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Showtime: "Classic" eating

Copa Wine & Tapas serves up is small

Copa Wine & Tapas serves up is small plates in Bridgehampton. (Sept. 3, 2009) Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Between the earthquake and the hurricane comes the 2011 Hampton Classic, the major horsey event of the season.

Even if you don't know the difference between dressage and jump-off, oxers and standards, the festivities are hard to resist, for their equine activities and social studies.

If you're in the neighborhood, (the show runs Aug. 28- Sept. 4) and aren't in the running for the $250K prize, here are three spots for a very good meal at very fair prices.

I'm partial to MUSE, which in full is MUSE Aquatic Bar & Lounge. It's a creative, full-flavored restaurant. Look for the theme dishes. The "deep south sampler" includes fried chicken, shrimp and grits, biscuits and gravy. "Not ya Mama's meatballs" combines Italian, Asian, Swedish and Thanksgiving styles. MUSE is at 760 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill; 631-726-3606.

Townline BBQ is blunt and good. Go for the beef and pork ribs, smoked brisket, pulled pork and those "burnt ends." Some coleslaw and cornbread also contribute to a fine, messy meal. Townline is at 3593 Montauk Hwy., Sagaponack; 631-537-2271.

And for a taste of tapas: Copa Wine Bar and Tapas Restaurant. Nibble on some Iberico ham, try the Manchego cheese, sample the garlic shrimp and the grilled bread rubbed with tomato, garlic and olive oil. Toast the ponies. Copa, 95 School St., Bridgehampton; 631-613-6469.

Near the Classic ...

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