A Summer Weekend in Montauk
I always look forward to a nice summer getaway, and us Washingtonian's often flock to the beaches in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia for quick weekend trips. However, this past weekend I was celebrating the bachelorette party of a dear friend and she selected Montauk in The Hamptons as the destination. It's not a hop, skip, and a jump away from here the way it is for those who live in New York, but it is definitely worth the schlep if you're looking for a beach weekend beyond the local options. We ate and drank our way through the small town. Some highlights are below.
Nautical decór at its best with framed bikinis on the wall, and a beachfront view that can't be beat. Navy Beach has a great wine list as well as fun cocktails such as the Marganegra made with Silver Tequila, Creme Yvette, rasp-blackberries, and lime. We really enjoyed sharing a lot of small plates to start the meal including the edamame, crispy calamari, and the shrimp and corn fritters with a truffle maple syrup. The appetizers were filling, fresh, and sophisticated in a comfortable beach setting. I highly recommend focusing on the seafood for the entrees such as the miso-marinated hake and the grilled sea scallops. Navy Beach is located at 16 Navy Road and can be followed on Twitter @NavyBeach.
After a long and tough day at the beach, sometimes you just want to head to a shack on the side of the road to enjoy a delicious cocktail and some fun people watching. Just a quick drive down the road from the downtown area is Cyril's Fish House. It looks like a dump, but it's packed with beautiful people drinking their famous BBC's (Bailey's Banana Colada) and having fun. It was such a fun place to grab a table and soak up some sun. And the food was surprisingly good! Fried calamari, chips and guacamole, and the sesame crusted tuna over seaweed all hit the spot. We also enjoyed the lobster roll and waffle fries.
Definitely make sure to add this to your weekend plan. Cyril's is located at 2167 Napeague Stretch.
This was my favorite meal of the weekend. The hotel is located right on the water and feels upscale and swanky while remaining beach casual at the same time. We organized for a family style menu in advance and I was really pleased with the range of food we were served, and how tasty the dishes were. The watermelon salad with feta and basil seeds was light and refreshing, and I loved the spicy kick of the tuna sashimi. I also enjoyed the diver scallops with the cashew-chili relish, and my favorite dish of the evening was the summer squash yellow curry over steamed rice. It was delicious! The steak with red wine butter was also lovely.
The Surf Lodge made a mean margarita, and if you stick around after dinner there's a fun DJ with space to dance instead, or a beautiful outdoor area with sand, comfortable seating, and a view of the water. The Surf Lodge is located at 183 Edgemere Street and can be followed on Twitter @TheSurfLodge.
It's tiny, it's busy, and it seems like a crazy system. But, I promise this place knows what they are doing. There's only one table inside, but it's meant to be a "grab and go" meal where you can bring the food straight to the beach, or perch at one of the picnic tables outside for a bit. The food is creative and inspired, and they do everything from breakfast wraps to a slew of amazing smoothies to delicious sandwiches and they offer tons of vegetarian friendly options. I was amazed at the line out the door on Sunday morning around 11am, but the food is worth the wait. Joni's is located at South Edison Street b/w South Etna Ave and South Elmwood Ave.
When any place is described as "summer camp with cocktails", I immediately like it. You pull up to the compound and you almost feel as though you've arrived at Kellerman's from Dirty Dancing. There are hotel rooms that appear as cabins surrounding the main building which houses the restaurant and bar. We sat outside at a long picnic table. Lanterns were hanging from the trees, there were swings, and there were tea lights. It's a really fun atmosphere, but it's loud and bustling. The food came out in waves including a greens salad, hummus and pita, roast chicken, pasta with peas and zucchini, pizza with buffalo mozzarella... and the meal ended with individual portions of s'mores in a jar.
It was a fun dinner, and the DJ starts up around 11pm and we were able to join the dance party inside. In addition, there's another outdoor area with a fire pit and a ping pong table if you're looking for a more low key evening, or the opportunity to get some fresh air. Ruschmeyer's is located at 161 2nd House Road and can be followed on Twitter @Ruschmeyers.
We ended up at The Sloppy Tuna one evening for drinks and dancing. It is sloppy, but it has a fantastic location right on the water and can be fun for an afternoon drink or an evening stop. We grabbed iced coffees at the Momofuku Milk Bar pop-up during a stroll through town during the day, and we enjoyed brunch at Bird on the Roof on South Elmwood Avenue. While the Hamptons is a bit of a trek for those of us in the Washington area, it's definitely worth the visit if you can make it up there for a long weekend. Happy Summer!