The fall, from what we've heard, is the best time in the Hamptons. Its still warm, but everything is less crowded. You almost feel as if you have the place to yourself - almost.
We spent Saturday night at Dockers with my parents and their two friends who live out there semi-permanently. They did not hit Dockers all summer because of the crowd factor and neither had we. We soon found that we did not miss all that much.
The setting is the best part of Dockers. Nestled in the reeds over looking the bay in East Quogue, it is one of the most picturesque spots on the South Fork.
As we sat down to dinner, we were greeted by the warm air on the deck and the sounds of the live band. It was a perfect evening weatherwise.
The last time I had been at Dockers was in the summer of 2004 when we were at the height of wedding planning. We had had lunch on the deck and enjoyed simple salads of seafood. It was a memorable meal.
Tonight we had memories, but none culinary-related.
My dad is a creature of habit. He likes to save money. Hence he prefers the two-appetizer trick. Instead of a main course, he orders two apps. Sometimes its a bargain, sometimes he's left starving. Here had had mussels followed by clams. Not too tough to mess up.
My mom followed suit with a salad and fried calamari. She deemed the salad fine but the calamari too rubbery. I am officially over fried calamari after loving it for years. I think it can be good in some places, but most restaurants destroy it. However, give me grilled calamari any day and I'll devour it.
JB and I split a tuna tartar which had more avocado than tuna but had flavor at least. My scallops had a heavy hoisin-type sauce, which masked the fish taste. It was served with fried root vegetables which I could have done without.
Between courses we watched the band. There were two women dancing up a storm. They were the only participants. I was convinced they were married to the band members.
JB had a Phil Mickelson moment and ordered the lobster ravioli. Most likely because Brian was telling of his astounding 76 on the course from earlier in the day. And while the lobster ravioli helped JB on his game on Sunday, he said it was a blah dish.
I did not get to taste it since my mom had strategically positionedus as far apart as possible. According to her, it's not socially acceptable to sit next to your husband. I wonder who came up with that idea, my mom or my dad.
Our new friends, Rosemary and Brian, each had a fish. Brian's was frenched sole that looked reminiscent of fried scrod and Rosemary had a simple salmon. I hope they liked their food, but if they didn't I wouldn't be surprised.
Along with the great September weather, came a great torrential storm. And we ran for c0ver as they cleared our mains. We tried the tent first and then went inside for dessert.
Desserts were of the pre-fab variety. My peanut butter ice cream pie was tasty, but obviously frozen. No one had anything else, save for some sorbet, and we rounded out the evening.
All in all, it was an enjoyable evening of good company and good setting. If only the food could have matched it.
BTW, the next day at the beach, JB saw the band groupies. As it turned out, they were not with the band, just avid dancers. I wonder if they'd be there if we were to go back next weekend. I guess there's only one way to find out.
Until we eat again, KLB