The Sunset Of Summer

All good things must eventually come to an end, and that includes summer. As sad as it is to part ways with the season of plenty, there are still a few reasons to celebrate. While the season is still at its finest, make sure to check in at the best restaurants of summer. These places are only open seasonally, so get there while you still can. 

Montauk is flush with great options this year, but not all of them will be serving into fall and winter. This includes the decade-long stalwart, The Crow’s Nest, a magnificent restaurant and hotel perched on a hill overlooking Lake Montauk. Your dinner there (timed at sunset, if you’re lucky) should definitely include the lobster fettuccini, a rich dish studded with poached lobster and blistered cherry tomatoes. Wash it down with a cold, bubbly glass of Lambrusco, a nearly purple sparkling wine from northern Italy that The Crow’s Nest thankfully serves by the glass. This is possibly the South Fork’s most romantic restaurant, so make a trip there your highest priority. 

Another Montauk classic only open in season (although they stay on with limited hours through October) is the Westlake Fish House. Located next to one of Montauk’s fishing marinas, this is a casual, fish-forward restaurant that boasts the riches of the sea. A formidable sushi selection highlights fish from the docks, and a robust menu with plenty of options for all types of eaters makes this spot a go-to. Westlake Fish House also boasts an exemplary frozen drink program, and most locals will agree that their piña colada can outpace any of the others on the East End. Outside, in a courtyard that overlooks the marina, wandering guests can play ring toss while they slurp the last cold remnants of that summery drink. 

Once summer ends, Sag Harbor’s Beacon closes, and that’s objectively sad news. Beacon boasts a picture-perfect sunset nightly, with a long, narrow dining deck that faces the water. While the sun sinks into the Bay, munch on crispy fish tacos with salsa verde, pork belly pretzel buns, and whatever fish special chef Sam McClelland happens to be running that evening. Although the bar is small, it enjoys an unparalleled view of the water. Who would want to toast to summer’s end anywhere else? As for dining, make sure to show up early to score one of the coveted sunset tables. 

In East Hampton, you can say goodbye to the sun — and to summer — at another water-adjacent restaurant, Moby’s. Now in its second year at the former East Hampton Point location (it enjoyed several summers on Pantigo Road and in Montauk prior to that), Moby’s serves casual Italian food and superlative pizzas in a bright, open, and nautically themed space on Three Mile Harbor. While it might be hard to choose between the Margherita, Coppa, Mushroom, ‘Nduja, and Zucchine pizzas, you will want to save room for an ever-changing roster of desserts, frequently featuring ripe local fruit. 

We can’t hold on to summer forever, so let’s get the most of it while it’s still here.