On the farthest tip of Long Island you will find Montauk- a hippy-chic beach town with great eats, buzzing bars and a prime oceanside location. Every summer, I make a point to visit and try something new.
To grab a quick drink or a light dinner – South Edison: Pick up some salt water taffy on the way in and park yourself at the bar of this fun and quirky beachside restaurant. Their selection of beverages has something for everyone, but particular favorites include the Coconut Thing, made with mezcal, plantation pineapple rum, fresh lemon and lime, cream of coconut, cinnamon dust. Their customizable Pickle Martinis also throw a twist on the classic cocktail, with choices from fresno chili to beet and more.
Stay for dinner and sample some great dishes like their Summer Salad (of mesclun greens, watermelon radish, sungold tomato, feta, macadamia nut and prickly pear vinaigrette) or fish dishes like their Black and Blue Scallops (with green pepper pine nut romesco, graffiti eggplant, garlic scape, asparagus, fresno chili and garlic-chive oil.) Food is made to share but with great care, and a tonne of eclectic oceanfront flavor!
To dine out – Arbor – If you’re looking for a chic yet romantic spot, this is a pretty spot on choice. This summer in particular, Arbor has a great al fresco pop up bar (in partnership with The Garret from New York) serving drinks like the rosemary cocktail (Mezcal, Aperol, rosemary infused Velvet Falernum and lemon juice,) the tarragon (rum, pineapple, tarragon and Greek yogurt) and the habanero (gin, elderflower, cucumber, habanero and lime.) Pair any of those with their tuna taco appetizer or head to the glittering inside bar for a selection of raw local seafood to start (from fresh oysters to topneck clams.)
Whether you choose to eat inside, or dine outside in their majestic outdoor garden, this menu boasts a little bit of everything. Personal favorites include their Organic Quinoa & Kale Salad with chickpea vinaigrette and the Pan Seared Scallop with cauliflower purée, asparagus spears. Paired with a crisp glass (or bottle) of Rose and some good company, Arbor very much embodies the term ‘a midsummer night’s dream.’
To get in the mix – The Grey Lady – The simple, yet charming waterfront feel of The Gray Lady, may seem calm, but don’t be suprised – this spot fills up fast at night. The bar and restaurant here provide that laid back cool, that continues to draw young New York escapees to Montauk. Come for a Gray Lady brewsky or a Spicy Watermelon Margarita (with jalapeno infused tequila, watermelon juice, agave, fresh lime juice) or stay longer and reserve a spot to dine.
Raw seafood is a must to start, as are their Mussels Escabeche with pimenton de vera oil and tuscan grilled bread. Then tuck into dishes like their Saffron Lobster and Shrimp Tortellini, with lemongrass veloute, chervil or Crispy Whole Branzino, with cherry tomato confit, grilled lemon. If you still have the energy after dinner, take it back to the bar where you’ll find a lively young scene that builds with the hours. Yet, as an all-in-one experience goes, The Gray Lady is up there, with an atmosphere that transforms from cocktail bar, to dinner spot to late night busy bar.