If you’re in town for Sag Harbor’s annual HarborFrost, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up at Muse in the Harbor’s popular and inviting bar. Take the next step and make a dinner reservation.
Locals know Muse in the Harbor’s prix fixe (aka “Economy Gastronomy”) backwards and forwards. In fact, my husband and I were out with a group of friends just last Thursday for a prix fixe fix. Our friends were quite taken with Muse’s Greek Lamb Meatball. It’s slow-braised and served with crumbled feta and a dollop of tzatziki ricotta.
Husband and I went back Sunday evening for a romantic dinner. Husband started the festivities with a Whiskey Smash of bourbon, citrus, mint, simple syrup smashed together and topped with club soda. His Mason jar was emptied before I could give it a try.
I asked our server George for a glass of house white and was rewarded with a generous pour of quaffable chardonnay to sip with my meal of the “Soup of the Moment,” tomato-spinach-feta, and a Bacon-n-Eggs Breakfast Salad. Feta is one of Chef Matthew Guiffrida’s favored Mediterranean ingredients, and one of mine. I stirred the soup’s feta topping right into my rich, deep brown soup where it became warm and pleasantly squeaky.
My salad, with its poached egg, grilled pork belly, pile of frissée and garnish of French toast croutons ringed with maple cider vinaigrette was a tasty mélange of pleasing textures. Overall it was, happily, more savory than sweet.
Husband found his Shrimp-n-Grits appetizer reminiscent of Muse’s popular Scallop Mac-n-Cheese in its profound umami creaminess. I managed to steal a spoonful. The blackened shrimp flavor infuses the whole dish, and mingling that with white cheddar grits produces an unctuous revelation. The microgreens give a nice acid touch and a few corn kernels perfect its texture. As I write this, I’m thinking about how soon I can get a dish of this for myself.
Husband followed this comfort food with another—Greek Chicken Piccata over tomato orzo with Kalamata olives, capers, feta, grilled artichoke hummus and shaved fennel. I often get this dish so I know just how pleasing it is on a wintry night.
Not ones to desert dessert Husband ordered the Key Lime Cream Cheesecake and I got the Berry Trifle. I considered a glass of Croft Fine Ruby Port but was very pleased to discover that Muse offers Griottini’s cherry absinthe. It’s so warming and licorice-y without being overly sweet. Known as an aperitif, I quite liked it with dessert. Husband said that the lime gave a nice tartness to his rich cheesecake and layers of vanilla cake. I believe him, not that I received even a morsel to try.
Muse had me at “vanilla rice pudding,” the homey standby that anchors the trifle. The layers of strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream were the proverbial icing on the cake of this almost rustically simple delight.
Muse in the Harbor’s manager, the beautiful Jen, mentioned that the sister Muse restaurant in Montauk, Muse on the End, has stayed open through the off-season in this it’s first year. Time to head to Montauk to see what’s cookin’ on The End.
Muse in the Harbor, 16 Main Street, Sag Harbor, 631-899-4810, museintheharbor.com
Muse at the End, 41 South Euclid Avenue, Montauk, 631-238-5937, museattheend.com