Happy Friday! I feel like I’ve been out to the Hamptons more in the past three weeks than the last three years combined! I was recently telling some of my editor friends that I feel as if one in two party invites these days take place out East – not that it’s a bad thing – I love myself some sun, beach, and clean air!
But I’ve been avoiding the clubbing scene. Seeing that I haven’t even been to Pink Elephant in the City in years, I’ve had very little desire to hit up their Southampton location. Partying in the Hamptons can be as sceney and attitude ridden (if not more) than your typical Friday night in Manhattan, so there’s really no reason for me to log an additional 6 hours total of travel time to get there. So last weekend when my best friend was visiting, I chose to take her out to Montauk instead for a weekend at the Yacht Club to experience the East End as it’s meant to be – posh, pristine, comfortable, with friendly service and a guaranteed relaxing time.
We arrived at the Montauk Yacht Club just in time for lunch and was treated to a wonderful few hours dining al fresco right next to the marina at Hurricane Alley. The staff was exceptionally friendly and the sunny attitude was just what I needed after the three hour trip. As a former Seattlelite who had become disenchanted with my seafood options in Manhattan, I was also very pleasantly surprised by how fresh and tasty it was at the restaurant. I, of course, ordered the local specialty, lobster, and enjoyed it in a deliciously refreshing cobb salad complete with deviled eggs. The Yacht Club serves up local specialties with a Southern coastal twist, combining sophisticated ingredients with the laid back attitude of comfort food. Hours flew by as we listened to the live band perform some of our favorite oldies and sampled the extensive cocktail menu and I couldn’t help thinking that this was the life.
After lunch and a walk around the beautiful grounds, we thought we’d explore the town a little bit and jumped in a cab to visit the landmark Montauk Lighthouse, the oldest in New York state and originally commissioned by George Washington! On a clear day, you can even see Connecticut and Rhode Island from the tower. Due to spending so many hours at lunch, we arrived just as the tours were closing (4pm on Saturdays) but wandered onto a rocky cliff behind the lighthouse that led us to an almost deserted beach. Since avoiding-the-scene was the name of the game, this was definitely the top destination in Montauk! We shared the beach only with a few other couples who had also made the slightly adventurous trek out there.
In the evening, we also took the Yacht Club shuttle “into town” (to use the venacular) and was met with cute streets lined with surf shops, delis and local bars. It had a very relaxing, seaside feel and live music often streamed out of the restaurants and cafes. I, of course, scouted out every clothing store we walked by and was particularly amused to find college-inspired sweatshirts reading “The End” next to the East End fashion staple, Calypso St. Barth.
That night, we returned to the Yacht Club’s lawn for the annual Hampton’s Magazine Clambake, one of the largest parties of the summer, and this year for the first time held in Montauk. After our feast of lobsters, clams, and corn, my friends and I retreated back inside to Barracuda Bar to enjoy a few more cocktails. My favorite drink from the weekend was the Cucumber Lemonade, designed by Eric Buynum, the beverage manager at the MYC- a refreshing summer cocktail. The recipe is provided below for you to enjoy the next time you have your own Montauk moment:
(Image credit: Rob Rich)
Muddle 3 Lemon pieces and 5 mint leaves in pint glass, fill with ice
Add ½ oz. simple syrup
Add 2oz. Crop Cucumber Vodka
Shake and strain into footed pilsner filled with ice.
Top off drink with club soda
Garnish with lemon twist