My wife and I spend the 4th of July weekend in East Hampton every year. Last year we intended to try The Living Room but never made it. So this year, we went there our first night in town.
I am going to preface this review by stating that it is a VERY expensive restaurant. ($48 for a relatively modest portion of ribeye steak). If this were Applebee's I would have thought the food was fine.
The evening started well - we were seated promptly for our 7:30pm reservation. But it quickly went South.
We selected the Seafood Bruschetta, a $24 appetizer. The waitress described it as assorted fresh seafood atop a price of bread. When the waiter delivered the appetizer he had three dishes in his hands - the Seafood Bruschetta and our entrees! What? Who does that in a cheap restaurant let alone one that is supposed to be among East Hampton's finest? We sent the entrees back and then had to call over the waitress because we were afraid that they would hold those under the warmer and try to bring them back. "No," the waitress assured us. "We will remake fresh entrees when you are ready." "Why did you bring them all together?", I asked. "Oh, the kitchen is busy and it was just a little mixup." Hmmmm.
The Seafood Bruschetta turned out to be creamy affair.Think "chicken-a-la-king" with small pieces of chopped seafood replacing the chicken. it was too heavily sauced with not much seafood. The flavor wasn't bad - it was actually OK. But the dish was not what you would imagine for a $24 appetizer.
The entrees came back and seemed fresh. My wife ordered the Arctic Char and thought it was good. Mine was another matter altogether. I had chosen a lasagna dish. I think the menu calls it "Open Face Lasagna" or something like that. The waitress aptly described it as a "deconstructed" lasagna with the pasta at the bottom, a layer of sauteed vegetables and a layer of a sauce. Well, it turned out to be essentially the same saucy affair as the Seafood Bruschetta - maybe even the same sauce, now that I think of it. Basically the dish consists of a flavorless piece of boiled lasagna covered by soggy, overcooked sauteed vegetables mixed with this creamy sauce. Imagine that you opened a can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup, sauteed some vegetables until they were limp and flavorless, mixed them with the soup and then poured that over the top of a piece of lasagna. That was this dish. I ate three or four bites and left the rest. It wouldn't make the cut at Applebee's let alone this highly (over) rated eatery. Normally I would have returned a dish that was this bad. I don't know why I didn't. Nothing else seemed very appealing and I would have had to wait a long time.
I thought it was interesting that when the waiter took my plate away and it was obvious I had only taken a few bites that he didn't ask or say a word. He just took it away. No one asked if we were happy. Maybe just as well because I would have been 100% honest.
We ordered coffee and my wife asked for skim milk. "No problem, we have skim milk," said our waitress. "Great, said my wife."
A little while later we were served a large pot of coffee and a creamer. One look at the thick creme could tell anyone that this was not any kind of mile - skim or otherwise. It was thick cream - possible heavy cream. It was delicious and was almost thick enough to made a spoon stand up. But it wasn't skim.
Our 20 something waitress swore we were mistaken - that she had poured the "skim milk" herself, so we left well enough alone with her and asked another waitress. The second waitress said she would go and open a fresh container of skim milk, She came back after five minutes sporting a new container. Heavy cream again.
The bill was $140 before tip. One $15 glass of wine, the $24 Seafood Bruschetta, two entrees a pot of coffee.
Judge for yourself. There's a review I read earlier tonight where a reviewer was raving about the Seafood Bruschetta. What to me was oversauced to that patron was delicious. Wonder what they would have said about the lasagna.
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