1770 House Tavern a Good Pit Stop between Screenings

The following is excerpted from Laura Donnelly's restaurant review in this week's Star. More ideas for meals on the go can be found in the Star's Restaurant Guide: easthamptonstar.com/restaurants.

It's Columbus Day weekend AND the Hamptons International Film Festival is on the East End so I know all of you ladies and gentlemen and black-clad cinephiles want to know where to eat. With movies being shown in 6 locations from Southampton to Montauk your dining options are plentiful.

However, if you check the HIFF website looking for places to eat you may be steered in an out-of-date direction. Some of the recommendations are: Rugosa. Oops, closed. Now the excellent Highway Diner. Spring Close, closed, Copa, gone, Almond, moved, Turtle Crossing, defunct. The only restaurants in Sag Harbor mentioned are The Corner Bar and Il Cappuccino. Really?

This is not a dining guide for this upcoming weekend. If you want to know where to eat, within any price range, in any of the villages showing movies this weekend, ask a local. In East Hampton, Rowdy Hall, Sam's, Cittanuova, and Nick and Toni's are favorites.

This is a review of one of my favorite fall and winter spots, the Tavern downstairs at 1770 House. 1770 House is a beautifully restored inn with pretty rooms, a charming garden in back, a little cottage, and basically 2 restaurants.

The upstairs restaurant is comfortable but more formal. Take the tiny, winding stairs down to the tavern and you have 2 options. Turn right and you are in the small bar area with a few tables, a fireplace, and the ubiquitous flat screen TV. Turn left and you are in another small cozy dining room, rather like an underground pub.

People who dine here have strong opinions. Some don't like the dimly lit atmosphere and the feeling of being underground in close quarters. I adore it. The grey green wooden banquettes wrap around the small room and have plush paisley cushions. Lighting is provided by dim sconces and votive candles.

The Tavern menu at 1770 House seems shorter, more streamlined than it used to be but this is o.k. since, as mentioned before, you can order from the upstairs menu as well. It includes oysters, salads, and soup to start and burgers, salmon, roasted chicken, and meatloaf as entrees. Executive chef Kevin Penner put 1770 House on the map when they opened over 10 years ago. It is now in the professional and capable hands of another former Della Femina chef, Michael Rozzi.

1770 House is on the expensive side but it must be noted, there are always good values on the menu and their prix fixe menus through the winter are the best out here. Whether you want a grand filet mignon with Bordelaise emulsion or a simple wild mushroom pizza, 1770 House will have a variety of choices for you, offered in a cozy, professional, and welcoming atmosphere.

1770 House
143 Main Street
East Hampton
open for dinner nightly