With a sweeping waterfront view from every table and a cornucopia of fresh fish, Gosman’s, or Montauk’s own mini-seafood empire, is the perfect place for smug locals to show off to their out of town friends. (Sigh. It’s hard, but this is where I live.) As soon as cousin Trish arrived with her carload of children, we ditched the kids with her man – promising leftovers that were never delivered – and skirted off to watch the boats come in.
Gosman’s Inlet Café has been renovated and is the only of the three restaurants in the complex to boast a sushi bar. (The main restaurant or “big house” is where we would have gone had we brought the kids, and Topside, just above Inlet, is a great place to go for sunshine and cocktails.)
The new dining room is a sleek and efficient design, with cozy new booths and a decidedly Mediterranean feel. Why anyone would want to sit there is beyond me, because they also have tables right on the dock.
A late-afternoon lunch at the Inlet is pure perfection – you can watch the boats come in, and fantasize about hooking a millionaire on a mega yacht or a sexy commercial fisherman. Needless to say Trish and I were pleased with the view from our waterfront table.
I immediately ordered a dark and stormy – a summertime staple comprised of ginger beer and Gosling’s rum that I have a certain weakness for. There is an expansive list of cocktails to choose from, including frozen favorites like Trish’s highly recommended Bailey’s Banana Colada.
Having just arrived in Montauk, Trish got her fish fix started right away with a plate of sweet and delectable littlenecks, served over ice alongside cocktail sauce brimming with horseradish.
As I have pledged to try many types of tuna tartar this summer, I was pleased to sample a Provencal spin on the dish. The olives, capers, cherry tomatoes and Dijon added a pleasant spin, along with a lightly dressed salad of arugula and crunchy carrots that crowned the dish and added just the right amount of bite.
We could not resist sampling a cup of rich and creamy New England chowder, and a friend in the kitchen was kind enough to send out a plate of sweet sea scallops wrapped in divinely thin slices of crisp pancetta. These were perfectly balanced by a salad of roasted tomato and cannelloni beans. I had been eying them on the menu and am super glad he sent them out. I might go back tomorrow for more.
I am a sucker for sushi and our server was quick to recommend some of the house specialty rolls. Sushi Chef Lin’s take on the summer roll included everything that makes me happy – tuna, salmon, avocado, and mango. It was topped with spicy tuna and wrapped in a beautiful pink soybean paper. Delicious.
Trish, who likes her fish cooked but her clams raw – don’t ask – was pleased by her grilled shrimp quesadilla, which boasted big chunks of shrimp and a sweet potato black bean salsa that set it apart.
The menu boasted some other dishes that we would like to try – including a pan seared halibut in a coconut lime broth and a few really nice sandwich options for lunch. (Of course there was lobster and other standard classics like shrimp scampi, for those less adventurous types.)
A huge piece of key lime pie with a perfectly textured graham cracker crust was my reward at the end of the meal, and Trish’s tiramisu, served in a martini glass, was a big winner – moist and loaded with liquory goodness.
I always considered myself more of a Topside girl, but Gosman’s Inlet Café has seduced me. I will be back for more pancetta wrapped scallops and tiramisu, possibly tomorrow.
Gosman’s Inlet Café, 484 West Lake Drive, Montauk. 631-668-2549, www.gosmans.com.