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Montauk Beckons

The season is in full swing in Montauk. Surf’s up and waves of wellness are washing over the hotels and restaurants. There’s enough crudo to sink a fishing boat, but not to worry about a shortage of burgers and fries or the iconic lobster rolls. Some very high-end chefs are on the scene and more keep coming. They only add to the allure of the world class surfing and fishing that define “The End.”

“Montauk draws outdoor enthusiasts,” says Corcoran’s Helen Stubbmann. “It’s the fishing capital of the world and has one of the best surf breaks on the East Coast. The views, the beauty, the water are everywhere.”

The Montauk Yacht Club, originally built in 1928, has reopened this season after a multimillion-dollar renovation. It is now managed by Proper Hospitality which is making its East Coast debut, but ownership remains in the hands of Safe Harbor Marinas. It boasts the largest marina in the Hamptons with 200 wet slips that can accommodate everything from small day cruisers to 300-foot super yachts. 

Montauk Yacht Club

The Ditch Plains beach famous for surfing is less than three miles away. Tennis courts were upgraded, and pickle ball courts added. There are elevated wellness offerings, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and a spa opening this month. A new Ocean Club Montauk restaurant is helmed by Chef Jared McCarroll who is envisioning an East Coast version of his Ocean Club St. Barth’s. No doubt he will be welcoming customers who frequent his island location in the winter. “You’re kind of at the top of your game and you’re part of an exclusive club when you’re here already,” McCarroll says in a podcast interview. Expect red snapper tartare and wood-roasted beef with smoked beetroot ketchup.

More international flair is on offer at Mostrador at the newish Marram resort where a chef and restaurateur behind popular restaurants in Uruguay and Argentina hold sway. Their newest offering is a sizable paella. Marram, named for the beach grass that grows on the dunes, sits right on the ocean in the middle of an $11 million beach restoration project that stretches from Montauk to Fire Island. 

Photo: Read McKendree

It was recently purchased by KSL Capital for $78.5 million. Surf lessons are given here as well as yoga, guided meditation sessions, crystal workshops, tarot card readings and s’mores at duneside fire pits.

Mads Refslund
Photo: Evan Sung

If you never made it to Noma in Copenhagen, co-founder Mads Refslund, now of Ilis in Brooklyn, will be featured at a pop-up orchestrated by Brooklyn’s Fulgurances in collaboration with sustainable seafood wholesaler Dock to Dish, at Inlet Seafood Restaurant. Other top chefs in the four-dinner series from this month to August 26th include Nicholas Tamburo (Claud), Victoria Blamey (Blanca), and Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson (Frenchette). The Mads Refslund dinner is July 29

Ever popular Duryea’s is adding four stand-alone Sunset Cottages this month and doubling the size of its boutique. “There are very few offerings that combine good food and beverage hospitality with quality lodging,” says managing director Steven Jauffrineau. “There’s a clear shift toward wellness happening and we also notice it on the restaurant side with more demand for mocktails.” 

Chef Philippe Corbet of Duryea’s

Corporate chef Philippe Corbet oversees all the food operations in Montauk as well as at the Orient Point location and LuLu in Sag Harbor. The generous lobster roll will always be a best seller but there are clams and oysters and a soaring seafood tower.

Chef Dean Sayles and Piero Zangarini have opened a dock and dine spot called N’Amo (Italian for fishhook) in the former Le Fin space.

A new spot called Placebo, which highlights Puerto Rican flavors, is now open at Ruschmeyer’s Hotel, a lively part of the party scene.

Casa Serena will feed the Page Six celebs, political progeny and other party goers at the Surf Lodge where Chef Robert Sieber rides the range. Caviar, crudo, and grilled sea bass are on the menu.

Navy Beach
Photo: Noah Fecks

A new live music schedule announced for Navy Beach restaurant includes CK Beats, Lina Maxine, and DJ Scotty. The restaurant is known for prime sunset views and one of the largest selections of rosé wines in the Hamptons. The restaurant’s philanthropic efforts center around its support of the Navy SEAL Foundation, for which Navy Beach has raised over $175,000 since 2013.

Solé East is emerging from a winter refresh/redesign. The restaurant now includes a warm and summery feel with natural colors of white and dark wood accented with new furniture indoors and outdoors, seagrass chairs, and ambient lighting. There are pop up wellness programs and pool parties on weekends as well as pop up retail shows. Yoga is offered to hotel guests on weekend through Yoga Lila.

Solé East
Photo: Eric Striffler

The Montauk Beach House Bar & Grill now has a Greek accent with Molyvos alum Andres Zeron. Menu items such as lamb burgers with goat’s milk feta and cumin aioli, beef kebabs and dill-accented Greek salad will be served on the lawn with produce infused drinks from Mikola Jablanovic formerly of the Surf Lodge. A Melon Picante made with ghost pepper tequila and watermelon juice is hot stuff.

Scarpetta at the Beach

The queen of the wellness trend is still renovated Gurney’s Resort and Seawater Spa, the luxury resort right on a spectacular Atlantic beach. It’s 30,000 square foot Seawater Spa and Bathhouse features an indoor saltwater pool and a full menu of wellness amenities and spa treatments such as thalassotherapy. Even super fit guests get hungry. Scarpetta at the Beach helmed by chef Jorge Espinoza is ready to indulge them with a modern Italian menu featuring half a dozen crudi, pastas such as short rib and bone marrow agnolotti, and a selection of fresh fish.

Gurney’s Resort & Seawater Spa

Between all the surfing and dining, be sure not to miss the Montauk Point Lighthouse commissioned by George Washington in 1792.

Beverly Stephen writes about design, food, travel, and lifestyle. She is the former executive editor of Food Arts magazine, and now the co-owner of Flavor Forays, a culinary travel company.