by Sue Giustino
East Lake Drive is where you’ll find a few marinas, beautiful homes, a campground, a beach, and some of Montauk’s longtime favorite restaurants. The space at the old Gone Fishing Marina has undergone a few changes over the years, but this season there are new owners of the marina as well as a new restaurateur on the premises.
People often say change is good, well in this case, change is very good- the location couldn’t be better- nor the food tastier. Owner/Chef Amy has designed a menu that spans the day with early morning fisherman choices at the gab-n-go counter, breakfast served till 11am, and lunch/dinner selections beginning at 11:30am.
In addition to a full menu of complete meals, Amy has Breakfast Bowls or Wraps, Street Tacos, Custom Salads, and Poke Bowls where she lays out the options from which you can create your own personal masterpiece. The choices are many and vary depending on your base item. The proteins include chicken, shrimp, tuna [multiple ways], lobster, crab, octopus and even tofu. This is my favorite way to eat, ‘My Way’- I get all of the foods I enjoy in one dish without special ordering [as I’m often accused of].
After speaking with Amy and our lovely server Anna, we decided on a few specials as well as items from the menu. Of course, after that Amy decided she wanted us to try a few more- so do not judge- we ate a lot! To start, we enjoyed two of the special appetizers Baked Whole Clams, and Portabella Salad. The mushroom was grilled and topped with layers of fresh roasted beets and feta cheese; the stack was arranged on the plate with arugula and shredded carrots, drizzled with balsamic. Next were the clams which were lightly breaded and baked with herbs and a lemon broth. Both were tender, fresh and delicious.
A trio of Street Tacos– Thai Chili Tempura Shrimp, Fried Soft Shell Crab, and a Grilled Day Fish. Each taco was dressed with greens and sauce for the style and were absolutely amazing. These are just three of the five choices all of which can be customized with the type of preparation of the protein and marinade. Another special was the simply grilled Swordfish with brown rice and quinoa and sundried tomatoes; a thick seasoned fish steak cooked to perfection. Our last selection was a Poke Bowl. As a base, I chose the Crispy Spinach to which I added Grilled Octopus, Avocado, Mandarin Oranges, Kimchi and Ginger. The substantial serving of Octopus was mouthwatering, tender and blended beautifully with my other choices, although I chose a dressing on the side, I really didn’t need it- the flavor was outstanding.
Following all of those lovely delicious plates, started the parade of additional dishes sent from Chef Amy. Once again, we loved everything she sent. The PEI Mussels were cooked to perfection in roasted garlic, lemon and wine broth- although she does offer marinara, fra diavolo, or cilantro lime cream as well. The generous portion was served hot, aromatic, and with toasted bread for dipping. Next was the Lobster Roll BLT, I love a good lobster roll and have had many here in Montauk- this has joined the ranks of my favorites. The toasted bun was overflowing with chunks of claw, tail, and knuckle meat with a light dressing. Since it was a BLT there was some lettuce, diced tomato and it was topped with crispy strips of bacon. This was one of the three styles she offers and it was out of this world. Finally, from their House Specialties list, was the Crunchy Seared Tuna Wrap. The black bean wrap encasing seared tuna with crushed wasabi peas, tempura flakes, crispy spinach, and cusabi gave the illusion of a really big sushi roll- but oh what a flavor, texture sensation. The crunchy peas, flakes and spinach with the tender tuna is an unbelievably unique and delicious creation.
Whether you’re heading out on the boat for the day or sunset, looking for a meal with the sights and sounds of the water, a sunset dinner on the water, or even on or off premise catering, the Gin Beach Café will satisfy all palates. Adding to the already serene ambiance, they’re hosting live acoustic music; so stop by and satisfy all of your senses. Seating is limited but if there’s a wait, it will be worth it. Good luck to Amy and her staff!
631.483.5111 • www.ginbeachcafe.com