Trails End Restaurant:
A Montauk Fixture for 70 Years!

Right in the heart of Montauk, diagonally across from the Montauk Movie Theater, you will find one of the oldest restaurants in town, Trail’s End. It used to be located on Navy Road, in the old fishing village area, before it was rolled down Edgemere Road to its present location. The reason for its move was that the Navy took over the shore of the bay area. During World War II, Trail’s End served as a gathering place and a restaurant, with its current kitchen once an old army barracks. Eric and Chef Bob Rottasch own this family-run restaurant and Bob’s wife Kathy and Eric’s wife, Monica, help them. They have owned it since 1983.

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Trail’s End is conveniently located and an easy walk from anywhere in town. However, if you are driving, you might miss their sign going around the circle passed the tallest building in town, if you don’t glance to your right. Look for the neon Trail’s End sign to guide you to their building. In the summer a distinct, burgundy awning will be installed over their front deck area. Right now they are only open Friday through Sunday until the middle of June. After that they will be open seven days a week, serving dinner and late night drinks.

Upon entering Trail’s End, the décor comes somewhat as a nice surprise. Pale blue tablecloths and deep burgundy napkins are propped up on each table. Matching burgundy valances and colonial candle-like wall sconces give the room a homey, comfortable appearance. Lovely floral prints in gold frames fill the walls, adding to its charming appearance. The dining atmosphere is casual and yet the menu offers a full array of selections that was unexpected. We were open to suggestions about their specials and our host, Eric, was eager to share some of his tips for patrons’ favorite choices. Steak, chicken, pasta and several seafood items filled the menu. Choices change nightly, with some of the noted favorites, like the duck, still available. Believe it or not, roast turkey remains on the menu all summer long. Trail’s End roasts the whole turkey, not just the breast, Eric told us. For those guests that crave turkey more than just at Thanksgiving, this is the place to find it, complete with all the trimmings

That evening we went with Eric’s suggestion for the roast Long Island duckling and my husband opted for the shrimp scampi served over linguini. Starting first with a fresh house garden salad, my husband was pleased by its contents. Often a plateful full of “greens” is called a salad, but this one was like I make at home. A bowl filled with six ingredients came before him. It included lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, red cabbage and red onions, all very colorful and crisp. I went with the lobster bisque and found it zesty, tasty and heartily stocked with tiny-diced carrots, celery and lobster pieces. The bread basket that accompanied our meal was filled with miniature-assorted rolls and crispy sesame studded bread that was perfect with my soup and his starter salad.

Since it has been a while since I had duck, I looked forward to the slow roasted duckling being prepared that night. The portion is very generous, as a whole half a duck, nestled on homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes, fresh carrots and broccoli and a choice of either orange or brown sauce accompanies the meal. There were eight large shrimp atop my husband’s linguini and he also received a side vegetable to go with his meal. Both portions were well prepared and I was quite pleased that I went with the duckling that night, which ran a close tie to my ordering the herb encrusted cod or their roasted turkey. Trail’s End offers a full wine selection, champagne and almost twenty kinds of beer to go with your meal.

Although we were quite full after our dinner, I can never resist having a dessert. Again, Eric came up with some suggestions about the assortment of on premises, homemade desserts that are Chef Bob’s specialties. Choices include a Brownie Sundae, Apple cobbler with vanilla ice cream, Peanut butter pie, chocolate cake or chocolate mousse. We went with the apple cobbler and shared a generous portion of warm apple cobbler, topped with ice cream, whipped cream and sprinkled with cinnamon which gave it that aroma to die for!
While we were dining, I noticed several people come in to pick up “take out” orders. Trail’s End does a busy take out business, too and also welcomes movie goers to stop in for dinner before a movie or for drinks and snacks after the showing. The kitchen closes at 10 pm. Early bird specials are offered every night from 4:30 to 6:00 pm for $16.95 with selections that include their famous roast turkey and all the trimmings dinner. A children’s menu is also available with choices that are known hits with the kiddies.

For directions or reservations call Trail’s End at (631) 668-2133. Trails End accepts Master Card, Visa and Discover. Stop by and see what they are serving!