Hamptons Restaurant Review: Muse in the Harbor

“I’m gonna go down to Schiavoni’s and try to pick someone up.”

Is not a declaration oft heard, especially in this the “pre-season”—but I had occasion to utter this to my husband last month. He’s a professional musician and had been playing in Florida for a week—when he got back I told him we had a restaurant to review, but it was Maundy Thursday and he had to play at a local church’s Seder supper.

No one from work was free to go with me. I hung out at the Seder for a while trying to pick someone off. Nope, many were sorely tried in their religious convictions when they heard it was Muse in the Harbor that I was reviewing, but they all stuck to their meal plans. Eventually I headed off to sit outside of our local IGA, Schiavoni’s, in hopes of running into someone I know. I hadn’t ruled out inviting a perfect stranger along but no “perfect” specimens presented themselves. I was tempted to ask an obese girl who walked by carrying her shoulder bag like a tourist—because she made me look thin—but ultimately I toddled over to Muse on my own.

Muse is a go-to place for me, not just because I live in Sag Harbor Village and Muse does a great prix fixe—but I like the place, the food and the service.

Muse was celebrating its anniversary in this space. Just over a year ago they moved from Water Mill. The fish in the fish tank are a lot bigger than they were a year ago, the rest of the interior is much the same—clean, well designed. Chef Matthew Guiffrida was talking to the East End’s favorite hostess, Jen the Beautiful, when I stepped in. Matt told me that the outdoor area on the south side of Muse is about to undergo a major overhaul complete with an art installation by Sam Panton of Terradesign Studio Inc. Also new will be a menu debuting just before Memorial Day weekend.

New Beginnings are definitely in the air as Matt married his longtime girlfriend Sheila Mullahy recently. Also, look for more live music at Muse—Suzy on the Rocks, the Hamptons’ premier party band is set to play there next month. I hope that becomes a regular thing…I can walk home from Muse…generally.

Jen suggested I try a Cucumber-n-Cider to start. Crop Organic Cucumber Vodka, fresh local cider, a touch of St. Germaine and a slice of lime—very nice, drinkable, not at all sweet.

Muse’s wine list includes local faves like Grapes of Roth, Peconic Bay and Wölffer, but I had to get myself home, so I stopped at one cocktail.

The “Soup of the Moment” was Greek Corn Chowder and I went with it. Hearty but not heavy, corn plus feta equals salty with a nice texture. Yes, I tipped the bowl and pushed the parsley garnish aside to get at the last bit.

If my husband had come along he probably would have ordered the Horseradish & Gorgonzola Crusted Ribeye Steak with its tawny port demi glace. It does sound amazing.

I wanted to try the Zucchini Flapjacks with Gramma G’s Cupolitina. Featuring eggplant, onion, celery, green pepper, capers, artichoke hearts and green and black olives with the flapjacks, Boursin cheese carpaccio and artichoke hummus—Matt explained that cupolitina is what his family made every year when their garden was overflowing. Bravo. Served in a neat stack, the richness of the eggplant and the olive-y undernotes melded into a fabu dish. I begged Matt to keep it on his new season’s menu. He said he’s been canning cupolitina for years and hopes to begin selling it by the jar this summer.

I decided to try the Slightly Spicy Jumbo Shrimp Scampi with its creamed spinach—I was curious about the “carbonara cake” that it comes on. The cake was slightly smoky in flavor, very filling. The jumbo shrimp were cooked just right. The spinach was very rich and creamy. I’d order it again, but after this dose I was feeling very stuffed, far too stuffed for a dessert of Matt’s signature Zeppole—so I ordered one of his S’mores to go. I can’t resist that pillow of marshmallow.

 

Muse in the Harbor, 16 Main Street, Sag Harbor,
631-899-4810, museintheharbor.com

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