Restaurant Review: The Living Room

This restaurant is participating in HAMPTONS RESTAURANT WEEK 2013, April 7–14

Visit hamptonsrestaurantweek.com for all the details.

At The Living Room (at c/o The Maidstone) in East Hampton, Executive Chef Mathais Brogie embraces many Swedish influences.

My husband and I were drawn in by the “family roast” offered on Sundays, but when we got there we diverged in our menu choices.

Husband started off with a “Swedish Storm” of Mackmyra Swedish whiskey, angostura bitters, elderflower syrup and fresh ginger muddled with lemon. He found it “bracing, refreshing.”

I wasn’t in the mood for “bracing” and was tempted by the lingonberry Shirley Temple, but settled on a sparkling pomegranate and black currant juice beverage.

The wine list offers a wide range of French, Italian and domestic wines including local faves Channing Daughters, Lenz, Macari, Palmer, Paumanok, Pellegrini, Sparkling Pointe and Wölffer.

We started with an amuse bouche of Salmon Tartar with black and white sesame seeds on seaweed salad. Husband was pleased with a glass of Palmer’s 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, as well as the luscious saltiness of the dish.

I ordered the Pickled Pumpkin Salad. A firm, sweet/sour ribbon of pumpkin with walnuts over greens. Nice texture and flavor. Swedes don’t fear pickling and neither does this farm girl! This salad is served with nice chévre chaud (hot, broiled goat cheese on French bread).

Husband started with the Herring Three Ways, served with gubbröra (egg-anchovy salad), pickled red onion, sour cream, Vasterbotten cheese and potato. It’s tasty and comes in a nine-compartmented plate, like a sort of Swedish Bento box, it could make even an American child give herring a try. My “big kid’s” comment? “This is really cool!”

Husband moved on to the Grilled Hanger Steak with chimichurri sauce, broccoli and butternut squash purée. Our server suggested an Argentinian malbec to accompany it and Husband acquiesced.

Our Passing server asked, “Ya happy?” (nodding) “Good!”

For my entrée I chose the Lemon Glazed Monkfish with crisp-tender, tasty baby carrots and potato thyme duchesse. A good piece of fish, the lemon lent a touch of welcome sweetness to the savory, tender flesh. The potato dish didn’t grab me—despite the fact that it’s served in its own adorable little cast iron skillet.

“Smakakor” cracks me up, it’s the long-held Swedish tradition of serving SEVEN different kinds of cookies, always tempting but…“Sticky toffee date cake with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream? Yes please! No, no Hampton coffee or Plain-T tea for me, thanks.”

The dates melded sweetly into the whole of Pastry Chef Laura Donnelly’s lush little round cake. It didn’t scream “DATE!” but rather whispered “Mmm, flavorful.” Served hot with a side of vanilla ice cream, it was PURE PLEASURE.

Husband indulged in his customary Hennessey for dessert but after a taste of my cake, he “helped” in devouring quite a bit of it. I think he owes me one.

We may head back soon, the bar scene is lively—but we’ll look for some outdoor seats now that the days and nights are warmer in this lovely corner of Swedish East Hampton.

The Living Room offers their popular Wine Dinners on April 5 and May 9, with seatings at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. for wine tastings with passed hors d’oeuvres, followed by a five-course meal. $125 per person.

c/o The Maidstone, The Living Room, 207 Main Street, East Hampton, 631-324-5006, themaidstone.com

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