East End Eats: Agave, Que Noche!

Mexican meets sports bar: Agave has 20 beers on tap, but its cuisine largely failed to impress The Star’s reviewer. Morgan McGivern

    If a sports bar blasting Blink 182 and offering 20 beers on tap is your idea of a good time, then Agave is for you. The black bean soup is very good. My compliments end there, in the second sentence of this review.
    Agave is a new restaurant that has opened in Bridgehampton in the spot previously occupied by Almond. Some of the walls have been painted a dark red, some a dark yellow. There are some entertaining movie posters en Espanol, such as the Beatles’ “Que Noche la de Aquel Dia.” There are five flat-screen TVs, some empty whiskey barrels out front, and some crap on the floor of the back dining room, so I guess this room is not in use yet.
    Upon being seated we got some pretty good salsa and chips. We began our meal with nachos with chicken, mini sushi tacos, Mexican mussels, and black bean soup. The nachos were average, the grilled chicken served with it tasteless. The beans were underneath the pile of chips and some canned, sliced, pitted olives came in a little dish beside the nachos. The dollop of guacamole was a few slices of mushed avocado, not really seasoned, not really chopped up.
    The mini sushi tacos were described as “sushi-grade seared tuna with roasted corn, roasted red pepper, lime, cilantro, and mango-avocado salsa served with queso fresco, guacamole, and sour cream on the side.” They were four small taco shells with completely raw tuna inside with a toothpaste tube-like squirt of sour cream atop the whole. We told them we thought the tuna was supposed to be seared, as stated on the menu. Much confusion ensued. We ate it as-is, sour cream on raw tuna. Can you taste it? The mango-avocado salsa served alongside it was good, though.
    The Mexican mussels were okay, though the broth was a bit bland and the dish was served with flour tortillas. We were a bit mystified by this accompaniment — the tortillas served no purpose, they couldn’t absorb the broth.
    We all agreed the black bean soup was very good, and there was a big, generous bowlful. It tasted fresh and had a hint of garlic and vinegar.
    For entrees we tried the beef burrito, carne asada, shrimp on skewers, and the fish of the day, which was mahimahi. The beef burrito was huge and mostly full of rice. The guacamole was once again, large pieces of avocado with nary a sprig of cilantro, a whisper of jalapeno, or dice of red onion. Muy blando.
    The carne asada was a nicely seasoned and grilled piece of skirt steak with what appeared to be a tomatillo sauce out of a jar, tasteless olive green stuff. The shrimp on skewers were served barely warm on a cold plate with rice that had turned brittle from age and refrigeration. The mahimahi was a bit overdone and the mushrooms were a peculiar, nay, jarring topping. The desserts offered are churros, cheesecake, and ice cream. We were informed that all are frozen, so we took a pass.
    Agave has a very expensive menu. Appetizers and bar offerings are $4 to $19. Entrees are $14.99 to $29.00, salads are $7 to $22.99, and burgers $9.99 to $19.99.
    Our waitress was pleasant and efficient. The restaurant was busy on the night we went and everybody was eating their food. I have come to the conclusion that if you open a restaurant anywhere on Montauk Highway in the summertime, you will have customers. We unanimously gave the food a grade of C-. One guest remarked “I feel like we’re stuck in an airline terminal and this was the only place open to eat.” Okay, I said it.
    So there you have it. Bean soup. Beer. Blink 182. Que noche la de aquel dia.