Restaurant Review: Southampton Social Club

Relax, you’re in. You’re already a member of the Southampton Social Club. Everyone is. The “Club” in the name refers to the fact that on Friday and Saturday nights, usually around 11:30 p.m., the tables and chairs are cleared from the North dining area and this restaurant turns into a night club! Fun.

My family just went for dinner. My husband can’t dance. He started with a “Very Dirty Bird,” a cocktail comprised of Grey Goose vodka, dry vermouth, olive juice and bleu cheese stuffed olives, served up. A yummy, salty martini. I started with the Social Club’s signature cocktail, the Social Cooler—jalapeno infused Don Julio Tequila, watermelon puree and fresh lime on the rocks. I found it well-balanced and quenching but not big on flavor. [expand]

Our son, Teenager Boy, stuck with tap water. Though tempted by the Black Truffle Cheese Fries (How high/low can you go?!), he started with a Cheese Platter of imported and domestic artisanal cheeses, raw fruit and fruit compote. I did not get even a taste of the Romano-Pecorino, goat cheese or Gruyere—he scarfed it up in record time, then nibbled at the chilled berries. Next, he indulged in the Roasted Chicken. Half a boneless roasted Murray’s chicken with a sauté of haricot verts, wax beans and roasted baby potatoes and lavender honey jus. Between bites he described it as “great,” and said that it “passed the better-than-homemade test.”

Husband went for an appetizer of Mediterranean Flatbread. This thing is sizeable, pizza-like. Roasted eggplant puree, pine nuts, capers, slow oven cooked tomatoes, roasted garlic and fontina. The luscious, gooey melding of flavors seemed almost like there was pork involved. Be careful you don’t fill up on this before your main course.

Husband ordered the Pan Roasted Scottish Salmon. His request to our server Nicole for a suggested wine pairing was passed along to Bartender Edwin, who sent out Les Duex Tours  2009 Sauvignon Blanc. It was a fine match for the salmon, bacon-wrapped potato and watercress timbal. Husband found the fish a bit overdone, but bacon cures all ills.

I ordered from the Dinner Prix Fixe Menu, starting with a Chili Spiked Melon Carpaccio. Served with watercress and frisee, the bitterness of the greens was a good foil for the sweet melon slices. The toasted walnuts and bleu cheese added pleasant textures, as well as flavor, and the white balsamic vinaigrette pulled it all together. My entrée, the Lobster Tagalini, was topped with a sprig of deep purple opal basil. The pasta was cooked just right and the asparagus added welcome texture. Also included were tomato fillets – big pieces of tomato are just the thing during high tomato season. For dessert I went for the Lemon Thyme Panna Cotta with port poached peaches and sabayon sauce. The lemon was pronounced. I liked it, but you need to be a goo lover like me to fully embrace this dish. It was very tasty but Husband and Teenage Boy couldn’t quite handle the goo factor. We also shared a White Chocolate Cheesecake that surprised me. The white chocolate was handled with a light hand, it blended in nicely. The cheesecake was light but very creamy and not oversweet, with a fine Graham cracker bottom crust. The strawberry and fennel compote on the side lent some punch. Teenage Boy had the good sense to order the Hazelnut Meringue Ice Cream Sandwiches—three small, all white sandwiches over hazelnut chocolate sauce. He summed this dish up as “the bomb.”

I take it as a good sign when I inadvertently smear dinner all over my blouse—but it’s embarrassing. On my way out, Edwin shared an old saying from his native Mexico, “If you didn’t get your fingers dirty when you ate, you didn’t enjoy it.” I say: La alegria!

Southampton Social Club, 256 Elm Street, Southampton. 631-287-1400, www.southamptonsocialclub.com.


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