Dinner at the new Duryea’s

It’s been a long time since I posted anything here but I think it’ll worth the wait. For those few of you who’ve been waiting for a new post, I apologise for the delay but you don’t have to wait any longer.

So, I’ve been to Duryea’s in Montauk, Long Island many times. Every time we come to Montauk, which we’ve done every summer since 2010 except for 2018 and 2016, we go there for one of our meals. The last time we visited Montauk, in 2017, the physical appearance had change into something more chic with canopies, wooden slat tables, an all-white attired service staff, electrical lights fixtures that I would faux candle. Instead of chic you must say shi-shi or pretentious but I would caution you not to judge a book by its cover. The staff, from the ladies who were to greet us, the wait staff, the Ronaldo lookalike who, I think, was the maitre d’ were all very welcoming and pleasant. In fact, with one of our dishes, our waiter went to the kitchen and found out exactly what was in the sauce since we couldn’t pinpoint what it was. Since I brought it up, it was a green romanesco sauce made with garlic, basil, and almonds. Yum.

This was our second visit to Duryea’s since the takeover of ownership and renovation but our first time going for dinner. We went early but it was still packed, as it always is. As part of the renovation, there is a bar next door and a shop where you can bide your time. At the bar you can grab a Lobster Roll or the like, if you don’t want to wait, but if you’re in for a proper sit down meal then, sorry, you’re going to have to wait. We opted to window shop – although my wife did end up purchasing a one-piece bathing suit made by an Italian designer that looks very good on her. As you enter the shop, prepare to get taken aback by the huge window that offers you a view of the bay. It is quite impressive.

Back to our meal, our son, who hasn’t developed a taste for seafood yet stuck with a cheeseburger and fries. As far as cheeseburgers go, however, the one at Duryea’s is really good. It’s a basic simple cheeseburger – bun, patty, cheese – and it was excellent. It came with fries that weren’t super greasy and tasted almost like truffle fries. If I ever go to Duryea’s and am not in the mood for seafood, the cheeseburger it is. I might throw in an order of corn on the cob for fun, too.

My wife and I shared two dishes – the Cobb Lobster Salad and the Grilled Octopus. The salad

Cobb Lobster Salad

Cobb Lobster Salad

was served generously in a large wooden bowl with plenty of greens and a substantial amount of lobster. It came dressed in a white dressing but not Ranch or Blue Cheese. I couldn’t make it out but it was tasty for sure. In addition to the romaine lettuce and lobster, the salad was garnished with small chunks of cheese, walnuts, small chunks of avocado, and pearl tomatoes.

 

The other dish we ordered came from the part of their menu with dishes they recommend are for two people. The Grilled Octopus dish is good for three. It’s three solid pounds of grilled tentacles and body that comes with assorted vegetables (mini potatoes, pearl tomatoes, an assortment of leaves, and tiny red peppers).

Grilled Octopus.JPG

Grilled Octopus

The octopus was delicious and grilled perfectly. It wasn’t rubbery the way squid, shrimp, and scallops can become if they’re overcooked. In addition to the vegetable medley, it came with a Green Romanesco salsa. This is the sauce we couldn’t pinpoint and asked our waiter about.

The only criticism I have with the dish is that the vegetables were, at least for me, not enough to ‘cut’ the octopus. While delicious, by itself, the octopus can be overwhelming. I think the dish could benefit from a side portion of some kind of whole grain brown rice offering or a multi-coloured pasta salad. Other than that, I totally recommend you it.

As a starter, I tried their Clam Chowder. I’ve had the old Duryea’s Clam Chowder before the renovation. That version was more traditional – creamy soup with bits of clams, potato, celery. The new Duryea’s chowder is much thicker, yellow in appearance and is more potato bisque with clams. It was still good but lacked salt and a punch to make it memorable.

Overall, though, if you’re in Montauk, pay Duryea’s a visit. For traditionl shore town seafood, you can find the same stuff at other spots at cheaper prices. Duryea’s isn’t cheap but the food is worth it and so is the quaint locale. Moreover, it has items on the menu that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s not quite a hidden gem but it is secluded. Just make sure you have at least forty-five minutes to wait. That might sound like a put off but, trust me, it’ll be worth it.

Rating: 1 1/2 bites

0 bites = Don’t bother. I suffered for you.
1/2 bite = I enjoyed it enough – I had to eat something, after all – but I wouldn’t recommend it.
1 bite = Good. I’d have it again but I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
1 1/2 bites = Very good/super tasty. I’m definitely going back and I’m bringing friends. If I weren’t married, it’s somewhere I’d take a first date to. That’s how good it is.
2 bites = Unique, I’ve never had (and probably won’t ever have) better than this, this is what I’d want if I were going to be executed and I could have whatever I wanted for my last meal, Epicurean Orgasm!

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Duryea’s Lobster Deck & Seafood Market

65 Tuthill Road, East Hampton, NY 11954

Tel: 631-668-2410

duryealobsters.com

 

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Inihaw na Baboy (Grilled Pork Belly)

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Ingredients:

I pack of pork belly (usually three strips come to a pack)

Bay leaves (4-5)

Garlic powder (about 1 tablespoon) or Fresh Garlic, finely chopped. I prefer the latter but, in a pinch, the garlic powder does a nice job.

Ground pepper (approx. 1 tablespoon)

I can of Coca-Cola or Kalamansi Soda

Soy sauce and/or Knorr Seasoning Sauce (mixed with the soda, enough for the strips of pork belly to be submerged)

Method:

1. Combine all the ingredients, minus the pork belly, in a Tupperware container or Pyrex dish. Stir it to make sure all the flavours blend

2. Add the pork bellies, making sure they’re submerged. DO NOT slice the pork belly*. You can let this sit for a few hours and it’ll be ready for grilling but I like to leave it overnight in the refrigerator. If you do that, make sure its covered so it doesn’t dry out.

3. When ready to grill – which you can do in a barbeque pit, outdoor grill, or the broiler pan of your indoor oven – cook each side for approximately 8 or 9 minutes (could be less or more, depending on the proximity of the pork to the flame and/or the strength of the cooker you’re using). Bottom line: make sure the pork is cooked thoroughly and that there is a nice browning on the outside.

4. Once the pork is cooked, slice each strip into 1/2″ pieces.

5. Serve with white or Filipino garlic rice, laing (stewed banana leaves in coconut milk). As a condiment, you can use Mang Tomas dipping sauce and/or suka (white vinegar), with or without diced red pepper.

Garlic rice, inihaw na baboy and a scoop of laing

Garlic rice, inihaw na baboy and a scoop of laing

 

* Do NOT slice the pork belly until after marinating it and, for me, after cooking. For my taste, this is the best process for the following reasons: 1. Cutting the bellies before marinating it can lead to the pork getting overwhelmed by the marinade. When eating it, you should get a taste of the marinade while still being able to taste the meat. 2. Cooking the baboy when it’s already sliced can lead to the pork becoming dry.