Dining Features

Hamptons Epicure: See You This Weekend at Muse in the Harbor

Muse quickly became one of Sag Harbor Village’s go-to eateries after chef/co-owner Matthew Guiffrida moved the enterprise from Water Mill to its Sag Harbor site at 16 Main Street in 2012. As Muse is located in the very heart of the village’s downtown, “local regulars” like me pretty much know the entire menu by heart. I invited my friend Gale to join me there for dinner recently. We’re both happy to stick to the winter prix fixe menu, or “Economy Gastronomy,” as it’s called, but Chef Guiffrida heard that it was a special occasion and sent out an extra dessert—a very fine rice pudding topped with fresh fruit. We gleefully shared it. We’d eaten dinner first, of course.

What else did we enjoy that evening? For Gale it began with the “Soup of the Moment,” which was Spinach Tomato with goat cheese, a cheesy, tomato-y delight. I heard the reluctance in her voice when she asked if I’d like a taste, so I demurred. She declared it “delish.” She didn’t want to share and I don’t blame her one bit. My guest then moved on to the Chicken Masala. She found this mélange of sun dried tomatoes and seared chicken medallions topped with wild mushroom ragout served with a Baby Arugula Chop Salad and Orzo Alfredo “lovely.” For dessert Gale went with Grandma G’s Zeppole, which is “served just like Mary did, in a paper bag with love,” as it says in the menu. It comes with raspberry, vanilla and caramel sauces, which clearly pleased Gale immensely. She ended up taking a zeppole or two home in the bag. Did they make it all the way home to Bay Point? Doubt it.

The Specialty Drinks Menu beckoned with its “Dark Harbor” of Sag Harbor Rum, muddled lime sage and St. Germaine with a ginger beer float and its “Sag Harbor Sunset-Tini” of strawberry lemonade, Three Olive Citrus Vodka and fresh mint with a sugared rim, plus they offer Wölffer Sparkling Dry Cider—but I’d been drinking champagne at work all afternoon (isn’t that “so Hamptons”!) so I stuck to water as my beverage of choice.

I had my refreshing fave; the Muse Casa Salad of baby greens tossed in aged balsamic vinaigrette with pesto-tossed tomatoes and thinly sliced cucumbers, topped with shaved Pecorino Romano. This dish never fails to whet my appetite. I moved on to the Simply Grilled Salmon. So healthy. Served with whipped potatoes and grilled zucchini spears. Muse’s buttery potatoes stick to the ribs, even in freezing temperatures. So if you’re visiting for Sag Harbor’s 5th annual HarborFrost you’ll want to eat a lot of them.

Speaking of HarborFrost, Muse again plays host to the annual Frost Ball on Friday, February 27, from 6 to 9 p.m.  The admission of $75 ($65 for Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce members) gives you access to an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, dancing and a raffle.

Montauk will have its own outpost of Muse this summer. The new restaurant’s name and menu details are yet to be announced, but expect the same kind of inventive cooking and fun from Chef Guiffrida. Read more about the new Muse in the special Montauk issue of Dan’s Papers on stands March 20.

Muse in the Harbor, 16 Main Street, Sag Harbor, 631-899-4810, museintheharbor.com

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