Muse @ The End

by Sue Giustino

Located in the heart of Montauk, Muse @ The End has become a venue for fine dining, music, and happy hour specials. With the extensive bar area offering seating in a relaxed atmosphere, one can often find patrons enjoying a drink, app, or a full meal while conversing with others along the bar.  On the other side, the spacious main dining room is welcoming with its beautiful décor. With the large front windows adding a natural glow to the overhead soft lighting, the room has a pleasant, cozy ambience.

Prior to sitting, we stopped at the bar and had the pleasure of chatting with Brian who was mixing up some tasty treats. One of the highlights was the Germaine Spritz; a blend of St Germaine, lemon, Prosecco and club- a nice, light, and sweet choice with a perfect beach get-away vibe. My glass of Adorn Cabernet was a wonderful selection for our meal- full bodied yet light enough to enjoy with both fish and steak.

As we were seated by Mario, the manager, he informed us that this season they welcomed Chef Larry Wallace. Bringing a few new creative twists to their menu, Mario said that Larry was looking forward to sharing a few of them with us during our visit. For starters, we had the Calamari Salad with tender crispy calamari atop a bed of fresh greens blended with diced tomatoes, onions, julienne carrots, crisp cucumbers, and a light and zesty miso ginger vinegarette. The gently Baked Oyster are topped with a light blend of stilton cheese and panko accenting the natural fresh oyster flavor, with the stilton adding a subtle sweetness and salty nutty finish. Both dishes were delicious, yet the two table favorites were the Stuffed Chopped Clams and the Lobster-Mac n-Cheese. With a hint of smoky goodness, the Stuffed Chopped Clams are unique with a light smoky/spicey flavor along from the chopped vegetables and seasonings accenting the natural sweet, firm, brininess of the clams. The flavors of the Lobster Mac-n-Cheese were perfect; the cheese sauce is cheesy, yet not too heavy, and the sauteed lobster takes it to another level. A blend of white cheddar and Boursin cheese creates and light cheesy sauce, which when mixed with the elbow macaroni and fresh sauteed lobster, all topped with herbed breadcrumb gratin, makes this dish outstanding.

For dinner, Chef sent a bit of surf and turf. Starting with the Lobster Roll, which everyone agreed was delicious; overstuffed into a toasted bun the salad was lightly dressed with just a bit of celery and onion to add subtle flavor without being overdone, and served with crispy French fries and coleslaw. Day Boat Fresh Sea Scallops are seared perfectly tender and perched atop a bed of creamy mushroom asparagus risotto –these scallops are succulent tender treats.

From the land, the Roasted ½ Chicken is served with a gentle shallot, mushroom demi-glaze adding a bit of sweetness to the tender roasted chicken flavor. Served with scallion mashed potatoes and crisp thinly sliced caramelized carrot chips, this dish was highly praised by two of our companions who are semi- connoisseurs of roasted chicken. The final meal was a 14oz. Grilled Prime Shell Steak cooked to a perfectly tender medium rare, and plated with bacon wrapped asparagus and a crisp baked potato. Utilizing just a bit of spice, the natural flavors of both steak and potato were prevalent making this an extremely enjoyable and ‘clean’ meal.  In addition to the delicious tastes and enticing aromas, each dish had a lovely presentation- appetizing to all senses.

Aside from what we enjoyed; the menu is quite extensive.  There’s a lovely array of Appetizers and Salads including- Mussels, steamed little necks, fried calamari, cauliflower tempura, as well as a choice of Ceasar, Chopped, Mixed Green, or even a Grilled Baby Octopus Salad.

The rest of the menu, as well as the Daily Specials include; raw bar options, entrees from the sea and land, as well as some tasty pasta choices, sure to be pleasing to even the pickiest of eaters. A few that stood out to me include: Blackened Swordfish, Braised Boneless Short Ribs, Fluke Francaise, and Shrimp and Scallop Fettuccini. Even the Kid’s Menu has a choice of four favorites as well as a special plastic cup with a top and straw for their beverage.

Although we were beyond satisfied from the delectable meal, Larry chose a few deserts for us to enjoy. The Hazelnut filled Fried Donuts were crispy outside, creamy inside and a definite table favorite.  The warm Brownie Sunday with a layer of fudge and topped with creamy vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and sprinkles is sure to be a chocolate lovers’ choice. The tasty Crème Brule had a creamy rich custard base topped with a layer of hardened caramelized sugar. Each dessert which is made on the premises tastes as good as it looks, and are sharable- especially after a meal. Be sure to ask about the choices.

Located at 41 S Euclid Ave, Montauk- Muse @ The End is open Daily from 3-10pm, and offers happy hour specials daily from 3-6pm. For more information or reservations, call (631) 238-5937.