Brunch at Highway Restaurant and Bar and an Interview with Chef Finney


I have been dining at Highway Restaurant and Bar since this past spring. Since my first dinner when I first enjoyed their Steamed Pork Buns and Split Roasted Organic Chicken, I have been back about four or five times, most often with my father-in-law who loves to frequent here for lunch on the weekends, and dinner during the weekdays. The restaurant opened under its current name in winter of 2014.

I can see why he loves coming here: the staff is delightful and genuinely courteous, and the dishes are hearty and flavorful. I am very pleased with the decor, which reminds me of a traditional Hamptons country dining room with the square bookshelf near the booths that run along the wall the cozy fireplace that divides the dining space with the spacious bar area.

For this visit, I came for brunch and also to meet and speak with Chef Justin Finny. Brunch entrees include Alaskan King Crab Cakes with poached egg ($28), Spinach & Herb Omelette ($16), and Stack of Pancakes with apple strudel ($18). I ordered Eggs Benedict with Canadian Bacon ($18), and a side of Potato Croquettes ($14). Additional sides include Sweet Fennel Sausage ($12) and Baked Beans ($7).

The eggs Benedict were served warm with the eggs cooked through perfectly: through but with some runny yolk in the middle. The English muffins were also toasted medium, and it was served with a refreshing arugula side salad. The potato croquettes were crispy, and finger-licking delicious. I would order this exact combo again.

Chef Finney first arrived in the Hamptons in 2005 from Ohio. Previously, he worked at Meeting House, Nick and Toni’s, and Rowdy Hall. His position here was recommended by a mutual close friend and he has taking a huge role in transforming Highway Restaurant and Bar to the hyped-about dining spot it is now.

“We are constantly changing our menu. The original menu we opened with, for example, is completely different from what we offer now,” explains Finney. “We make everything here from the pastries, and ice cream to everything on the Thai menu that is unique to all of us. I am lucky to utilize ingredients that are not traditionally used [on the East End] including palm sugar, Thai chilies, and kaffir limes. We don’t Americanize any of the dishes and we get many of our ingredients for the Thai dishes in New York City.”

“The selections from brunch have been fun to curate and is very unique to what we serve for lunch and dinner,” adds Finney. “The lunch menu is quaint and includes a hamburger and chicken club.”

View their full brunch, in addition to their lunch, dinner, Thai special, and dessert menu here. Their menu is a twist of contemporary American with sprinkles of cultural delicacies throughout the world. Recently, they have branched out to include different ethnic cuisines from Asia, and Greece, for example.

Mondays are Chicken Pot Pie night, on Wednesdays, all pasta dishes are $20 including the ever-popular John Eggplant Parmigiana. Thursdays is there 3-course Thai many for $35: “Thai Way @ the Highway.” Also on Thursdays, select items are also available from menu. Saturdays, there is a lunch menu from 12-3pm and brunch is served on Sunday from 11am-3pm.

On the Thai menu, the Thai Green Curry and (local) Flounder Yellow Curry are two of the most popular dishes on that menu. All of their pastas are made on the premises. The Fusilli with pork ragu is one of their most requested pasta dishes.

The story behind introducing a Thursday Thai menu to Highway Restaurant and Bar was from Executive Chef’s Anand Sastry spending three months at Amanpuri Resort in Thailand, working alongside some of the best Thai chefs, and learning the authentic way the Thai chefs prepare and execute traditional Thai cuisine. During his culinary residency, he also took two weeks to learn “Street Cooking” at Blue Elephant Phuket.

The bar opens at 4pm on weekdays and at noon on the weekends. Dining hours are 5-9pm Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, and 5-10pm Friday and Saturday. The restaurant also offers takeout.The restaurant is currently closed on Tuesdays. // 631-527-5372


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