The Backyard at Sole East – 2010 Season Review

Hidden just a short distance from the center of Montauk, The Backyard at Sole East Resort is a gem of a restaurant offering high quality dining, in a relaxed, yet hip atmosphere.  

Executive Chef, Larry Kolar, is creating fabulous market driven cuisine, which is elegantly simple, in order to highlight the flavors of the fine ingredients.  The ingredients are the freshest of the fresh.  I was told that the menu is continually changing to reflect the availability of local produce, fish and other ingredients.  Larry, who has been at the helm of the kitchens of some of the finest NYC restaurants (Quilted Giraffe, Bolivar, Sign of the Dove, etc.), is focused on sourcing locally and preparing fresh ingredients.  Fish comes from the docks and produce from the North and South Fork each morning.  Pasta is homemade, as are most of the breads and muffins.

Sole East has gone through an amazing transformation in the four years since the property has been under new ownership.  The Backyard is located in the center of the property, surrounded by meticulously manicured grounds and adjacent to the pool area.  During the day, the property has a relaxed beach club feel, complete with mellow tunes spun by a DJ on weekends.
I enjoyed a most memorable brunch several weeks ago, at the Backyard’s Brazilian Sunday Brunch.  The setting was idyllic: listening to live bosa nova while sipping caipirinhas and dining on the patio, poolside.  Some of the highlights on the menu were the wild mushroom omelets, the fresh berry pancakes, the monkfish sliders, each 3 or 4 delicious bites of fresh, sliced grilled monkfish on a bun, topped with tarragon remoulade and served with freshly made, long island potato fries and the best croissants on the East End.  I plan to become a regular, especially with the great value at only $18, drink included. 

When I returned the following week for dinner, we began with appetizers at the outdoor lounge.  The tuna tartare, served on a bed of finely diced crisp cucumber, with a touch of wasabi dressing and the fluke cerviche-the highest quality local fluke, prepared Peruvian style, and were both amazing!   We also tested the bartenders’ skill with some of the creative cocktails on their drink menu, each named for one of the owners’ children.  I recommend a Cooper, made with fresh Watermelon, Milagro Plato, Cointreau and lime.

We moved indoors for the main meal.  The restaurant is attractive, modern and minimalist with slate floors, white walls, black and white photos and tables cloaked in brown paper.  It was aglow in the reflections of numerous candles.  There was also seating available on a private patio bordered by high hedges.  My dining party enjoyed various fish, simply grilled to perfection, as well as the pastas and meats. Local black bass was a favorite served with a choice of sides: bok choy, roasted cipollini onions or roasted beets, that night.  Scallops, oysters and clams were all from the area and in season. Lobster cannelloni prepared with broccoli rabe and roasted roma tomatoes was another stand-out.  Also, be sure not to miss the desserts.   Passion fruit panna cotta and a berry cobbler, (raspberry/strawberry this week) are two choices you will regret, if skipped.

The Backyard should be added to the top of your list of Hamptons dining options, whether for Brunch, Lunch or Dinner..

Backyard Restaurant, Sole East Resort
90 Second House Lane, Montauk
(631) 668-2105