Montauk, NY (Memorial Weekend 2011)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Me with a Mojito at Surf Lodge. Don't know the dog's name but let's call him Mojito too!
For me, it's more important to have plans for the Memorial Weekend than New Year's Eve. Although, I whine and cry and rail my fist to the heavens if I find myself home alone for either occasion.

Thank goodness this year a friend made it possible to weekend in Montauk. Technically, I could even sound more bougie and say I went to the Hampton's for the holiday weekend, as you do have to drive through this illustrious spot to summer, before reaching Montauk.

We stayed at the Briney Breezes Motel on Old Montauk Hyway. The location is great, 5 minutes by car (15min on foot) from the touristy stores and eateries on Main Street.  As you can see, the view looks right out over the ocean. The rooms are well-kept, comfortable, good size, our room was appointed with a galley kitchen, including full-size refrigerator, nice Correll dishes and stainless steel tea kettle.  The outdoor pool is heated, people were friendly, no complaints... except...

If you are looking for a funkier, surfer, younger, trendier scene, than it's better to stay near the bay at Ruschmeyers or The Surf Lodge (more on these places below). Briney Breezes is for families: families with young children, big family reunions, families where the men folk hang out on the balcony morning, noon and night.

Sea Grille on Urbanspoon

We'd heard the Gurney Inn Resort and Spa was a great place to hang out, but we didn't care for the vibe.  Their restaurant The Sea Grille, put me in mind of a cruiseship dining room, over-sized, generically appointed, too much air-conditioning blowing around, and when we requested the air be turned down, we were told it's either on or off. When asked if we could be seated outside, they replied we're not seating outside for dinner.  A horribly shrill fire alarm went off twice during our meal, lasting less than a minute each time, but felt longer.  A waitress casually informed us that when the steam room gets to a certain temperature it sets off the alarm.  Uh.. isn't this something a spa resort should have remedied by now?

 Our waiter was attentive, but it's the kind of restaurant that thinks they are fine dining, but hasn't really properly trained the staff, including the maitr'd who thought he was being properly hauty, but was really just plain rude.

Our prix fixed dinner was pretty good, except for the stale rolls. (and you know how I love my bread baskets) $24.95 included an appetizer, large portion entree and a fabulous chocolate mouse cake with a chocolate cookie crust; paired with orange pekoe tea, it truly was the highlight of the meal - 2 Tines for the actual meal, Tarnished for our over-all experience of The Sea Grille. (* Excellent - 4 Tines / * Great - 3 Tines / * Good - 2 Tines / * Fair - 1 Tine / * Poor - Tarnished)

Joni's on Urbanspoon

The most popular place to eat in town is Joni's, always busy, tiny, just one long picnic table inside and about 5 picnic tables on the outside. Mostly they do a swift take-out business. The offerings are all healthy, organic, expensive - you know, wrap sandwiches, carrot soup, tofu, all basically tasteless.  I had a bland turkey sandwich and a peppery, but flavorless fish taco, never got to try the uber popular smoothies. Don't mean to sound down on Jonie's, it's a fine establishment, I just don't particularly like eating healthy on vacation, it kinda takes away from that decadent "I don't care about anything till I return to real life glow". But I'm flexible. And when someone else picks up the tab, I'm very flexible.

Hopefully I'll have an opportunity to return to "The End", (Montauk's t-shirt tag, for the tip of Long Island) and just park my car for the whole time I'm there and bring or rent a bike. We kept putting addresses into our GPS for shops and bars and restaurants, the poor GPS lady we refered to as Clara, kept getting confused because we were always basically 2 minutes away from the address we put in.

Floyd from Ruschmeyer's
Ruschmeyer's on Urbanspoon

Ruschmeyer's openend Memorial Weekend, so it was impossible to get a table for dinner. But we did explore the place during the day and were treated to a fantastic, sumptuous complimentary continental breakfast, after making friends with Floyd.  I really want to stay here next time, plus they provide the most adorable bycicles for their guests. 

Below are my photos of Ruschmeyer's, but here's a good description of this new hot spot by Ashley Baker of Daily Front Row: Ruschmeyer's, the new hotel/watering hole/"kitchen"/disco from Surf Lodge impresarios Ben Pundole and Robert McKinley, just opened on Friday, (located at 161 Second House Road, just down the way from Solé East) is looking decidedly like a late-night spot. Come for the monkfish curry (courtesy of the guys behind LES obsession-du-jour Fat Radish) or the bacon-topped cheeseburger (the same one FR regulars know and love) and stay for the jalapeno-infused margarita or some dancing at adjacent "disco" The Electric Eel, where on Saturday night, DJ Chelsea Leyland was spinning a little Florence, a little Pulp Fiction. Bottom line: it works. 

The Surf Lodge on Urbanspoon

We also weren't able to get a reservation all weekend for the aforementioned Surf Lodge; however, the food cart outside of the SL is tasty!  They offered lobster rolls, but we went for the teryaki chicken, coconut rice and macaroni salad for $10.

On a holiday weekend, this rambling shack turned hotel/restaurnt/club, belongs to the beautiful and wealthy Drexel, Penn student types, some of their parents and some of the Hamptoners doing a little "slumming". We were told it's more chill during most of the summer and particularly during the week.

Despite feeling not quite up to par with this crowd, no matter how fabulous I may be  - it was still fun to hangout at night and listen to music - Saturday's band, Delilah was particularly good, too bad we got kicked out of the reserved section, cause we were the only ones enjoying the band, the revelers didn't give a crap, might as well been a DJ. Later we Googled Delilah and found out they are a top band on the rise, getting a lot of attention in NY and the UK, featuring a kinda famous playboy, former model, front man named Jamie Burke.
Jamie Burke

Well, post is going too long, so we can't go into ice cream and pancake houses, but I did take some great surfers on the beach shots at Ditch Plains click HERE to see them on facebook.


Style Maniac June 7, 2011 at 10:30 PM  

So glad you got away! The East End of Long Island is magical. Love it there.

(Will have to share with you at next Blogstress cocktails how I almost floated out into the ocean on a downed windsurfer ....) June 8, 2011 at 12:29 PM  

I'll remind you to share. I admire that you were windsurfing! I'd never attempt any of it, except, once I did drive a Jet Ski.

Denine June 8, 2011 at 9:06 PM  

If I weren't here on Staten Island visiting family for a little mid-week vacation, I'd pack up the car and head on over to Montauk instead! Sounds like a foodie, partyier fabulous gal about town dream come true time! I like your honest and open-eyed take on the scene - much more real and telling it like it probably really is than any Hampton's reviewer would write - since basically they'd be writing for those already jaded and in the know. June 9, 2011 at 12:26 PM  

Thank you for such a complimentary comment. Wish you could take some time to check out Montauk, think you'd dig it!

b&b breakfast July 11, 2011 at 2:35 AM  

Awesome Weekend and beautiful Location. great your idea and good looking .

Jaipur Property July 12, 2011 at 6:30 AM  

The East End of Long Island is magical. Love it Please log on our website for Jaipur Property

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is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

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Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
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You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
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Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

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