As Hamptons restaurants go, the Stone Creek Inn is the kind of destination people think of when they want a place with great cuisine in a polished, serene setting. Opened 20 years ago by Elaine DiGiacomo and Christian Mir, the husband-and-wife chef duo have now firmly established the inn as one of the top dining establishments on the East End.
Even now, DiGiacomo and Mir realize what a gem they landed upon. The dining room is outfitted in wainscoted walls, trayed, coffered ceilings, a plethora of arched windows, and a cozy wood-clad bar. The restaurant stays open on Thanksgiving and Mir—who is the chef—pulls out all the stops for a unique and delicious feast. As DiGiacomo and Mir prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, they offer up signature dishes and new (read: French-influenced) takes on familiar holiday classics.
Christian with the plat de résistance
KS: Do you eat at the restaurant on Thanksgiving or go home to enjoy it with your family?
Mir: The restaurant opens at 12:30 p.m. for reservations, and we stay open until 6:00 p.m. We then go home to have Thanksgiving with Elaine’s family. They’ve had a house in Westhampton for many years, and all live nearby.
Oyster and Black Truffle Soup served in a mini pumpkin
KS: Tell me about the table. How did you decide what to use? What was the theme behind your setting?
DiGiacomo: When you’re in the restaurant business, you tend to use white because it’s a good canvas for food. We started with L’Objet’s Aegen Filet Gold Dinner Plate and White Soup Plate, then layered in the Shimmer Placemat in Champagne and Flux Napkin Ring in Gold to introduce more metallic, it also provided more detail for the place setting. After all, holiday time is where things can glisten a bit more! The Paillette Goblet in Gold was the perfect glassware to tie the theme together.
As for centerpieces, I like to use flowers, especially succulents and orchids. They look great on a table and are far more stunning than flowers like roses or tulips.
When we entertain at home, we try to make it a little more European and try to take time at dinner. The best memories are always made around the table.
Distressed Double Runner in Natural and Gold creates an abstract and impactful canvas.
KS: Do you make a traditional turkey or another kind of bird?
DiGiacomo: Christian didn’t grow up with Thanksgiving, and a turkey is something they usually make at Christmas. It’s not the most flavorful bird so lends itself to all those great side dishes. We’ll make a turkey but will have another bird—a goose or duck—on the table as well. He also loves lamb, and will do a beautiful stuffed lamb saddle, too.
Mixed baby vegetables are a welcome departure from the standard green beans.
KS: Side dishes are such a big part of the Thanksgiving meal. How do you improve upon the traditional ones we all know and love?
Mir: I try to respect the traditional ones, like by putting bananas and orange juice into the sweet potatoes to give them a kind of tropical taste. We also serve the classic cranberries but always fresh ones. One of my favorite dishes is Roasted Heirloom Carrots, different organic carrots braised simply with honey, butter, salt and pepper. We like to keep it simple.
DiGiacomo: I try to keep up with my family’s love of tradition with the classic Thanksgiving sides. We’re also fortunate enough to have beautiful cheeses and truffles for our meal, things that don’t always make their way to the Thanksgiving table.
A simple but delicious side of roasted heirloom carrots
KS: Is there one ingredient you like more than another?
Mir: I love wild mushrooms and use them in our stuffing—Porcinis or Chanterelles—as well as chestnuts, also very big in France at this time of the year. I import them mostly from there or from Italy.
KS: What about pumpkin pie? Does that make a showing on your table?
Mir: Sometimes, but we like to make an Apple Crostada, which is almost like a Tarte Tatin and made with great fall apples. We top it with homemade ice cream, made with vanilla and Calvados, an apple brandy from France.
KS: Holidays aside, do you entertain at home during the rest of the year?
Mir and DiGiacomo: We do, and enjoy it but do it less than we’d like since we’re always at the restaurant. Sundays are good days for us, particularly Sunday dinner in the summer.
Elaine adding the finishing touch to the Oyster and Truffle Soup
- Preparing the meal is a lot of work. Plan the week ahead.
- Try to edit the table so each dish complements the other. It can still be bountiful without being overkill.
- Don’t overdo it. Quality over quantity is what counts.
- Enjoy your day. After all, it’s a time for family and friends, too.
Sweet Potato Puree
Makes 12 servings
4 pounds sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 banana, diced
1 cup fresh orange juice
Salt, white pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
8 oz. butter
In a large saucepan, cover the potato with water and a few dashes of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Drain and transfer the mixture to a food processor. In a medium pot, add the diced banana and orange juice. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the banana mixture to the sweet potato and puree both in a food processor. Season to taste with butter. Transfer to a hot bowl and serve.
Makes 12 servings
2 pounds of nice country bread
2 cup of mixed, sliced mushrooms, any kind
1 medium onions, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
Few sprigs fresh sage and thyme
1 cup of Chicken or vegetable broth
Heat canola oil in a medium skillet. Stir in onions, celery, sage, and thyme. Stir a few minutes, add mushrooms and cook until tender. Add cubes of bread and toss with seasoning. Add chicken stock and transfer to a baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until crisp on top.
Follow Elaine and Christian on Instagram @stonecreekinn
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Photographed by Eric Striffler