The Old Harbor House Restaurant

Although it opened midsummer last year, this was the first time we had the pleasure of dining at the Old Harbor House. It was the middle of April, and a gorgeous, sunny weekend and Montauk was filled with more than the usual amount of visitors for this time of year. The evening we went there to eat, every table was filled in the main dining room, with a steady stream of guests constantly coming in. Conveniently located on Fort Pond Road, near the train station and across from the firehouse, their guests that night had a definite international flair. A young couple at the next table was speaking fluent French and a larger party of six across the room was speaking German. Montauk in the spring is a beautiful as the summertime and the influx of tourists easily proved this fact.

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As you enter the restaurant, the first thing you notice is the crisp, tastefully appointed décor. Sunshine yellow walls and highly polished oak tables and floors set the tone for this new Montauk eatery. Fresh flowers and lit candles adorned each table. Managed by Leah and Darren Boyle (Darren is the chef), this is a family owned business. Immaculately clean, light and airy, The Old Harbor House shows that plenty of attention was paid to its renovations.

Besides being given two menus, a large board was brought to the table that described each special for that day. There is a complete lunch and dinner menu daily. The specials that day were gumbo, baked oysters, duck and spinach ravioli, basil crusted fluke, and seafood bucatini. Appetizers were from their winter menu and ran the range of picks from the sea. It featured steamed clams, mussels, clams casino, escargot, and calamari for the nautical choices. Add to that spinach & artichoke dip, wings, chicken tenders for other picks. For starters, we had the Harbor Salad, which I would heartily recommend for its unique and tasty combination of mixed greens, mandarin oranges, goat cheese and caramelized pecans. This salad was large enough to split and have enough for both of us to enjoy. For our entrees, my husband went with the fluke and I ordered from the main menu. All the selections were reasonably priced and included a 14 ounce strip steak, lamb shank, half herb roasted chicken, crispy half a duck, fish of the day and several other choices. Soon the summer season menu will be devised, with more additions coming. I ordered the shrimp scampi over linguini that was prepared in a white wine, butter and scallion sauce. For lighter fare, the Old Harbor House has a menu of strictly burgers and grilled chicken sandwiches that come with delectable toppings and sauces.

While waiting for our dinner to arrive, a breadbasket of warm, crusty rolls was brought to our table. A nice glass of wine from their wine list and we were ready to enjoy what soon followed. The basil-encrusted fluke was tender and flaky over its bed of rice. The string beans that accompanied this dish were sautéed with seasoning to give it a “kick” and take it a step away from being just a bland side vegetable. The linguini portion was huge with generous servings of tender, grilled shrimp throughout. Our entrees reminded me of my dad who used to necessitate having his food steaming when it was served. Both our entrees came out piping hot, which was like home cooking from stove to table in seconds. Our service was prompt, friendly and efficient as we watched nearby tables served generous portions and in a timely fashion. At the bar area, other patrons met and mingled and the Harbor House was surely the place where guests continued their weekend enjoyment.

My husband finished his entire dinner, but I was unable to put a dent in this seemingly unending dish of pasta. Wrapped to go, it will be enjoyed the next day for lunch. Before ending our meal, we knew a dessert was a must and decided to split a decadent dessert called a chocolate Bundt cake. This rich, moist delight was warm, petite Bundt cake, served with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. A warm, flowing, lava-like chocolate flowed freely from the center with every forkful. In retrospect, I know I could have polished off one of these Bundt cakes, without sharing!

As we left the restaurant after our meal, there were still people flowing in, despite the late hour. The restaurant is open until 2am and therefore the perfect stop for late night arrivals to Montauk. Within walking distance from the train makes it a welcoming site for visitors arriving to our beautiful seaside resort. It is easily apparent that the Old Harbor House has put together the ingredients for a successful venture and for repeat visits.

The Old Harbor House is open year round, seven days a week. Come in for their happy hour everyday from 4 – 7 pm. Look at their advertisement for Monday and Friday Specials. The restaurant is located at 240 Fort Pond Road, Montauk. Their telephone number is 631 668-1515.