Every place needs a neighborhood hangout, and for the Springs it’s gotta be Harbor Grill.
Warm and welcoming, this homestyle restaurant is a place where the American comfort food is perfectly matched by the friendly staff and happy patrons. Happening by last week for an early dinner, I was the first person in the door that late afternoon and the joint was jumpin’ by the time I left an hour later. FYI — It’s owned by the family that owns the seasonal Harbor Bistro right down the road.
I started with a glass of Malbec (bold, jammy and a nice generous pour) and the corn fritter appetizer. Just like with the wine, the portion size of the fritters dish was also definitely not stingy. Hot, steamy and crispy and with whole kernels of sweet yellow corn, these little nuggets were everything one would expect. The creamy horseradish dip on the side complemented this savory dish nicely.
For the entree, I wanted to travel a bit lighter so I chose the chicken lettuce wraps. I was pleased by the smart choice made by the kitchen staff to keep the piles of crisp iceberg lettuce separate from the sautéed hoisin chicken tidbits. Sometimes even the fanciest restaurants combine the two, effectively wilting the greens before you take the first bite. Not here. Yay! This might not be the most popular dish on the favorites-packed menu, but I quite enjoyed the play on textures and flavors–crunchy lettuce, tender morsels of chicken (marinated in a sauce of chiles, cilantro, scallion, ginger, garlic and carrot) and crackly Chinese glass noodles–and am glad to have tried it. And the fanfreakingtastic steak fries that came with it were among the best I’ve ever had. Seriously. It was hard to stop eating this basket of perfectly cooked yumminess.
Satisfied and full, I attempted to take my leave but my server, Katie, enticed me with her high praise and strong recommendation of her favorite dessert–the chocolate chip cookie sundae. I wasn’t able to even make a dent in the heaping serving of hot/cold/gooey/vanilla/chocolate deliciousness but not for lack of trying. Holy cow, this simple dessert of two chocolate chip cookies, darn good vanilla bean ice cream, chocolate sauce and whipped cream was far too yummy.
What I loved about my experience in this homey, happy restaurant is that it’s not necessarily trying to do anything new or fancy but boy oh boy, they sure know what their customers want and they deliver! Stop in for a good hearty meal.
Located at 367 Three Mile Harbor Road in East Hampton, Harbor Grill is a sit-down, full-service restaurant with roughly 85 seats, including the bar. The year-round restaurant focuses on a family-friendly atmosphere with casual-affordable dining. The food at the Grill ranges from old local favorites, such as: corn fritters, baked clams, hamburgers, steak sandwiches and thumbits to fresh fish, salads and pastas. The bar at Harbor Grill proudly pours local Southhampton Publick House beers and offers a nightly special of “Burger & Brew” for $14. Wines by the glass are $10 at the Grill. Appetizers range from $8 to $12, Burgers and Sandwiches are $14 to $18 and entrees, served with soup or salad, are $18 to $28.