Ever since Ted Conklin reinvented the American Hotel in 1972, it has been writing a new chapter of its long history. He hoped for a place where plumbers and carpenters would be comfortable at a bar with literary heavyweights -- and succeeded. An anteroom and four small dining rooms have an intimate feel, and the service and ambiance are both traditional and top notch. The menu is grounded in classical French cooking with some Italian or Asian additions. While some prices may top other South Fork restaurants -- a $150 seafood platter for two, for example -- the restaurant has nicely-prepared simple entrees at prices that are standard. Eggs Benedict and French toast are served on Saturdays and Sundays. The wine cellar, reputed to be the most distinguished on Long Island, has 2,500 wines available, ranging from $40 to $5,000 a bottle. The hotel has eight suites available upstairs.