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Montauk trip review

j
jessheslin Aug 24, 2008 09:27 AM

Howdy, my hubby and I spent the week of 8/11 in Montauk, and thanks to you 'hounds we had a blast. I printed out a few threads and took them with me. We actually went from 8/9--15 and stayed at The East Deck Motel on Ditch Plains Rd but back to the food. Here we go:

GOSMAN'S Ok, I know you guys hate it pretty much but it's a long standing tradition to head out the harbor on the 1st night and dine on boiled lobster. We started with their Sunset Punch a nice mix of rums and fruit juices. Then we had the stuffed mushroom upon your rec: mushrooms stuffed with all kinds of seafood, delicious and a steal at around $10. A little greasy and heavy though. We then split a lobster with butter, corn on the side (corn not great and a ripoff at $3 or so), spinach side was yummy with garlic and a little red bell peppers. We also got the striped bass with ginger soy--the ginger soy preparation was the best thing about it.

THE HIDEAWAY Thank you, thank you, thank you. This was a real find and a highlight of the trip. We followed the rd to the harbor and looked for the sign with the red pepper at the Diamond Cove Marina. Very easy to miss but we found it. Very casual joint, sat outside at picnic table in a cozy inlet of the main harbor. Started with classic margarita and a mango marg, both on the rocks. The classic rocked over the mango, skip the mango. They are strong too. We split 3 margs and buzzed all evening. We had chips with pico de gallo (you have to ask for it), the pico was very tangy and fresh. Then the sopes appetizer with brisket (many choices instead of brisket, like chicken, shrimp, etc.) but this was a winner. Then the fish taco and the Chicken Chilequiles. Fish taco was fried fish but who could complain when it it was so lightly expertly fried, with fresh soft tacos and some veg (sorry forgot some stuff). The Chilequiles were wild, corn tortillas torn and soaked with lime and other flavors, piled with chicken drizzled with crema. Addictive and unique.

MONTAUKET Incredible setting. Can't believe I never had been. Disappointing food after all the good recs I read here. We started with New England Clam chowder which was way to packed with celery and maybe even celery salt. Also the clams & mussels apps--about 14 mussels and only 2 clams in a heavy handed spicy marinara--didn't like. Mains were grilled shrimp with mango glaze--expertly cooked shrimp but the glaze was on the borderline of too sweet and gloopy--again a heavy handed, not nuanced. Then we also had the crab-stuffed seafood platter. I liked this more than hubby. a few shrimp, a few scallops and a nice peice of flounder all stuffed with a good crab stuffing. A little heavy on the Old Bay seasoning but it worked for me. It over powered the scallops but was good with the shrimp and fish.

ENE (EAST BY NORTHEAST) We love this place, this is our romantic, fancy night out, blow out dinner as a tradition. Started with fantastic cocktails: classic mojito and mango mojito, also had watermelon martini and the Terry Berry which was a light lemony rocks drink with yummy muddled strawberries. We had the duck tacos (a fave: shredded duck in a lite bbq sauce, and the scallop app (forgot the details but it was great). Then the Halibut with cherry tomatoes, fresh corn kernals, edamame beans sprinkled, and coconut curry. Excellent mix of textures, light yet creamy, very summery. Then the tuna seared with panko bread crumbs--perfect little raw slabs of tuna with the edges cooked and crusted with panko--yum! Then amazing desserts: fried tapioca pudding (wierd but good!) with creme anglaise and a pomagranate gastrique. For $10 the creme brulee sampler was a steal, 5 little pots of these flavors: ginger, chocolate, vanilla, espresso and amaretto. All great except the amaretto was too sweet.

INLET thank you again for a new place sure to stay on our roster. This is the Inlet that is out on the other side of the harbor, not via 77. Has lovely sunset views. Excellent sushi: Rainbow roll was a california roll topped with tuna, salmon and white fish, also started with delicious steamers. Mains were the ribeye with sauteed onions and mashed potatos--perfectly medium rare and huge. Also had blue corn crusted monkfish with salsa. Blue corn crusting was bland but the salsa had a good kick.

We had breakfasts out:
MTK Cafe--out of desperation--1st morning, it was there were there, you guys warned me, nothing special. Friendly service we had waffled and fruit (paid 2.25 extra for lame fruit: pineapple, blueberries and grapes (?). Decent sausage and ranchero scrambler satisfied. Watery iced coffee.

MR JOHNS PANCAKE HOUSE--a tradition thanks to you. Never disappoints. Really good hot plain ol' american coffee, banana nut pancakes and buckwheat pancakes with fruit. The real deal--the waitress warned that the b/w panacakes wouldn't be fluffy (we know) but they were! And piled high with fresh strawbs and blueberries. Ban/nut pancakes, the banana melted in our mouth with each bite. Sausage was good but bacon was only ok.

Other bfasts and lunches were at the DITCH WITCH the concession in front of the E Deck Motel at Ditch Plains. Highlights were, regular coffee though hubby found it a little bitter, cappucino, "nutty mocha iced coffee". Breakfast burritos: small but nice to start the day, spicey bahn mi sandwich and lemon pound cake.

Coming home tradition is lunch at LUNCH (Lobster Roll) in Amagansett. May be our last time... best thing was the seafood bisque, the lobster roll had a bit too much celery and the fried oyster just were not delicious. We'll try Cherrystones or Cyril's on the way home next time (but possibly by a qt of that soup to bring home).

Thanks for all the help--we're also happy to say the only res we made was ENE on the same day and never waited more than 20 min for a table. We wanted to go to Nick's but it was closed for a private party.
Jess

  1. c
    conordog May 13, 2009 04:04 PM

    thanks for the report jess. awesome recap. make sure you hit dave's grill your next time out there. potato/onion crusted flounder is a must. their unique version of the lobster roll if you dont mind rich rich rich. i think we were both rubbed the same way by the hideaway. what a charming little spot.

    1 Reply
    1. re: conordog
      coll May 14, 2009 04:55 AM

      Hideaway right now I heard is only doing takeout until a few things are settled, but I didn't hear it from the horse's mouth so who knows?

    2. coll Aug 25, 2008 06:08 AM

      Glad to hear you had a good time and at most of my favorite places too. I really like the stuffed mushrooms at Gosmans. (Every restaurant has to have something above average on the menu! plus the lobster is always OK) I've only had lunch at the Montaukett, which is usually a wrap or something simple, although I do like their chowders and soups myself. I didn't know Ditch Witch was doing bahn mi, I'll have to get over there this week before she closes. It's too bad Nicks was closed but it was probably for the funeral Thursday. Next year try them again: and also the Dock for fresh fish, and Westlake, for their sushi. Both are right on the Inlet. So many places in the summer, and so few in the winter.....

      1 Reply
      1. re: coll
        j
        jessheslin Aug 25, 2008 06:21 AM

        Thanks for the reply. Luckily we had tried Nick's 3 years ago, when I believe the then new chef with a Louisiana influence had started and really liked it. I think we will save Montauket for sunset drinks or lunch, too. I'll keep the Dock and Westlake in mind, thanks!

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