Childhood friends Chris Eggert and Kevin Boles, of “Bostwick’s Chowderhouse” fame, opened Indian Wells Tavern in 2008. It has what the East End what it has come to miss – non-pretentious eateries at locals prices. Located in the heart of Amagansett, across from Amagansett Square, where children run and play safely within view, it seemed the perfect place to come with my ten-year-old son, Kyle, on Memorial Day when most are at barbecues. There were no waits and plenty of parking – the beautiful day had a tinge of pre-season Hamptons.
I am always on the lookout for kid-friendly venues where I don’t have to have on my “I’m sorry” face for bringing my progeny to the establishment. We were greeted by Charlot, a lovely woman who would be our server in the pub-like room that had more than a hint of “Cheers” by way of its décor, sans Norm. If I were having a girls night out, I surely would have killed time at the expansive bar before being seated, as the draft-pulls were beckoning. But that is for another day and another review.
We had heard that the burgers were divine, so my son requested a cheeseburger “with extra pickles” while I opted for the chicken and grilled onion quesadilla. We started off with the Caesar salad, which had its signature crisp leaves and a distinctly tangy dressing. Kyle’s favorite element was the large thinly-sliced slivers of parmesan cheese while I munched on the seasoned croutons.
The burger did not disappoint. It was enormous and arrived sitting next to a hefty hit of French fries and three very lengthy pickle spears. The kid was thrilled. The quesadilla was not like any other I’d ever eaten – and I am known to always order them if they exist on any menu.
Indian Wells Tavern’s version was not that flimsy tortilla housing the cheese and chicken. It is a markedly solid portion of food, laden with chicken cubes, cheese and incredibly delicious grilled onions – its caramelization gave this tried-and-true entrée its twist. A hint of southwestern flavor dominated the time-honored Mexican entree. Despite the usual condiments of guacamole, sour cream and salsa, it was an original in both appearance and flavor.
From Charlot to the witty and helpful manager, Margaret, to even the upbeat handsome runner, the team was convivial towards my son and helpful in answering my foodie questions. Everything was served with a smile. I will definitely be returning with the rest of my family. And, more importantly, for a girls-night-out, because Indian Wells Tavern is that kind of place – where everyone knows your name.
177 Main Street, Amagansett 631-267-0400 www.indianwellstavern.com.