Winter Dinner in Montauk

montauk lighthouse

It was pretty much a last minute thought, but my wife asked if I wanted to go to Montauk for an overnight.

“Hmmm, let me get back to you”, I said. A full 6 seconds later I said, “Hellz yeah!”

What’s to think about? A great cottage over looking the ocean, 2 bottles of wine, great restaurants, my beautiful wife, my wonderful super lab, 24 full hours of down time and the best coastline in the world.

Food is always part of the journey it seems. It’s always part of the adventure and it’s always an aspect that adds to the fun of everything. From the egg McMuffin that you have been starving for that they forget to put the egg on, to the Hampton Coffee Company cup that has the dent on the bottom, so it obviously won’t stand up straight and spills all over your car. Food makes memories, good and bad, but never the less they are still memories.

Our foodie tour started at Hampton Coffee. This  little roaster in Watermill, NY is a  great place to grab a fresh roasted coffee and the best day old lemon poppy muffins for only a buck a piece. They have a great selection of coffee beans, but there was no time for that. This was strictly a bathroom run and a quick muffin grab……then I bought myself a muffin. Ha, that’s funny.

We knew we were close  because of the open sky, the smell of salt air and yes, we’ve  also been there hundreds of times.

After dropping our bags off and letting Ben check out his room we had a glass of red wine and then headed off towards the beach to let Benny run of some steam. It was a beautiful day for a run and Ben took off like a rocket.

After an hour we were off to the light house. There was a special guest there. Santa Claus was hanging out along with a load of unsupervised kids. The back drop looked like a post card.  The wind died down, it wasn’t too cold and the rich history of the lighthouse brought back great memories and thoughts of future fun with my family.

After taking a brisk walk with my lovely wife and Ben around the trails of Camp Hero, I was a bit disappointed. Not with the trails or atmosphere , but because there was no food. Camp Hero? I thought I would be able to get  a sandwich.

Ok, quick lesson for our friends in Canada, Upstate NY, Boston and Philly. A hero is the same thing as you have, but you call it silly names like grinders, hoagies, wedges, po’ boys, subs. Silly non New Yorkers.

Any whooo, before we knew it we were back in the car with an appetite.  Once we were back in town we needed a bottle of water so we grabbed a slice at Sausages Pizza & Pastabilities. As we walked in we quickly lost our relaxing mojo due to the screaming of 3 kids running around their, I don’t give a shit, I’m the only person that matters in this universe, parental units that care more about eating their salads than the raising of their children with their Oliver from the Brady Bunch hair cuts.   This place, has by far, the 2nd worse pizza I have ever had. This place makes Elio’s taste like The Original Ray’s Pizza in NYC.  Imagine an old Saltine that you found on the bathroom of a reststop. Ok, now put catsup on it. Not even ketchup, but catsup. Try to enjoy it now. You can’t can ya? That’s the pizza at Sausages in Montauk.

Now on to some real eats.

After a quick rest at the cottage we were off to Manucci’s next to Gossmans Dock, where the old Kenny’s Tipperary Inn was, for the best Italian food in Montauk. Sunday night is Manucci’s popular $12.99 dinner night. The place is warm, inviting, cozy and has some of the best shrimp parm I ever had….but I wasn’t super impressed with their dessert selection so we headed back into town.

We ended up at O’Murphy’s Pub on Edgemere for dessert. As we entered, we were greated by the very nice bartender, Todd. He suggested either the cheesecake or super chocolate cake. We opted for the chocolate cake, and I am glad we did. 3 words. Frosting, frosting, frosting. Velvet like chocolate frosting on a double layer of thin chocolate cake followed up by more frosting. Nice. Was it worth the $10 for the small slice? eh…I could see if as a $6 slice but quite tasty.

As we were chatting about olde Montauk I was getting hungry again so I ordered the  best friggin New England Clam chowder I ever had. No joke, it was the best Jerry, the best! (Seinfeld reference with Kenny and Jerry and the Swordfish.)

This clam chowder was la-oaded with clams and very little potatoes, just the way it should be. With a dash of tabasco this chowdah was ass kicking good. Washing it down with a light beer and my wife with a Vandermint Peppermint Hot Chocolate, suggested by Todd,  the night was ending on a great note.

After our 2nd dinner we walked around a bit and went to an amazing store that was a kickback to everyone’s childhood, Whoa Nellie. Whoa! Nellie! features authentic vintage and reproduction home furnishings, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys Books, vintage jewelry, pillows, art and much more. No food here, well actually they have retro candy.  I would check it out if I were you. As the owner, John Cameron told me, “If you don’t flash back to memories here, well, you didn’t have a childhood.”

Back to the cottage for somehome made red wine, a little tv and then before we knew it, it was morning.

This is the picture I took outside of our dining area window.

For breakfast we started with a run at the beach. Well, Benson had a run and we watched him as the smells of bacon filled the area. Bacon? That only made us more hungry so we headed up the block to our favorite breakfast place, Naturally Good Food and Cafe on S. Etna Ave. ( When I’m not chowing down on chocolate chip pancakes at John’s)

They offer fresh fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies, salads, awesome Fair Trade organic coffee and teas and delicious vegan baked goods. In addition to this, daily specials  include homemade soups and veggie burgers, veggie stir-frys, salad specials, burritos, salad specials and a variety of wraps in addition to super breakfast specials and are quite nice, even in the wee morning hours.

Our favorites are  the “SAUSAGE”, EGG & CHEESE. An amazing vegetarian sausage patty with an organic egg & cheddar on a whole wheat english muffin and the breakfast tortilla.

BREAKFAST TORTILLA . Organic Scrambled Eggs, Cheddar Cheese, Avocado in a whole wheat tortilla with homemade salsa.    Delicious!

On the way back we stopped off at Coffee Tauk on S. Elmwood Avenue for another awesome brew. The place is swanky but not cheesy. It’s cool and comfortable with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Try the dark roasted Fishermen’s Blen. The coolest of the cool is that on Monday coffee is free! Excellent coffee and free. Yikes!

We only had  24 hours in Montauk, but we made the best of it. Livin, lovin and eatin.

A Man In The Kitchen Long Island restaurants

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