The thermometer may be near 100 elsewhere, but on the patio of Nichol’s in East Hampton, it’s temperate and breezy. There, under an umbrella, I have a lovely summer lunch.
Lobster sliders—four to an order—are made with cool lobster salad moistened with just the right amount of mayo, a bit of celery added for crunch.
Panini are made with respect on flat bread that grills up beautifully. I don’t expect to be impressed with the tomato, pesto and mozzarella panino ordered by a pal, but the ripe red tomatoes, fragrant basil and fresh mozzarella prove me wrong. A Cuban pulled-pork-and-ham panino with pickles and mustard scores another hit. And a crab burger (actually a more-than-respectable crab cake) has virtually no filler. Lime and cilantro impart extra kick.
No wonder the place always looks packed.
Nichol's is a very casual English-style pub that draws a local crowd and the occasional celebrity hoping to avoid the limelight. The restaurant has two patios that can seat 36, and there is seating for 52 indoors, plus room at the bar. The fireplace is lighted during the winter, making for a cozy atmosphere.
Nichol's bouillabaisse is popular, with shrimp, cod, mussels, scallops and lobster for $17.95. T-bone steak is $23.95, and the chicken pot pie $16.95.
Nichol's offers a prix fixe menu each night during the winter, with a choice of entree and soup, salad and dessert. It costs $19.95.
Breakfast choices include, for the very hungry, the English breakfast, with sausage, bacon, eggs, potatoes, tomato, mushrooms and fried bread for $11.95. The restaurant has not just a full bar, as Simon of Nichol's says, but a "very full bar," featuring nine draft beers, focused on English and Irish breweries. Happy hour from 5-6:30 p.m. features free hors d'oeuvres.