The corner of 34th Street and 8th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan is not a quiet corner. It's a corner of commuters stepping off the trains at Penn Station and into the heart of the city, just blocks from the Empire State Building. Men and women in bright orange vests make forceful attempts to get their tabloid papers off their hands and into yours; heels click as business women pass through their offices' revolving doors. This is Penn Station, and morning in New York City has arrived. But this is not a story of arrivals, but rather one of a departure. Of going below ground at said corner into a maze of neon lights and lists of trains, tracks, and departure times. It is here we board the train, leave the chaos of the city behind, travel an incredibly smooth three and a half hours, and find ourselves at the eastern tip of Long Island in a city called...Montauk.
Montauk is a beach town, but somehow manages to remain a relatively quiet one. It's not ritzy; many natives have only a vague idea of what life in NYC must be like (a concept that every New Yorker imagines the rest of the world must automatically understand). The beach is populated but it's so long that it never feels crowded. The food is fresh, straight-forward, and darn tasty.
An accidental stumble down a side road in downtown Montauk led us to what became two of our favorite spots. Montauk Brewing Company, where the tastings come cheap and the growlers come cold:
St. Peter's Catch appeared to be a hole in the wall restaurant but served up some of the freshest seafood in town. Plus the owner is a friendly man who not only let us commandeer his ultra-comfy hammock, but was also prepared to hire us eager foodies on the spot.
We did not hold back on what we consumed at this joint. Coconut shrimp, fish tacos, and a lobster roll were only just the start...
At the far reaches of the town of Montauk lies Gosman's, a complex of mini-restaurants ranging from fine-dining, to fast casual, and ice cream. Dining outside on the water is a treat in itself; our swordfish and softshell crab were pretty good, too.
We ended one night with a simple homemade ice cream cone from John's, but the best nightcap was taking in the fresh saltwater air and the crash of the waves as the sun set. In the end we found that it seemed less that we'd departed New York for this getaway, but more that we'd arrived in beautiful Montauk.