Restaurant Review: Luce & Hawkins

Anyone who knows me knows I love food. And not just any food I can shove into my mouth (I am not a big snacker or junk-food lover), but good, outrageously delicious food.

Since Binghamton is not exactly the home of fine-cuisine, coming home from school for any amount of time gives me a chance to run back to all my favorite restaurants: Xaga in Hewlett, NY for the best local sushi, Urban Lobster Shack in NYC for an unbeatably cheap and delicious lobster roll, my favorite Indian food at Santoor Indian Restaurant in Floral Park, Queens and many other of my food-staples.

When I went out to Jamesport, NY for Labor Day weekend (yes, I know this is a little delayed…), I didn’t expect to sit down for a mind blowing meal. I was attending a Bat Mitzvah and a brunch – both had delicious food, but it wasn’t gourmet eating.

However, my “partner in crime” suggested we stop for food on our way home Sunday night. We pulled into the Jedediah Hawkins Inn, which houses the Luce & Hawkins restaurant.

When we first arrived, I was in awe. The outside looks like a quaint home, and is pristine and gorgeous with a fountain sitting in the middle of the perfectly green grass. We were seated in the sunroom (after waiting for the phone lines to stop ringing off the hook), which is literally 3 walls and a roof of all windows, allowing for the most natural, beautiful light to filter through.

The menu was outstanding and it took us a few minutes to decide on what we’d have. Although normally an adventurous eater, I decided on a double burger, while my “PIC” went with a triple one, having big eyes. We ordered macked-out cheese (macaroni and cheese with truffle sauce and other delicious confections added in), coconut and jasmine rice, and french fries as our side dishes, accompanied by white wine.

We were started off with homemade bread that literally melted in your mouth, and deliciously refreshing water, served to us in vintage milk jars.

After devouring an entire plate of bread, we were presented with the main course:

Both burgers were enough to feed small armies. The plates were all minimalistic and simple, which is always my favorite.

Not only were we lucky enough to have such a delicious meal, Chef Luce’s mother and her two lovely friends happened to be seated next to us. After the size of the triple burger catching even their attention, we found out that Chef Luce had no formal training: only apprenticeships and his own experimentation. We learned that he had worked as President Clinton’s personal chef before the age of 30. We were both beyond impressed.

The women also let us taste some of their food: we were given a tuna wonton (fluffy wonton with raw tuna inside), as well as duck wings in the most delicious sauce. We were also able to meet Chef Luce himself when he greeted his mother and her friends.

It was an overall amazing experience and my only complaint is that I’ll be at school eating Sodexo‘s food selection in the cafeteria instead of going back to Jamesport for Luce & Hawkins this semester.

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