So I started toward my “Montauk state of mind” with a Montauk Mojito. It was so good and refreshing with its rum, muddled mint and crushed raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. My husband was fascinated by the Pickle Martini – so he ordered one with three pickles – a radish, an asparagus spear and a ramp all neatly skewered. He gushed about how other places turn to abominations like chocolate vodka and appletinis for variety’s sake whereas this crew turned to house pickling. He said his pickles were “like having a caper berry but more edible.” Then the hostess came over and gushed about how they’ve started in-house pickling and she said she’d just watched the pickling episode of the hit comedy television show “Portlandia” again earlier that day. Other pickles for martinis include green beans, fiddleheads, cherries, onions and jalapenos. What will they think of next, olives?
Speaking of olives, to start the munching we ordered Fried Olives with piquillo pepper goat cheese to share. Wow! Our server Ryan said he’d been snacking on these tasty babies all day.
I went on to the Corn Soup. With its delicately cooked cherrystone clams, this is a clam lover’s corn soup. Its roasted oyster mushroom, bonito flakes and chili oil, make it rich, a bit chewy, a bit briny. Its fresh chives and a little dance of flavor. I quite liked it and I was reminded of how much I’m looking forward to judging Montauk’s 2012 Clam Chowder Contest in October.
Husband started with a Spicy Tuna BLT Chalupa. It’s house-smoked bacon, heirloom tomatoes, Serrano chili pepper, fresh crema comes wrapped in a corn tortilla, wrapped in newspaper. He woofed the whole thing down before I could even think about trying it. Then he assured me it was “good.” He forged ahead to the Black & Blue Local Diver Scallops. The side of grilled Treviso radicchio and pickled lime quinoa was nicely bitter, the spring peas and parsley brightened it.
Ryan suggested that he try a glass of Verdicchio, Mancini Castelli De Jesi, to pair with the scallop dish. I don’t know if he pegged Husband as the dry reisling lover he is – or if it was just that he knew that this Marche–Abruzzo wine’s honeysuckle. Melon and lively acidity are a good choice for the pairing. After only four days in New York (via Vail) Ryan says he’s tried nearly every menu item and many of the wines. Good work! After his first sip, Husband commented, “Mmm. Fruity nose.” The South Edison Wine List includes some local winners too – from Jamesport, Roanoke and Wolffer.
I had the South Edison Fish ‘N’ Chips – local hake, smoked marble potatoes, grilled heirloom tomato, local greens, Sixpoint stout vinegar and tomato aioli. The light, crunchy batter had great flavor, the fish was very fresh, the tomato aioli is better than tartar sauce.
I also ordered a Kale Chiffonade. I knew I liked kale – but I fell in love with this finely cut kale with its brown butter vinaigrette, slices of manchego and pistachios. Tender kale alive with flavor that was deepened by the cheese. Very nice and the pistachios added that “bit of somethin’ somethin’.”
Ryan convinced us that we had to try South Edison’s Campfire S’Mores Pie. He promised that it wasn’t what we were expecting – we ordered it anyway. I guess I’d be giving away a secret if I revealed that this “pie” is eaten with a spoon, from one of those fancy Italian canning jars. Toasted marshmallow, milk chocolate mousses, smoky house-baked graham cracker. Husband enjoyed his share with a decaf coffee. After he had his share he said, “You don’t want anymore.” It was not a question. He finished up this potted pie.
After our culinary explorations we went for a walk on the beach. This put us all the way into our Montauk state of mind. Why does Montauk have to be so removed from the Hamptons? So that it can remain Montauk.
Proving once again that you can rely on the staff in the bright red T-shirts.South Edison 17 South Edison Street, Montauk 631-668-4200