Last weekend, I headed out to the Hamptons to celebrate my friend Carl’s birthday. Despite a somewhat ominous forecast, we had high hopes that the sun would be stubborn and we’d leave feeling refueled Vitamin-D. Alas, there were torrential downpours on the day/night of Carl’s birthday, but we weren’t going to let it ruin our evening!
We decided to branch out from the smaller town of Quogue for a night out in Southampton after receiving a press release announcing the launch of the Southampton Social Club‘s fifth summer season with chef Scott Kampf. We were lucky enough to get squeezed into one of the best tables in the house for our dinner, situated in the covered back patio with views of the normally-bustling lawn.
The pouring rain likely had something to do with our ability to get such a prime table. I would highly recommend requesting outdoor seating when you book a meal, regardless of weather. The ambiance is very “polo chic”; it feels like summer with the white breezy curtains, beachy umbrellas, green cushion accents and grassy lounge lawn.
We were in a festive mood and immediately ordered a round of cocktails, which were all delicious. My favorite was the social cooler, with jalapeno infused Don Julio tequila. watermelon puree, fresh lime, rocks. Drinks all cost you a pretty penny at $16 per cocktail, so our cocktails alone sky rocketed our bill.
We were pretty aggressive on the starters, which ended up being a blessing because they were the best part of the meal. First, we shared the burrata caprese and lobster rolls, which were standard but great. The tuna tacos were Paul’s favorite, with fresh tuna, pomegranate mango pico de gallo, chipotle cream, and fresh avocado. Appetizers range from $17-$22, but they are healthy portions and good for groups.
We also shared the Shinnecock oysters on the half shell on the side, which were extremely fresh and delicious and served with a balsamic cocktail sauce. There wasn’t a weak link in the appetizer section, and if I were to return, I would order even more appetizers and skip the entrees.
For dinner, my selection was the standout. The Carribean spiced mahi-mahi with sweet potato hash, cucumber relish, passion fruit buerre-blanc was bold in flavor and was fitting for its Hamptons setting. I’m a sucker for anything sweet potato, and though I wouldn’t normally pair this with fish, it really worked well.
Paul ordered the lobster orecchiette with Maine lobster, shitake mushrooms, local corn, spinach, heirloom tomatoes, cognac lobster consomme’. Though it sounded delicious, it was really lacking in flavor, which wasn’t cool for its $38 price tag. So, the mains overall were a hit and a miss, but my mahi was worth ordering.
When we’d finished our dinner and drank enough rounds of cocktails to feed a small army, the rain died down and the back patio started really filling up. Servers started clearing tables as we stubbornly claimed our prime people-watching table, surveying the evening transition.
The Social Club transformed from a sleepier rainy evening to a bustling night scene. Champagne bottles with sparklers were whisked to tables that appeared to convert from food to bottle service and the DJ started spinning loud jams.
If I returned again, I would make a later reservation, re-book a table outside and I would just do appetizers and cocktails, unless I was committed to a very pricey night out. I liked the versatility of SHSC and how quickly they transformed from dining to party, and I would go there knowing I was having a full night out with friends.
Southampton Social Club
256 Elm Street
All photos courtesy of Southampton Social Club.