While most New Yorkers prefer to head to the Long Island beach towns throughout the summer, my friend’s family has a standing Columbus Day weekend out in Montauk, the end of the south fork of Long Island. Montauk has been dubbed as the town “Where the Hamptons Relax.” Though I think this phrase is taken with a grain of sarcasm, Montauk is arguably much more chill than other Hampton towns as it strays from the designer boutiques and night clubs, while offering a variety of hiking trails to explore.
Keeping with tradition, I arrived at the Amagansett train station last weekend and was immediately whisked away by my host to a pumpkin patch located off of Montauk Highway. Considering that a normal pumpkin in Manhattan costs around $20, I was happy to find this place only charged $0.60 per pound!
We then decided to talk pumpkin carving strategy over lunch at LUNCH. (The restaurant is called Lunch Lobster Roll.) This place has been around since Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley were hitched (their testimonials included a quote from them) and is regarded as the place to munch on a lobster roll when vacationing out East. Before diving into the signature plate, however, we opted for a bowl of the seasonal Pumpkin Lobster Bisque. Forget pumpkin spiced lattes, this is the ultimate pumpkin indulgence—a creamy, seafood-laden spoonful, topped with an oyster cracker! Mind you, our crowd was on its A-game because the Montauk Clam Chowder festival was the previous day and included a sampling of cream and tomato-based CHOWDA.
Onto the signature dish: THE lobster roll. Here the lobster salad is prepared with fresh, big chucks o’ lobster, chopped celery, carrot strings and creamy mayo, plopped on a buttery, toasted hot dog bun. Though its reputation precedes it, the actual roll lives up to the hype.
Given all the eating contests around New York lately, it seemed appropriate to embark on a hike around the Lighthouse to work off those indulgences!
It’s not a trip to Montauk without some beach time. If you come in August, along with the rest of Manhattan, you’ll barely have room to spread a blanket for your posse and put up an umbrella. Hence the advantage of coming in October: instant serenity!