Monday, December 03, 2012

Gourmet Traveller: Classic Montauk

Gourmet Traveller: Make Mine a Montauk
By Julie Earle-Levine

November 2012

Didn’t think bohemian surfer chic existed outside of Australia? Start planning a northern summer 2013 trip to Montauk, a New York version of Bondi, where a host of hot young chefs are showcasing produce from the sea and local farms.

Montauk’s summertime allure is not new, but this year Australians entered the mix at Moby Dick’s, a new diner from Australian fashion photographer-turned-restaurateur Lincoln Pilcher, boats pull up 15 metres from the kitchen to deliver still-flapping seabass and tuna for delicious ceviche as seagulls hover overhead.

Pilcher, a keen surfer and owner of Manhattan’s Kingswood restaurant, pulled Moby Dick’s together in just three weeks after having his eye on the dockside space for years. He envisaged an Italian beach club vibe, so there’s a woodfired pizza oven (think pizza with summer squash, zucchini, fresh ricotta and chives) and rosé on tap to accompany your Montauk pearl oysters.

Australian chef Chris Rendell has just opened Byron restaurant at The Surf Lodge, a boutique hotel that’s a favourite of the fashion set. The casual eatery focuses on organic produce, and highlights of the menu include crab and tomato pasta, roasted corn chowder, and grilled diver-caught scallops.

Montauk’s mainstay restaurants – including Navy Beach, where yachts pull in and guests can swim ashore – continue to wow. The new Ruschmeyer’s hotel and restaurant nearby boasts a Jamaican-style rum shack for cocktails and a tasty brunch.

It's all about poolside soirées at the just-open Montauk Beach House, and for iced coffee and cookies, visit the new Momofuku Milk Bar pop-up store, reported to be opening again for the 2013 season.

For filling in time between meals, there’s plenty of shopping, including Cynthia Rowley for dresses, necklaces and candles, and surf Bazaar for breezy kaftans and bikinis. and if you’re in the market for a home, you’ll be joining summer Montaukers Julianne Moore, Ralph Lauren and Robert de Niro. mobydicksmontauk.com; thesurflodge.com; navybeach.com; kingandgrove.com (for Ruschmeyer’s); thembh.com; milkbarstore.com; cynthiarowley.com; thesurfbazaar.com