The Hamptons on a Budget
Dig into a $30 prix fixe at Rugosa.
Photo: courtesy of the restaurant
When you think of Hamptons dining, visions of overpriced lobster salad and long waits for tables (if your name isn’t Stephen Spielberg or Martha Stewart) come to mind. Bargain meals? Not so much. But if you know where to look, prix fixe deals and gently priced meals can be found across the East End.
Barrister’s: At this Southampton American, it’s two-for-one night on Thursdays, when the higher- or equal-priced second entree is free. Choices include a $21 roast chicken, a $24 salmon and a cattleman’s cut of prime rib for $26.95 (631-283-6206).
Blue Parrot Bar & Grill: The celebrity factor may be high at this fun Mexican joint owned by Ron Perelman, Renée Zellweger, Larry Gagosian and Jon Bon Jovi, among others, but the prices can be low. Margaritas are just $9, dishes start at $6 and Tuesday evenings have been designated “Dirty Bird Tuesdays,” when beers are $4 and burritos are $10 (631-324-3609).
Blue Sky Mediterranean Lounge: Newly opened this season, this Sag Harbor seafooder offers a huge paella with a whole lobster in it for a mere $24 (631-725-1810).
Fresno: Wednesdays at this New American, a $28 three-course prix fixe offers options like grilled center-cut pork chops or pan-seared loin of lamb, and every bottle of wine is 30% off (631-324-8700).
Georgica: On Mondays, from 9–11 PM, this happening newcomer helmed by a Hell’s Kitchen vet offers a $25 three-course prix fixe with dishes like crab- and lobster-stuffed Chilean sea bass with tomato scampi cream and pesto mashed potatoes (631-537-5603).
Harbor Bistro: At this East Hampton New American, you can watch the sunset while digging into one of two prix fixes – $19 and $29 – served nightly from 5–6 PM (631-324-7300).
La Fondita: This neighborhood Mexican restaurant offers $10 daily specials like chile-rubbed beef ribs served with rice, refried black beans, tortillas and avocado salsa. Steamed lamb tacos go for $3, and huge burritos are just $8 (631-267-8800).
Oso: Every night in August, this surf ‘n’ turfer inside the Southampton Inn is offering a three-course prix fixe for $29 from 5:30–7 PM, and all night on Thursdays. The chef focuses on fresh local ingredients, and meat, fish and vegetarian options are always available (631-283-1166).
red bar brasserie: One of the most hopping spots in Southampton offers two prix fixes, $26 for two courses or $29 for three, available from 6–6:45 PM every night except Saturday. Among the options is a truffled chicken breast with wild mushroom risotto and french beans (631-283-0704).
Rugosa: A half pound of mussels prepared in traditional garlic, butter wine and parsley, or with a curry sauce, are a mere $5 on Sunday nights at this newly opened American. Additionally, a $30 three-course prix fixe is offered nightly from 5:30–7 PM, except Tuesdays, when the restaurant is closed (631-604-1550).
Townline BBQ: It’s just $14.75 for a combo plate with two meats and two sides at this Sagaponack ’cue joint. August also features a daily happy hour, when mason jar cocktails go for $4 from 4–5 PM, $5 from 6–7 PM and $6 from 7–8 PM; accompanying chicken wings are 25¢, and jalapeño poppers and fried mac ’n’ cheese bites cost 50¢ (631-537-2271).
Trata East: Normally very expensive, with fish billed by the pound, this eastern branch of the popular Manhattan Greek now offers a $25 prix fixe all night long, Sunday–Thursday. Appetizer choices include stuffed grilled calamari and spinach and feta salad, while entrees range from jumbo shrimp with fresh tomatoes to grilled sirloin (631-726-6200).
– Beth Landman
So Zagat's was nice enough to offer a list of "affordable" eats for the summering set. I've reposted them below. Hmmm... La Fondita.