from the corn. She swooned for the horseradish sauce.
Hello, Buffalo Style Boneless Chicken Nuggs. With their bit of heat and bleu cheese dip – they get the flavor right and no bones!
We shared a Special Salad. The Maui Wowie is composed of chopped shrimp, avocado, tomato, onion, bacon, cucumber and string beans with red wine vinegar and olive oil throughout. It was good – but I would have found it more thoroughly luscious without the bits of al dente green bean.
We also shared a BLT–Bleu Cheese Salad. The iceberg lettuce, red onion, bacon, tomato and bleu cheese were well-mixed and fabulous. This was some real bacon and there was no skimping on it. I could eat this for breakfast!
Kate went for the Char Broiled 14 oz. Rib Eye Steak, medium rare with a glass of house Pino Noir. She was impressed that the steak arrived truly medium rare. She found it “very tender” and served in a “nice au jus” with milled potatoes and a side of broccoli and carrots.
I ordered a bar standard – the Fish-n-Chips. The fish was lightly crispy on the outside and tender within. The IPA beer batter added a welcome note of flavorful interest to the cod. Served with sizeable steak fries and a yummy tartar sauce. What more could I want? Well, I did order a side of Sautéed Shrooms. They were delish, very garlicky with a liberal dose of parsley.
Kate indulged in a Rootbeer Float while I went for a Chocolate Shake. The way Kate said “it’s been so long” since she had a root beer float – it was clear it’d been too long. My shake was just right – rich and thick – but slurpable, not solid.
The pies of the night were Apple and Blueberry (served warm a la mode) and Coconut Custard. We demurred. We sampled the cakes – Tiramisu, Lemon Italian, Flourless Chocolate and Carrot Cake. The Tiramisu was quite nice, served in a neat slice, but the Lemon Italian with its wide, creamy ribbon of filling was the standout.
Harbor Grill, 367 Three Mile Harbor Road, East Hampton 631-604-5290, www.harborgrill.org.