If you’re like us, we stay away from high end restaurants during the summer, unless it’s a special occasion, i.e. someone else is paying. Plus, who wants to deal with the crazy crowds? Mid-winter, it’s a different story. Happy Hours and early bird fixed price dinners snap us out of our cabin fever. Here’s a restaurant special for every night of the week. As an added bonus, most have fireplaces.
Monday, start the week off right at Nick & Toni’s. Selected cocktails are half-priced, including my favorite Spicy ‘Rita, a rotating “dealer’s choice,” $8 sommelier selected wines and $6 “daily growlers.” A special bar menu includes $10 meat and cheese plates, a classic Margherita pizza and other yummy bites like N&T’s giardiniera and seasonal bruschetta, for $6 and under. Happy Hour is from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays, from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. Stay for a choice of fixed price dinner options, Sunday through Friday, from 6 p.m. Menu changes weekly.
Tuesday, sip cocktails on a fur covered lounge chair on the porch at the Living Room at ℅ Maidstone. Warm up by the fire with half-priced bar menu items like “Toast Skagen,” shrimp, mayonnaise, lemon, lörjrom (Swedish caviar) with dill on toasted brioche, only $10 or their famous Köttbullar Swedish Meatballs. Dogs are welcome to woof down half-priced Woof menu items. Sunday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Check website for monthly specials and events.
Wednesday, say hello to the gents behind the bar at the American Hotel. The good news is their Happy Hour features hearty, comfort food. Jumbo shrimp cocktail, perfect grilled ham and cheese, a hefty crab cake sandwich, all under $12. The bad news: No drink specials but they do have my favorite beer on tap (Montauk Brewing Company’s Driftwood Ale) for $7. You can’t beat that, everyday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, duck downstairs at the 1770 House for old and new Tavern menu favorites like meatloaf and chicken parmesan, in addition to one chef-selected entree from the regular menu, for $17.70. Plus, a $9 glass of wine special. There’s also a $35 three-course fixed price Sunday through Thursday.
Friday, the weekend starts at Topping Rose House with Happy Hour in the Bar Lounge. Drink special and an awesome bar menu include soup, salad, black Angus burger with smoked Gouda and onion rings, Berkshire pork belly and clams, pecorino fries and a cheese plate. Pianist Jane Hastay tickles the ivories, Friday evenings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and a two-course menu is $28, three-courses is $33, Monday through Friday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday is date night at the romantic Bridgehampton Inn restaurant. Go before 7 p.m. for a choice of four small plates and four large plates. The menu is completely market driven and changes weekly so get on their mailing list to receive their weekly menu every Monday. Beet fritters, beef cheeks croquettes, whole fluke and duck paella are a few offerings this week. Two courses cost $35 and three courses cost $40, Thursday through Sunday, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Sunday, wind down at Almond with buffalo style cauliflower and arctic char with sweet potato miso coulis, East End Mushroom Company mushrooms and Amber Waves black radishes, finish it off with a warm Mail Pail apple crostata a la mode. You deserve it. It’s been a long week. $29 three-course prix-fixe Sunday, Tuesday through Thursday until 7 p.m.
Cozy atmosphere, warming libations, satisfying food, reasonable prices and great friends. That’s the brighter side of winter in the Hamptons.