The Golden Pear: A Golden Combination of Flavors on the East End

Golden Pear panini number 3 with a side of pasta salad.
Golden Pear panini number 3 with a side of pasta salad. Photo credit: Kelly Laffey

I’ll admit it: Like many working Americans, I’m addicted to my morning coffee.

More specifically, I’m addicted to my morning coffee at the Golden Pear. Many years ago, I stopped into the Southampton café and poured myself a cup of Joe. I’ve been hooked ever since, and days when I get my Golden Pear house roast fix just seem to start off better. In addition to the house roast, Golden Pear has a rotating array of flavored coffees, for those feeling a little more adventurous about their
caffeine intake.

The Golden Pear, which has locations in Southampton, East Hampton, Sag Harbor, Bridgehampton and at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, has been a Hamptons staple for over 25 years. All of the locations are open seven days; year-round—hours a true local can appreciate. The first Southampton location opened in 1987, establishing the Golden Pear’s benchmark standard of serving healthy soups, sandwiches and hot foods. Much has stayed the same, but new developments, like a “Pear Points” program, where café frequenters can earn rewards as they dine, and catering, have emerged over the years.

I journeyed to the convenient Southampton outlet during a recent lunch break. Situated right on the corner of Main Street, the Golden Pear’s outdoor seating provides the perfect setting for people-watching in the summer. But in the cool days of early spring, I happily grabbed a seat indoors as I waited for my dining partner (and mom).

We started with two of our lunch favorites. I went with the #3 panini, which is made with grilled chicken, avocado, carmelized onions and spicy chipotle dressing. Like all sandwiches at the Pear, the panini is served with a side option—green salad, fruit salad or pasta salad. Never one to be deterred by carbs, I had to go with the pasta salad. The pasta was infused with a light spritz of balsamic vinegar and tossed with sundried tomatoes, artichokes and cheese, making this a flavorful but not overly filling side option. The sandwich, as per usual, was divine. The caramelized onions soaked into the grilled chicken; and the spicy mayo gave each bite a nice kick, some of which was mitigated by the avocado—my staple whenever I dine at the Golden Pear.

My mom ordered The East Hampton sandwich, which features all-natural, free-range curry chicken salad, lettuce and tomato in a whole wheat pita. The sandwich overflowed with veggies, and she proclaimed the curry chicken salad “not too spicy,” definitely a plus. She substituted one of the standard side salads with the Golden Pear’s quinoa salad. This salad included cucumbers and black beans, for a healthy dose of protein and veggies. Everything was fresh, making this the perfect complement for people who may feel that they’ve carbo-loaded too much on the sandwiches.

To top off our afternoon, we sampled the seafood bisque, one of the day’s specials. Comprised of a medley of summertime flavors, the soup hit a high note and had me looking forward to seafood-inspired, outdoor dinners.

Luckily, dinner at the Golden Pear isn’t a pipe dream. The location will stay open later on weekends in-season, providing diners with the perfect option for on-the-go or to-go dinners. The café at the Parrish Art Museum, which is coming up on its first anniversary, will also stay open when the Parrish hosts its Sounds of Summer live music on Fridays. Serving its signature goodness, this Golden Pear location also has beer and wine, meaning that you can sip on some wine as the sun goes down over nearby Duck Walk Vineyards, all while celebrating the artistic culture of the East End.

The Golden Pear Southampton, 99 Main Street. Check the website for daily specials. 631-283-8900

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