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Indian Wells Tavern: Main Street Culinary Gem

Originally Posted: March 24, 2012

The front of Indian Wells Tavern in Amagansett. (Eileen Casey)

Chef Sean Rafferty. (Joe Strand)

Amagansett - If you are hungry or thirsty, and are looking for a great meal in a friendly atmosphere, then head directly to Indian Wells Tavern on Main Street in Amagansett, where you will be made to feel welcomed; where your thirst will be quenched; and where you will get some of the best food, choices and portions at reasonable prices offered at any restaurant in the Hamptons.

Owned and operated by Kevin Boles and Chris Eggert (who also own Bostwick's Chowder House) this hugely popular restaurant draws numerous locals - as for many it really is the place where everyone knows your name. Serving as hostess at our visit, General Manager (for both restaurants), Margaret Sherman, welcomes you with a smile, and keeps the atmosphere light, warm and friendly.

The decor is attractive with fantastic black and white historical photographs, chosen by the owners, adorning the brick walls. The tables and booths are comfortable and roomy, with atmospheric lighting that sets a calm, easy vibe.

Server Julie McMahon and General Manager Margaret Sherman are all smiles. (Eileen Casey)

It is always a pleasure to dine in a restaurant where the staff appear to enjoy what they do as much as diners enjoy the fare, and Indian Wells Tavern has a hard-working, cooperative staff that is as genuinely friendly as they are attentive. From our camera shy server, Julie McMahon, (see Julie - it came out great!), to server Kevin Flaherty, the staff here obviously works well together and keeps service moving smoothly and efficiently.

The tasty Artichoke and Spinach Dip. (Eileen Casey)

Even with Hamptons Restaurant Week underway and every table full, the wonderful staff never rushed anyone, and although the restaurant does not accept reservations, no worries, just have a drink, or a perfectly poured brew on tap served up by bartender with a smile, Chuck Monaco, and relax - this is a large space and any short wait is certainly worth the culinary delights.

The restaurant does offer daily specials: Mondays - Pint of beer, half-dozen wings and burger ($15); Tuesdays - Steak night ($23, or $26); Wednesdays-Fajita Night; we dined on Thursday which was Prime Rib night. Additionally, there is live music on Friday nights.

Chef Sean Rafferty has created a large menu with offerings for every palate. We began with the Artichoke/Spinach dip, served hot - this appetizer could be a meal by itself - accompanied with warm bread and tortilla chips, it is simply delicious - warm, smooth and creamy. The Prime Rib special offered a starter of mixed green salad, New England clam chowder, or Caesar salad, and immediately upon being seated a basket of warm bread and tangy spread are placed before you. We opted for the salads, but the diner next to us had the chowder which he raved about, and our salads were terrific - crisp and fresh with tangy dressings.

The substantial Prime Rib with fixings. (Joe Strand)

Remember, come hungry and you will not be disappointed, our Prime Rib cuts were cooked perfectly, with a substantial portion, including separate dippings of au jus and Bearnaise sauce, along with fresh vegetables and a baked potato. Even though the restaurant was full, there was no loud din as diners were quietly focused on savoring every bite of the absolutely delicious fare placed before them. A family with young children seated on our other side were enjoying huge burgers with trimmings that they revealed were the best burgers they'd ever had with special kudos offered up by one young boy for the "great French Fries."

The restaurant offers an extensive "Tavern" menu as well, with brunch, lunch and dinner, including a variety of soups, appetizers, garden fresh and entree salads, burgers and sandwiches, and entrees. Children's portions are offered in the main dining room as well.

The fantastic Banana Taco. (Joe Strand)

If you have any room left for dessert, try the Banana Taco (at the suggestion of Margaret) and/or the Ice Cream Sundae - you will now enter another realm - dessert heaven! Warm caramel, sliced banana, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream served in a large taco shell ensure that the Banana Taco now sits at the top of anyone's best dessert list.

You'll leave with a full stomach; with not to much damage to your wallet, and a smile on your face, having experienced a thoroughly enjoyable culinary evening.

Indian Wells Tavern is located at 177 Main Street, Amagansett, 631-267-0400.

Bostwick's Chowder House is located at 277 Pantigo Road, East Hampton, 631-324-1111, www.bostwickschowderhouse.com.

For more information, click here.

Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.


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