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intimate 50th birthday in Montauk

Our first time in Montauk to celebrate my sweetheart's 50th birthday, looking for fresh seafood in a special atmosphere that leans more toward bohemian than toward touristy and/or "luxurious". A view of the water would be great, but not necessary, since atmosphere and freshness are our two biggest priorities, thanks so much!

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  1. I tend to like the touristy spots in Montauk because they have the best view, like Gosmans. However, Harvest might be a nice choice for a party.

    1 Reply
    1. re: eatermom

      The Harvest is great for two couples or more, but for just two people the portions are extremely large and family style.

      In Montauk, bohemian is not really the word to use for the non-tourists spots, more like fisherman grunge.

      ~Fred19

    2. Also, if you're off season, the Surf Lodge might be nice.

      1 Reply
      1. re: eatermom

        Thanks for 3 places to look into, much appreciated, and good point about the view being important.

      2. There are restaurants all along the bay, but only a few on the ocean. Maybe look into Gurney's which is direct oceanfront. Probably more luxurious than you're after. When are you travelling?

        5 Replies
            1. re: new_west_foodie

              I was out yesterday, North by Northeast is under construction. A lot of places won't be open for a few weeks yet, like Gosmans. I would recommend avoiding Gurneys, the view is great but the food is not. For a great view, The Inlet is open Thursday through Sunday right now, haven't eaten there this year but the food has been great up til now. Bonus of sushi made with fish right off the boats.

              1. re: coll

                Montauk Yacht Club, go online and it looks wonderful. Montauk is my favorite place in the World. So romantic have fun and Happy Birthday!

                1. re: nbermas

                  The Yacht Club has a totally new kitchen, I think it is Southern/New Orleans style now. Since they got new owners a few years ago, lots of changes.

        1. Dave's Grill has excellent seafood and will be open when you're there.I'm not sure if it has a water view but it is within a short walk of Gosman's Dock.So maybe drinks at Gosman's and then a short stroll to Dave's for a delicious seafood dinner.The only drawback is I'm not if they take phone reservations.We walked over from Gosman's the day we wanted to have dinner there and stood on a short line to get on their dinner list. I think the atmosphere is in line with what you're looking for.It's not touristy, luxurious or grungy for that matter.It just seems authentic.Like a good seafood restaurant in a fishing town should.Highly reccomend it.I believe the website is davesgrill.com if you want to look into it.

          10 Replies
          1. re: foodnwine

            My impression of Daves is sort of the opposite, for what it's worth. EVerything served on paper plate as I recall, which is sort of grungy to me. Also they can be very rude, and the food is nothing special. If you want that kind of atmosphere, then try The Dock which is closer to Gosmans, very local kind of place and the food is impeccable.

            1. re: coll

              It doesn't sound like we're talking about the same place.The Dave's Grill that I've been to uses dishes,not paper plates.They use white table cloths and have flowers in small vases on their tables.It has a very nice,comfortable atmosphere.Far from grungy,with flower boxes around the exterior.Rustic may be an apt description.The service is friendly and welcoming and the food is quite good.

              1. re: foodnwine

                We walked in and walked out, so definitely not sure about the tableware. They were so rude to us (I think there was a two hour wait but there are nice ways to state so) anyway others have told me negative things too. I don't know anyone local that eats there, so I would call it "touristy". But obviously I'm not an expert on the place! I just looked at what people at the tables had in front of them, and it looked sort of junky. But they were slammed, so maybe if you hit them when they are not at full capacity? Anyway I stand by The Dock, at least for lunch, if you want a fisherman kind of feel.

                1. re: coll

                  Thanks all you Montauk experts, much appreciated! Is this an accurate list(?): Gosmans & Gurneys: touristy, might be closed, good views; Inlet great view & fresh sushi; Dave's Grill and The Dock both "authentic" with good food; Yacht Club good food and lastly what about Surf Lodge, that's on my list for some reason? THANKS again for helping me whittle down the list!

                  1. re: mess hall mama

                    Here's the menu for Inlet
                    www.inletseafood.com/menu
                    they have a sushi menu but also plenty of regular food. Same view as Gosmans but on the other side of the inlet. The F/Vs listed on the bottom are their eight commercial fishing boats that catch most of what's on the menu.
                    Surf Lodge is very Manhattan-y, upscale, more like the Hamptons. They look like they're set to open last I passed by. Town permits were holding them up.
                    Gosman's has a few good things on their menu, they're opening May 1.
                    Gurneys is open all year round, never close even for holidays. But I don't recommend it, except for the view of the ocean.

                    1. re: coll

                      Thanks coll! Now it's between Inlet and Dave's Grill for the Saturday night birthday dinner. Maybe lunch on Saturday at The Dock or Gosmans? I've eliminated Gurneys, Surf Lodge and the Yacht Club completely. Anyone mind one last comparison of Inlet and Dave's Grill? Is this accurate: Dave's Grill homier / Inlet hipper, but both have good food?

                      1. re: mess hall mama

                        Hopefully others will chime in, but for a special occasion, Inlet would be my preference. Daves is just set in the middle of a parking lot, while the view from the Inlet is one of the best in town. It's not stuck up at all, it's owned by five local fisherman families. They built the restaurant for fun, and to serve some of the fresh fish that they catch, not to attract the glitterati. But I'm just saying what I would do (since my birthday is Monday, and I'm being picky about where to go right now myself, so many choices). Even though it look big and fancy, it's much more a local place.
                        If you go to Gosmans be sure to get the stuffed mushroom appetizer (stuffed with giant pieces of lobster, scallop and shrimp), and you can't go wrong with a whole Maine lobster for the meal. Some of their regular seafood is iffy.

                        1. re: coll

                          The Inlet it is! Thanks for all of your help coll!

                          1. re: mess hall mama

                            Hope you have a great time! I know I did this weekend!

                            1. re: mess hall mama

                              The Inlet looks like a great choice and you will love Montauk.Hope you have a wonderful weekend and please report back afterward to let us know where you went and places you would recommend.

            2. Thanks to everyone for helping me pick a 50th birthday place for my sweetheart's birthday dinner! We had a wonderful Saturday night dinner at The Inlet, table right by the window, too foggy for a spectacular sunset, but the service and food made the evening very special and comfortable -- not too precious, but also not too casual, just perfect. We had clams and mussels to start, sweetheart had a Long Trail beer and I had a Pinot Blanc that the waiter recommended. Then I had broiled fluke and sweetheart had scallops on a long bed of pureed butternut squash and collard greens, which was the evening's highlight, now I want to try to make that at home. So when we report on a trip after people have helped us, is it best to start a new post or add to the old post? I chose to add to this one so each of you that helped could follow along, but please do tell. Oh, I have to mention that when we finally stopped for a late lunch on the way to Montauk we happened upon Hampton Bays Diner and wondered how long it had been there, since it seemed newly renovated. Thanks again everyone!

              1 Reply
              1. re: mess hall mama

                Great to hear about the Inlet, I haven't eaten there since the new chef took over. Sounds great!
                Hamptons Bay Diner has been there forever, they just updated the facade a few years ago. They have everything a diner should, but also now a panini menu (to compete with Panera that just opened across the street) and a selection of delicious South American dishes that are available on weekdays. It's a great place to grab a quick meal and an egg cream too!