For a fresh summery menu that can be consumed any night in the summer, look no further than The Surf Lodge restaurant accompanied by live music and a view of Fort Pond.
The Surf Lodge opened in 2008 out in Montauk. Little did people know that the opening of The Surf Lodge’s restaurant and hotel would open up the town of Montauk to a new generation of consumers for years to come. What once was a sleepy fishing village now draws crowds far and wide, particularly because of The Surf Lodge’s famous music scene that has attracted celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Taylor Swift, and Khloe Kardashian among others. Sleeping at The Surf Lodge on a weekday, like I did, is a completely different vibe than the infamous Surf Lodge restaurant and live music scene that is lived on the weekends. But I couldn’t leave Montauk without experiencing both ends of the spectrum.
The restaurant begins with a lounge area filled with surfer and boho-chic decor. In tune with the style & design of The Surf Lodge hotel rooms, wooden accents, neutral color tones, and textures with an occasional pop of color bring life to the restaurant. Large LED marine lights hang from the restaurant ceilings and surf boards are stacked on top of ceiling beams recalling the laid back, fisherman, Montauk vibe. The place was chill during the day, but turned into a completely different beast once it hit 5PM.
The crown jewel of The Surf Lodge is its outdoor restaurant, beach lounge, and sun deck and stage overlooking Fort Pond. If you plan on listening to live music when here, I highly recommend you book a dinner table and make a reservation in advance. You’ll be secured a spot to listen to the live music performance. The alternative is to wait in a very long line and risk not making it into the venue, which happens pretty often. Dinner is served under their signature and beautiful canopy of woven baskets. Over 50 woven baskets imported from Haiti line the roof over the dinner porch. Each has a light bulb bringing a romantic bohemian charm to the area once the sun sets.
Behind the dinner porch is the famous music venue and sun deck. Reservations here are a must. The colorful stage was created in collaboration with gallerist Eric Firestone, a testament to The Surf Lodge’s commitment to the art community and its exhibition out here in Montauk.
For a Wednesday night, The Surf Lodge restaurant and live music venue was packed. Just this past summer of 2019, the stage has graced the presence of famous artists such as Willow Smith, John Legend, Lupe Fiasco, Daya, Brett Young, Lukas Nelson and the list goes on. Those larger artists are typically out here on the weekends, but for a Wednesday night the turn out for this live music band was wild. Here, you can come dressed however you’d like. Boho-chic straight off the beach or dressed to the 9’s with heels and makeup, anything is accepted here. While the band started playing we started to peruse the menu.
Every item on the menu was made using sustainable and local ingredients from the East End and North Fork of Long Island and, when possible, seafood fresh off the fishing boats of Montauk harbor. The menu was Asian fare with a beach vibe and curated by Australian Chef Shaun Hergatt, a Michelin-Starred chef nominated for the James Beard Award. The menu had a perfect balance of healthy options layered in with heartier options. I was in the mood for a lighter meal so ordered the watermelon salad with a side of grilled local asparagus, while Patrick ordered the market fish of the day, which was halibut.
Aligning with The Surf Lodge’s commitment to artistry, each meal was presented with a culinary artistic flare. Each had a perfect summery balance of flavors, colors, and textures. My crunchy watermelon contrasted against the sprinkles of soft white feta, the mild flavor of the green asparagus had an added kick to it when drizzled with the bright orange and slightly spicy romesco sauce, and the soft, white halibut was topped with a thin, hard, crunchy slice of prosciutto and beautifully presented on a bed of piquillo dressing. This is the type of menu you could enjoy every day in the summer, perfectly paired with a sunset over Fort Pond, and live music in the background.
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