Life At The End
From hidden gems to thriving nightlife, beaches to trails, and fishing to leisurely boating, Montauk may just be the most diverse of all East End hamlets. It has a generations old community that still makes a living fishing the seas, bays, and harbors, and family owned and operated businesses dispersed throughout. It’s also gained notoriety in recent years, attracting a swell of millennial visitors looking for a little more Hamptons-esque experience at restaurants and bars staying open late and playing music well into the night. The Montauk real estate market is also diverse with varying properties of all sizes, styles, and locations. Whether on the ocean or tucked just slightly inland, Montauk has something for everyone.
Heading down a long stretch of Montauk Highway toward The End, there are just a few establishments that greet you along the way. The Lobster Roll, also known as Lunch thanks to its large, blue and white sign, is a local icon. The Clam Bar, a casual outdoor eatery with yellow and white umbrellas serves up traditional seafood dishes. This year, they will introduce breakfast beginning at 8 a.m. with dishes like lobster Benedict and house made gravlax. The lobster roll will be available all day. Sip on a bloody beer, similar to a Bloody Mary with beer replacing vodka, and mimosas with fresh squeezed orange juice.
Morty’s Oyster Stand is also new on Montauk Highway just before you get into the heart of town, replacing the former Cyril’s. Jeremy Morton and Jack Luber have partnered with Charles Seich of Ferris in New York City to create a casual, cool and refined restaurant and bar inspired by sustainable seafood, East Coast oysters, and coastal cuisine. Chef Sam Talbot, who first put The Surf Lodge in Montauk on the map, heads up the kitchen at the restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. A rotating list of oysters will be brought in daily, along with a raw bar of littleneck clams, shrimp cocktail, and Maine Uni. Other dishes include whitefish and summer squash ceviche with local fresh herbs, cioppino with local seafood and grilled bread, marinated hanger steak with mushroom chimichurri and garlicky greens, and more. For dessert, try grilled pineapple with black sesame and coconut caramel.
“We feel incredibly lucky to bring new life to a location that has a deep history in the community,” Morton shares. “At Morty’s Oyster Stand our focus is to bring exceptional food and drink to our guests in a casual and refined setting. In the long term we will be looking for creative ways to contribute to the community’s well-being by focusing on our eco footprint and our local product sourcing. We have a deep sense of pride operating a business in Amagansett and are committed to having a positive impact on its residents.”
Passing the trails to the Walking Dunes and through curving roads, one enters the heart of Montauk. Right on Main Street, Harbor Pet has opened a second location, the first being in Greenport. The boutique pet store and gift shop also offers dog grooming. Find funny gifts for family and friends of all ages at HaHa Gift, which aims to bring laughter to all. Looking for a great Mexican food spot? New in town is El Taco Olé, offering authentic flavors, fresh ingredients, and an outdoor garden.
There is always plenty to do and see and places to stay in Montauk. Restaurant Navy Beach is celebrating its 10th season, and will highlight throwback specials including past season favorites like the lobster tagliatelle and red curry coconut tilefish. There will also be special retail collaborations available at this notable waterfront spot. Solé East will play host to a retail pop up this summer as well. Lost and Found by J Friedman will launch their third collection at the Lost and Found Beach Shack at the resort this summer. The Beach Shack will merge founders Jenny and Jessica Friedman’s brand with a select group of like-minded partners to create a unique, Montauk- inspired retail environment with a highly curated selection of brands that all celebrate a passion for a beach-inspired life. “With a proven brand concept and two very successful seasons behind us, we have seen the lasting appeal for our brand with some of Montauk’s most discerning residents and visitors,” the founders share. “We know that our clients will frequent a retail concept that embodies the spirit and lifestyle authentic to this special place at the end of the world.”
You can’t have summer on the East End without rosé. Montauk Wine Company has kicked off 2019 with a new vintage of their Montauk Summer Rosé as well as their Montauk Great White. Both vintages are crafted from North Fork grapes and are a unique blend creating a taste reminiscent of Montauk in the summertime. Harvested, blended and bottled by Premium Wine Group in Mattituck, both wines emphasize quality and offer a limited production.
The rosé is a blend of Syrah, Malbec and merlot grapes while the white blend consists of viognier, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and Riesling. “These are perfect wines for a summer in the Hamptons or for city rooftops,” says owner Anneris Blair. “Enjoy their clean and refreshing taste and with cool new labels they are a must for any occasion while entertaining this summer. If you can’t make it to Montauk, it’s the next best thing!”
For a more laidback experience, heading to the furthest points east of Montauk you will find the iconic Montauk Lighthouse looking out over sandy bluffs and the Atlantic Ocean. Camp Hero offers maritime forests and surf fishing. On the other side, Montauk County Park looks out onto Block Island Sound. There is plenty more in-between.
Whatever the summer experience you seek may be, Montauk is the cool, casual place to be. More laidback than the Hamptons, it embodies the true beach lifestyle that still makes it a sleepy seaside town in the offseason. Worth exploring year-round, Montauk is the perfect location to visit, live, and play.