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May 05, 2008

Stiletto Watch: Montauk

Future nightclub?
Wolfgang Wander/Wikipedia

by Ondine Cohane

One of the great pleasures of summer is getting out of the city and feasting on lobster rolls at Duryea's Lobster Deck overlooking Montauk's Fort Pond Bay. The spectacular views, a crisp rosé snagged from White Liquors nearby, and lobster shared with my best friends Hugo and Sarah captures the essence of the eastern tip of Long Island for me; the worn decks and old-school motels are a world away from the more manicured and trafficked Hamptons (though Sag Harbor is another of my favorites).

I am one of the Montauk fans who loves the more down-at-the-heels feel of places like East Deck and Montauket Inn. So I'm not sure whether to be excited or scared by the recent news in the New York Post's Page Six that nightlife impresarios Jamie Mulholland, Jayma Cardosa, and Rob McKinley (behind Cain) have taken over the family-oriented 32-room Surf Lodge just in time for the 2008 season. A barefoot-chic hotel with whitewashed walls, iPod docks, flat-screen TVS, and surf photos--not to mention hot tubs and the same pond view as Duryea's--sounds interesting, of course. And I like the idea of wandering through the Tracy Feith-curated one-stop sun store that will sell everything from bikinis to sunglasses and cute dresses. But I am a little alarmed at the news of a 2,600-square-foot lounge called The Deck with live music; images of club kids gone wild spring to mind. And what about the news that Top Chef protege Sam Talbot is to helm the restaurant?

Is Montauk turning into celeb central? Becoming a victim of the weekend party scene of the other Hamptons towns? I am suspending judgment until I can either check out the product in person after Memorial Day or send Sarah to do some reconnaissance...


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