August 18, 2003 | Ask Gael
What suits a summer appetite in the Hamptons?
        I’m always in the mood for Nick & Toni’s (136 North Main Street, East Hampton; 631-324-3550) for its homey family feel. Everything emerging from Joe Realmuto’s kitchen is big and rustic and slyly rich—salads fresh from nearby fields, lively pastas as well as whole roasted branzino from the wood oven. Morels and leeks prop up wild salmon, and pan-roasted scallops are boldly paired with fatty caramelized nuggets of bacon. There’s a new owner and a late-night bar crowd at Farmhouse (341 Montauk Highway, East Hampton; 631-324-8585), but the kitchen lineup is unchanged, still searing my favorite horseradish-crusted salmon on beet risotto and turning out superlative profiteroles. The weekday $22.95 prix fixe is served till seven on weekends. It’s a drudge driving to East Quogue from my East Hampton cottage, but we dare it for the country elegance of Stone Creek Inn (405 Montauk Highway, East Quogue; 631-653-6770), for the $28 prix fixe (Monday through Thursday), and for chef-owner Christian Mir’s skillful French ways with crisp Scottish salmon and whipped potatoes on lemon beurre blanc as well as his grilled pork chop with a wonderful hash of chopped asparagus, artichoke, and Yukon golds. Besides, where else on this strip will you find coq au vin?

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