The Eat: All the Asian eats, on select Thursdays.
The Place: Highway Restaurant and Bar in East Hampton.
The Story: The original Asian concept, as conceived and executed by Highway chef Justin Finney, was actually a Thai Night. But in the intervening years since the occasional dinners launched, the idea has grown into something larger. Although Finney’s Asian night went on hiatus for high season, it is now back with a vengeance, showcasing the breadth of Asian food and ingredients on the second Thursday of each month. The next one will take place this Thursday, January 9.
What can you expect at chef Finney’s Asian night? First, you can expect to vie for a table. The event has become incredibly popular, with a dining room bursting at the seams. You can also expect an explosion of great flavors, from the take on Peking duck (served with hoisin and pancakes) to the steamed clams bathed in ginger. Sticky Thai ribs are meltingly delicious, and Finney’s handmade dumplings are shatteringly crispy. Ask for his special hot sauce, which he makes in house. It provides a rumbling heat that is both focused and restrained.
There are so many menu items to drool over that it’s impossible to single out a particular eat. Know, too, that the Asian Night menu is always evolving. For returning guests, the menu has some standbys, yes, but it also has welcome additions, meaning that you could eat at every single Asian night from here into mid-2020 and never get bored. If it’s available, you’ll want to finish the meal with a scoop of Finney’s perfect coconut sorbet, which rounds out a spicy, savory meal with the heat-tamping fat of this iconic Southeast Asian fruit. If I were you, I’d call for a reservation, stat.