All the way at the end of New York, past the frilly fancy Hamptons, there's a beautifully untamed, windswept, sandy spot known as Montauk.
"Nothing but sea and sky," Walt Whitman wrote in his poem, "From Montauk Point," and it's true.
Out there, it's just you and the wild blue ocean, the sound of the birds swooping over the water, and, if you're doing it right, the paper plates of steamed lobster and the cold bottles of rosé.
A great food day in Montauk might start with a trip to the Ditch Witch, a wonky little wagon on Ditch Plains, one of the best spots in town for people-watching. Grab a big iced coffee and a black bean burrito ($4) and settle down for a bit.
We love Duryea's, a no-frills family-run seafood joint where the steamed 1¼-pound lobster is super fresh and served with a baked potato and some crunchy coleslaw ($33). This summer we'll be eating as many of those fine Duryea's lobster rolls ($22.50 each) as we possibly can—the family has just sold their charming spot on the water.
Head to Tacombi's sister taqueria, La Brisa, to sit under cover at the picnic tables and feast on grilled shrimp tacos built with puffy house-made corn tortillas ($16.50 for three) and excellent sangria ($39.50 a pitcher). For a little something sweet, roll into throwback burger joint John's Drive-In for cones of house-made ice cream ($1.25), which you can lick at dusk in the parking lot as all your worries melt away.
The Smile has a cool kids outpost at Ruschmeyer's, the summer-camp-style hotel, where things can get a touch rowdy after hours—keep it simple with beer and a mean clam pizza ($23) with bacon, oregano and chile.
Pass a sunny afternoon outside at The Gig Shack, lounging around the wooden deck with a glass of Pouilly-Fuissé ($13) or three. Then head over to chic South Edison for a giant clam bake ($30) made with fresh lobster and sweet summer corn, served with crusty house-made baguette.
Now how about lugging a blanket to the beach and taking a little nap? That was quite a weekend.
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