When you imagine the Hamptons, ‘laid back’ may not be the first phrase that comes to mind. Montauk is unique – what many have described as the ‘anti-Hamptons,’ in being the perfect combination of relaxed and chic.
Every year I visit, I discover new restaurants, incredible bars and seaside escapes that provide the ultimate beachside experience. If you want to kick back and chill, you can find your zen by the ocean, or party your way from one hip bar to another. Montauk truly caters to whatever kind of experience you are looking for in a weekend escape.
Montauk Beach House – My favorite boutique spot in Montauk to indulge in. This hip and edgy hotel holds chill out pool parties every weekend that are more rose and unwind than rave. Deep house beats and luxury lounge beds surround two gorgeous glittering pools. There’s also Poolside; a eclectic pop up shop that sells everything from hawaiian coconut oil to designer bikinis. Order up a couple mojitos (or pitchers of mojitos) and some tapas, lean back and enjoy the audience of others looking to really let go. The design and decor of the hotel itself is true beach-chic with exposed wood and gunmetal features, accented by clean linen. Rooms are cooling, calming and fashionably simplistic, which is perfect after a long day between the pool and beach (located a 3 minute walk away.)
Arbor – New to Montauk are the additions of Arbor and Duryea’s Lobster Deck; both wonderful choices. On this trip however, I stopped at Arbor to try dinner. I was suprised by the upscale elegance of Arbor, a mediterranean inspired restaurant, decorated with glittering hanging lights and accented with marble and wood. Being near the ocean, seafood is a must and their oysters and raw bar choices were nothing short of excellent. The beef carpaccio was some of the best I have tried, especially when accompanied by a refreshing cucumber and watermelon salad. As for their main dishes, you cannot go wrong with their surf and turf or their pappardelle king crab dish with mussels, confit tomatoes, arugula pesto & bottargua. Sip this all down with a choice of some excellent vino, and you won’t be disappointed!
South Edison – I always make a point to stop here, because there are a few things on this menu, you simply won’t find anywhere else (and also because of the salt water taffy bucket on entrance that I go weak for!) South Edison has a more laid back charm to it, but the food is hardly simplistic. My favorite way to tackle the menu is to try a few sharing dishes – including the spicy tuna blt chalupa (insanely good with smoked bacon crumble, heirloom tomato, curry aioli, crema & corn tortilla,) rock shrimp (with pickled ginger) and the pan seared sea scallops (with glass noodles, roasted yellow pepper-hazelnut romesco, beech mushrooms and lollipop kale.) Also be sure to try their making it famous cocktail with chili infused mezcal, avocado, lime, aperol, grapefruit liquor.
Montauk has a little something for every mood. The surf can be world class here and it’s easy to rent boards or grab a lesson at a nearby surf school. Many great views, beaches and bars can be reached by bike, which is popular way to get around the area and also get some exercise. Want to stroll through the town, grab and ice cream and soak up the summer sun? That’s also another option. And of course, there’s the beach, which is the ultimate lure to this magical area.