The best summers begin and end at The End. Savor the last few days of the season at the 4th Annual Montauk Seafood Festival Sept. 10-11, which allows fish fanatics to sample the Island’s best bounty while peering out at the harbor. From shellfish to burgers to refreshing brews, director Laura Mastandrea filled me on the must-try vendors at this year’s anticipated event.
Mediterranean-style cuisine is the name of the game at this casual yet elegant eatery, which opened in May. Diners can enjoy sea-to-table service with dense black and striped bass straight from the Atlantic. They’re planning to bring the raved-about tuna tartare, which is hand diced and complemented by avocado, tempura bits and a delicate soy ginger daikon dressing.
What started out as a small chowder stand in 1943 has evolved to an iconic docking stop. One bite of their New England clam chowder is worth a visit offseason. The staff makes it with potatoes, onion, fresh clams and thyme for a finish that’s creamy and hearty in all the right ways.
Chef Peter Ambrose & Endless Summer Group
Summer isn’t complete without an order of Ambrose’s baby toasted Montauk lobster rolls. Deep cold-water lobster, mayo, celery, lemon, salt and pepper and a little dry mustard dressed on top are tastebud heaven. But the real secret is in the buns. Grilled for about a minute with old bay butter, the dough is extra indulgent.
Saltbox reflects the nautical character of the East End, but adds an Asian twist. Try the Asian shrimp, tossed with ginger and soy and drizzled in a medium spicy sriracha aioli. Or get salty with the Yellowfin tuna poke. It’s served with a ponzu sauce, hijiki seaweed salad, heirloom cherry tomatoes and shaved carrots.
Choose from one (or more) of the four unique meal venues that offer soulful Italian classics, American favorites, artisanal coffees and light recipes from the grill. Their Kashian seafood steam pot offers a little bit of everything. They’re mum on the secret recipe—you’ll have to visit their booth to see (and of course taste) what they whip up.