All day it was raining cats and dogs in the Hamptons (with severe flooding in some areas), but I was determined to make it to dinner at Race Lane in East Hampton. Boy, am I glad I did because it turned out to be one of the most memorable dining experiences ever, thanks to Executive Chef Nimesh Maharjan. The atmosphere inside the dining room was casual and cozy, and we were seated in a comfy corner booth. I knew it was going to be a great night when I saw my favorite Pinot Noir, Flowers, on the wine list. Naturally, I had to order it! The night got better and better with each dish that came out. We began our meal with a lovely Montauk pearl oyster — it had a sweet start (from the blood orange granita) and a tangy finish (thanks to the radish mignonette). Such a unique combination! One of the specials of the night was a roasted garlic soup with oven cured guanciale, toasted hazelnuts, chili oil, chive blossoms, and preserved lemon. I’ve never had a soup like it before — it had great textures and layers of flavor. We also ordered a few other specials (since they all sounded so good) — the chicken thigh confit (which was cooked for fourteen hours, making it incredibly tender and moist) and the black truffle risotto (creamy and decadent with a very generous portion of shaved black truffles). So far, everything was delightful.
Our next course consisted of homemade pastas — gnocchi with lobster, morels & truffle butter and “Old School Bolognese” (tagliatelle, fontina burro fusso, and parmesan). You’d think we were in an Italian restaurant — these pastas were perfectly cooked al dente and full of flavor. My favorite was the bolognese (it was creamy, meaty, cheesy, and just perfect). We received a refreshing palate cleanser (with a kick!) before the fifth course came out. It was time for some meat: a grilled Berkshire pork chop with bacon scallion pancakes, cherry gastric & haricot vert and braised beef short ribs with whipped potatoes, baby carrots, beets & horseradish gremolata. Oh my goodness. The pork chop was the literally the best I’ve ever had — it was so insanely juicy! The short ribs were fatty and luscious, just how I like them. All of the accompaniments were very tasty and complemented the meats really well. Plus we had some lobster mac & cheese and parmesan truffle fries on the side, just in case there wasn’t enough food. (As if!) 😉
We were celebrating a family member’s birthday that night, and Chef Nimesh surprised us with the most delicious lemon cake — that he had baked himself that morning! What a thoughtful and generous gesture! I am normally not a cake eater, but I have to say that I really enjoyed this cake — it was incredibly moist and buttery. I also ordered the upside down apple pie with creme anglais and vanilla ice cream because I love apple pie. We had the great pleasure of meeting and chatting with Chef Nimesh — he came out to greet us when we first arrived and stopped by several times to introduce the courses and explain each dish. It was wonderful to get to know him and hear about his journey in the culinary world thus far. Chef Nimesh is incredibly talented and has a long, successful career ahead of him. His food is elegant, creative, and absolutely delicious — and I am his biggest fan after tonight’s dinner. Thank you so much, Chef, for making our experience at Race Lane an unforgettable one. We cannot wait to return next month!
Race Lane: 31 Race Lane, East Hampton, NY
Thrilled to find Flowers, my favorite Pinot Noir, on the wine list!
MONTAUK PEARL OYSTERS (radish mignonette, blood orange granita)
ROASTED GARLIC SOUP (oven cured guanciale, toasted hazelnuts, preserved lemon, chive blossoms, chili oil)
Black Truffle Risotto
CHICKEN CONFIT (pickled beets, pickled ramps, pickled mushrooms, micro arugula)
Chef Nimesh sent out two extra pieces of chicken confit to munch on!
HOUSE ROLLED GNOCCHI (local lobster, morels, truffle butter, English peas, tarragon)
OLD SCHOOL BOLOGNESE (tagliatelle, fontina burro fusso, parmesan)
Refreshing palate cleanser (with a kick!)
GRILLED BERKSHIRE PORK CHOP (bacon scallion pancake, haricot vert, cherry gastric)
A slice of the grilled pork chop (so juicy!)
BRAISED SHORT RIBS (whipped potatoes, baby carrots, beets, horseradish gremolata)
Close up of the braised short rib
Lobster Mac & Cheese
Parmesan Truffle Fries
Birthday cake baked by Chef Nimesh himself!
Lemon cake with blueberries
UPSIDE DOWN APPLE PIE (crème anglaise, vanilla ice cream)
The dining room