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Restaurant Reviews and Commentary from Karen Salkin


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PRIME 103

I actually started writing a very long column about my recent visit to the Hamptons (in NY, of course), but got interrupted by the two weeks of the US Open Tennis Tournament. (I didn’t attend it; I watched EVERY SINGLE SECOND of it on TV!!!) Don’t forget to click over to my entertainment column for the wrap-up on that event.

Not wanting to slight any part of that trip, I don’t want to print it until it’s ready in all its glory. But, I have to tell you about the best restaurant I found there, because I want my readers to always be up on such things. And Prime 103 just opened this summer, so this review is semi-hot-off-the-presses.

This was the only place/event/ restaurant in the whole town that was up my alley. Because it was a Monday night in the beginning of August, all the poor drudges had made their way back to the city, and my friend, Lauren, and I were left to have a delicious dinner in a beautiful restaurant without noise and sweat. We even got air-conditioning!

The best part was that I sat directly across from a big-screen playing the Yankee game. And it was a great win for them, with the final out coming courtesy of Mariano Rivera against the Big Hurt of the Blue Jays! That victory was sweeter than the fabulous desserts that came later on in the evening.

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But I’m getting ahead of myself. Prime 103 is an attractive, upscale restaurant that just happens to have a big-screen over the bar, which is incongruous with the place, so don’t think it’s some kind-of annoying sports bar. It looked like every seat was comfortable, and we were very happy in our big, yet cozy, booth. And it’s the first place in the Hamptons where I could actually hear!

All the personnel were at the ready when needed, and we especially liked our upbeat waiter, Dario. We were the last diners in the place, and no one rushed us in the least. I was finally so relaxed that I could have fallen over in the booth and stayed the night.

Now, to the best part, the food. We each chose an appetizer and they were both absolutely delicious. My choice was the EH Chopped Salad with great ingredients including dried cranberries and candied walnuts. We were supposed to be sharing, but it was so tantalizing, I scarfed most of it myself.

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Lauren’s pick was totally interesting. Most steakhouses seem to have the same menu items, but this one I’d never seen anywhere else, though it was so fabulous, I hope I will in the future. It was Pistachio and Macadamia Nut Crusted Camembert, with shaved apples and crustini. I think that I actually ate most of that, as well. Good thing that Lauren’s a light eater. Or at least I hope she is, since I purloined most of the chow that night. I think she ate more of their tasty bread than I did, though.

We were both into meat entrees, so she had the divine Filet Mignon, which I was shocked to see her finish, and I wound-up with the Rib Cut Veal Chop, which I’m craving right now. I polished it off the next day because we went wild with the sides.

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Instead of my usual descriptions, I’m just listing the ones that we tried because I highly recommend them all, especially the macaroni and cheese, and tobacco onions, which are thin and crisp. The others are: garlic mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, string beans with bacon and almonds, and a giant baked potato.

Recently, the restaurants I’ve been reviewing are a tad weak in the dessert department, which is great for my diet, but bad for my contentment level. At Prime 103, we wanted to try four out of the seven listed. So what are two femmes fatales to do in that situation? We asked to just sample them all, and expected tiny versions of them.

What we got was a giant plateful, with full portions. Though I protested when they arrived at the table, I quickly ascended to heaven. While Lauren concentrated on the Crème Brulee, that she said was fabulous and amazing, I went for the other three, and loved the lot of them.

The most creative one was the banana spring roll with toasted coconut gelato. Then came the ice cream sandwich made-up of chocolate chip cookies with peanut butter ice cream, hot fudge, and crumbled peanut brittle.

The one I loved the most, though, was the chocolate trio, which consisted of Valrona chocolate mousse, and warm chocolate cake for me, but would include white chocolate gelato for others. I’m just not a fan of white chocolate, which actually usually has nothing to do with chocolate. But that’s a story for another column.

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The owner, Jean-Luc Kleefield, has other Hampton restaurants and seems to be a man-about-town. When we print my full column about the area, I just might include one of them. But Prime 103 is the winner by far, of all the events in my very long week in the Hamptons. It just may draw me back that way for a return visit. So, I’m putting the rest of the town on notice as of now!

Prime 103 103 Montauk Highway East Hampton, New York 631-324-1100 www.prime103.com

SEPTEMBER BIRTHDAYS

And lastly, I want to wish a hearty Happy Birthday to all my pals who celebrate a September birthday. For some reason, I can never remember the ones in August, September or October. I don’t know why. Those months just always get confused for me, and I know I’ll forget them again this year. So, I’m saying it now, to all of you, and please forgive this lapse of mine. Maybe you guys should look into publicizing your dates, like I do mine. I never want to find out who’ll forget to laud me on January 14th!

 
 
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