I recently headed out to Quogue with my boyfriend’s family to celebrate his birthday at the Stone Creek Inn. We’d been once before, about two years ago, and I couldn’t remember much, so I was excited to try it again. I must admit, about half way through the drive, we all wondered why we decided to go so far for dinner, (about 45 minutes from Sag Harbor) but once we had our first taste, we all knew it was well worth the trip.
I would describe the dining room (rooms, actually) as “fancy-cozy.” The atmosphere is inviting, (maybe not super inviting to young kids) comfortable, classy, and a great place to share a meal with family or friends.
The menu stood out to me at first glance because of the abundance of options, something kind of distinct from most Hamptons’ restaurants. Everyone likes options. There’s an appetizer for any taste, and Stone Creek makes it easy to share…or, not. (I chose not ;-))
Soon after being seated, we received shots of tomato soup (nothin’ wrong with a little gift from the chef!) It was delicious; creamy, fresh, and flavorful. I decided to start with a roasted beet & baby arugula salad, one of three salad choices. Other starters included grilled octopus, mussel & chive ravioli, duck meatballs, tuna or steak tartar, and a variety of cheese plates, to accompany Stone Creek’s renowned wine list. It’s clear that each dish and beverage is carefully thought out and often change with the season. Although I like to be able to depend on menu staples when I’m a returning customer, I love the refreshing reminder that entrees change with the season to utilize the best local in-season goods.
The tuna tartare looked amazing and, according to two at our table, tasted just as good too. My salad was good; it hit the spot and the yellow beets added a fresh sweetness. I liked that it was served in a bowl, as opposed to on a plate, a minute detail that makes for easier cutting. I’m a fan of eating salads out of bowls and I like that Stone Creek is too.
The food came out timely, not too fast or too slow. The service is also great, our waitress was helpful and kind, but not overly chatty; she got the job done, well. More than a few entrées stood out to me; local roasted chicken with sautéed greens and honey balsamic jus…yum. Although I typically opt for seafood (and Stone Creek offers quite a seafood spread) the herb and mustard crusted rack of lamb caught my eye and when the waitress recommended it, I was convinced. I eat red meat very rarely, so when I do, it’s got to be good. And it was.
The lamb was perfectly cooked, tender, but nice and charred around the bone. The sautéed spring greens and crunchy baby carrots underneath were equally delicious. Props to the chef (that’s Christian Mir.)
I opted out of dessert, but the chocolate decaf tea intrigued me, it was good, an interesting twist on an after dinner drink. Overall, this visit to Stone Creek was one of the best meals I’ve had in a while, and the company agreed. The birthday boy ate every last bite of that strawberry cake.