Perhaps for a few small details that strayed from our ideal evening in Montauk, we always enjoyed stopping by the Surf Lodge for the culinary preparations by Chef Sam Talbot. The dishes were consistently flavorful, creative, and a great companion to the surfer atmosphere that this hotel, restaurant and bar aspired to create. We seldom came just for beach side dancing, opting for a bite of deliciousness first. So it was with slight disappointment when we learned that Chef Talbot would not be returning to the kitchen come summer 2012.
Word originally spread that following a stockpile of fines, and a possible permanent closure, this small water side getaway would surrender to a more tamed family friendly environment. Perhaps that might have been the goal, but it was certainly one not reached. A recent visit to The Surf Lodge exhibited no major internal changes, except for the restaurant’s new name and menu by part owner and executive chef Chris Rendell.
Although there are definitely similarities in coursing and cuisine, the current menu is locally focused with a sea to table spin. Fresh caught fish, like fresh picked vegetables is the backbone of Chef Rendells dishes, all inspired by his Australian background. The restaurant is even named after the ultimate surfer towns down under, Byron Beach.
Although it was still just as difficult to score a last minute Friday evening reservation, the indoor 65 person area was not terribly crowded, and once the weather cleared up, the outdoor white wooden tables began to fill at a gradual pace.
Not very hunger, we tapped into their raw bar selection, ordering the very reasonably priced, yet over indulgent seafood tower. Crossing across all of our favorite crustacean treats, it overflowed with mussels, clams, shrimp, and of course oysters. Up next we tried that evening’s special appetizer, a fava bean ricotta crostini. A favorite legume, it had that sweet touch to balance out the acidity of this delicate cheese. And to conclude our meal we went for the pasta dish, linguine with crab and tomato. Although its simplicity was just what we were looking for, there was something incomplete and lacking in the dish.
Overall, disappointed we were not. The food still sparkled in the oceanic breeze of this one stop shop in Montauk, and the cocktails were still a flow. So if the craving is geared towards a nice seafood dinner, some dancing, a few good drinks bare foot on the beach, or roasting marshmallows over the never ceasing bonfire, The Surf Lodge continues to deliver that perfect summer evening out East.
The Surf Lodge
183 Edgemere Street Montauk, NY 11954
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