I’ve had many wonder-filled dining experiences on the East End and many…subpar dining experiences. I’ve become pretty jaded.
Living in Sag Harbor and having walked by B. Smith’s many times I just assumed that it didn’t have to have very good food to succeed – it’s such a big place with such a tremendous view. I was actually reluctant to eat there.
Now I can’t wait to go back. Maybe next time we’ll go for the raw bar.
On a balmy Thursday evening my husband and I were seated outside on the large deck facing the harbor. There was a light breeze blowing and a jovial bunch of people behind us inside the restaurant, holding a fundraiser for Swim Across America.
I know that B. Smith doesn’t do any of the cooking here herself but she’s there in spirit – and the restaurant’s manager, Robin, told us she’s often there in person. The décor and presentation are tastefully done. Lots of white, lots of weathered wood, shiny architectural and glass moments.
The atmosphere here is about serious relaxation. No adult passed by without a drink in hand and no one seemed to be rushing. Relax, drink, eat and be merry, inside or out.
We found the menu rather lobstercentric. We were happy to deal with that.
Our friendly server Terry was happy to make suggestions. We started with drinks – a Melon Margarita for me, a Gin Martini, straight up for him. I liked the margarita, it was bright with a nice bite of alcohol, it really took the edge off of my business day. The triangular melon wedge at the top of the glass brought to mind a shark, but after a few sips it looked more like a sailboat. Husband approved of his martini, “nice, dry, crisp.”
I moved on to the Long Wharf Creamy Lobster Chowder and he, at Terry’s urging, went for the Curried Crispy Oysters. I found the chowder of corn and chives and generous chunks of lobster salty in a nicely briny way. I also quite enjoyed Husband’s oysters. There were more than enough to share. They were crunchy and luscious, almost creamy at their center. Served with coconut wasabi, there was only one word to describe them – “Wow!”
I went for another round of “bug” with the Long Wharf Lobster Salad as my entrée. Terry insisted, while holding out a plastic lobster bib, “Ya gotta sport it!”
It’s 1-1/2 pounds of tasty, chilled lobster salad artfully arranged inside a bright red shell. Served with “whatever veggies are fresh that day,” my plate included sweet snow peas, green beans, broccoli, red and yellow cherry tomatoes, asparagus and sliced red pepper on mesclun with a frill of pickled daikon radish. Chilled lobster is so civilized. And this one’s stuffing was dressed just right. The veggies were all fresh and tender. I ended up having some of the lobster wrapped up to take home to our son Teenage Boy.
Husband ordered a special – Sea Bass. Served with buerre blanc and tender-crisp baby bok choy, he found the fish “crispy on the outside, flaky inside.” He demolished it. Wolffer’s rosé would pair nicely with this. Husband indulged in a Spanish red, El Coto Rioja. It is a red that I could like – no “attack of the tannins.”
And what about dessert you ask? Husband ordered the popular Bread Pudding. He was not disappointed. He compared it to a huge chunk of good French toast. I went for the Key Lime Pie. It was nicely tart. Dragging bites of it through the raspberry coulis on the side made for the perfect flavor combination. I ate it all, considered ordering a Sag Harbor Sunset (three kinds of rum!) but instead took one last gaze at the harbor and walked home sated.
I found the dining experience here friendly, ample and Hamptons-style homey.
B. Smith’s, 1 Long Wharf, Sag Harbor. 631-725-5858, www.bsmith.com.
You can sample some of the best that B. Smith’s has to offer at Dan’s Papers Taste of Two Forks on July 14, check out the many participating restaurants, wineries and food purveyors at www.tasteoftwoforks.com