When you go to the 1770 House in East Hampton, you know that you’re consistently going to get one of the best meals you’ve ever eaten. Such was the case for my most recent Wine & Dine foray. I dare to say it was the VERY BEST paired dining experience that I have ever had!
Take a minute to let that sink in. All true.
The evening at the 250-plus year-old inn and fantastic restaurant, headed by Executive Chef Michael Rozzi, was spent in the Tavern room downstairs. Exactly my favorite place to spend a cozy winter night.
I don’t usually even ask to bring a guest when I’m reviewing (though it’s nice to have someone share the experience, reviewing–as awesome as it is–is not ever to be confused for a night out on the town at a restaurant’s expense) but Carol at 1770 insisted, which was a class touch. So I brought my friend Lisa, who also reveled in the sublime experience.
We started with warm house-made (everything at 1770 is house-made and as fresh as fresh can be) rosemary and sourdough rolls. Scrumptiously light and oh so aromatic, they were deelish. And of course, we were treated like royalty by pro waiter Carl (a true service expert), sommelier Michael Cohen, Debbie and a bevy of gracious staffers, and even a table-side visit from the Executive Chef himself (wow!). The entire evening was sheer bliss, punctuated by incredible food, gracious hospitality and damn fine wine!
“It’s my take on a deep-winter menu that’s looking forward to the spring,” said Chef Rozzi. “It’s seasonally appropriate and makes best use of what’s naturally available.”
For the first of our seven-course tasting menu, thoughtfully curated by Chef Rozzi and Mr. Cohen (both at the tippy tops of their games), we started with the famed Montauk Fluke Tartare. Beautiful to look at and heaven to the palate, this showy “signature dish” is the perfect combination of super fresh fluke with pickled cucumber, black seaweed, radish salad and wasabi tobiko. Yum, yum, yum! It was paired with a clean, light and bright Greek wine (yes, there is such a thing as exceptional Greek wine. Who knew?), a 2014 Moschofilero ‘Fteri’ from Troupis Winery in Tripoli, that was probably my favorite sip of the night.
It was just the “beginning of the rollercoaster,” said Michael, the sommelier. He was not kidding. What a thrill ride!
The next pairing consisted of Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Apple Salad Sundried Tomatoes, Lemon & Parmesan Dressing and a 2015 Sancerre ‘Silex’ from Domaine Gerard Fiou in the Loire Valley, France. Oh boy, am I ever a Brussels sprouts fan and these most certainly did not disappoint. Love that the dish also featured Halsey apples. Rich, creamy and expertly dressed, they were a brand-new take on a veg that I thought I had all covered. Wowsa! I would eat this dish every single day if I could. And the wine, slightly oaky and mellow, it was a beautiful sip on it’s own but really shone in combination with the “meatiness” of the dish.
Then came the Roasted Mushrooms over Homemade Brioche Toast, with Baby Kale, Caerphilly Cheese, Red Endive & Aged Balsamic and the 2012 Pinot Gris ‘Reserve’ by Trimbach in Alsace, France. Both the dish and drink were perfect representatives of a fine deep-winter menu and were elegance exemplified.
On to the entrees. First up was my personal favorite, the Roasted Codfish with Winter Truffle Sauce Haricots Verts, Organic Purple Carrots, Pommes Purée and a 2011 Saint-Aubin 1er Cru ‘En Remilly’, Domaine Chavy from Burgundy, France. This cod was so perfectly prepared; the grill was gorgeous and the texture was flaky and tender. The vegetables were incredible too. And the wine, when tasted alongside, opened up a way that was both surprising and welcome. Incredible!
On to number five, the Rohan Duck Breast with Spiced Butternut Squash, Bok Choy & Raphael ‘Portico’ Sauce 36 and a rich and plummy 2013 Pinot Noir, ‘Givry,’ Domaine Ragot Chalonnaise from Burgundy, France. Rich and sumptuous, this was another of the night’s perfect pairings.
Lastly, it was Lisa’s favorite — the Slow Braised Beef Short Rib Winter Truffle Risotto & Local Kale, which was perfectly fork-tender and somehow both elevated and accessible, and a 2013 Barbaresco, De Forville, Piedmont from Italy. “That’s exactly what Italy in winter looks like,” said sommelier Cohen. When are we moving there?? : )
Finishing with a bang, we got the Warm Date Cake with Toffee Sauce & Salted Caramel Swirl Gelato (This is my personal favorite dessert of all time, and it needs to be my birthday cake every year!) and the Ricotta Cheesecake with a Hazelnut Crust Blueberry Compote & Bourbon Caramel. Enjoyed with creamy and delicious cappuccinos. Heaven! The entire evening was an embarrassment of riches. Stopping several times to stop and simply tuck away the memories and sensations that we were so fortunate to experience, it’s one that we won’t forget. Thank you 1770 House!!!