Montauk Restaurant Review: A Beautiful Dinner at Navy Beach

Navy Beach's American Summer Riviera in Montauk
Navy Beach’s American Summer Riviera in Montauk. Photo credit: James Katsipis

Every dish brought to our table at Navy Beach was given a beautiful presentation. I was joined for this meal by my son, Teenage Boy, and his girlfriend, The Girlfriend. We three “oohed and aahed” at the pretty dishes that came to our table and the tables around us.

Right after ordering, Teenage Boy and The Girlfriend made a beeline for the beach just outside the bar. When our food arrived, Director Martin Cabrera offered to retrieve the kids. He was very friendly but seems like a guy no one says no to. I figured he’d get them right in and he did. I don’t know what he said to them, but when Teenage Boy sat down he said, “What’s that nice man’s name again?”

The last time we ate at Navy Beach, actress Julianne Moore and her family were seated at the next table. No sign of her this Sunday evening—just couples and young families for the most part. Yes, there is a kids menu.

Navy Beach gets most of its seafood from Gosman’s—a fine place to start. We started with the Tuna Nikkei—Cabrera told us it’s been popular since Navy Beach opened. Sushi-grade tuna hijiki, hearts of palm, roasted cashew miso, avocado crema and mâche combined to make us all say, “Delicious.”

The Girlfriend wanted to try the Octopus Cazuela with its richly savory al dente garbanzo beans, basil butter, cherry tomatoes and feta. She declared, “This octopus is ridiculously tender.”

Teenage Boy embraced the Salmon Tartare with kimchi mayo, goma wakame and crushed wasabi peas. He noted, “This one’s good and it’s raw!”

I quite enjoyed my Southie with vodka, cucumber, fresh mint and lemon. The lemon gave it a perkiness and the last sips were delightfully minty. Of course I stopped after one drink because I was driving “the family bus.” Local offerings include Montauk Driftwood Ale and the Navy Beach Summer Draught, which is described as “a light dinner ale.”

My soy-glazed Goldeneye Tilefish with sushi rice, wakame, coconut red curry sauce and black sesame seeds was very good.

The Girlfriend’s Yunnan Ribs were described using the words “chili” and “caramel” on the menu. They were a gorgeous, glistening deep red. They were quite sweet as the “caramel” indicated. The Girlfriend, who is from China, pronounced them “Western” and “not Yunnan.” But she adored her Grilled Sea Scallops with big, juicy pieces of chorizo, shrimp, peas and lemon aioli—though it turns out she’s not a particular fan of the texture of property prepared paella rice.

Teenage Boy was nuts for his extremely tender Buttermilk Fried Chicken, though we both found the accompanying milky, sweet house-made coleslaw and the super sweet cornbread unpalatable.

We quite liked the Navy Tabouli with its roasted peppers, local baby spinach, tasty Kalamata olives, cucumber and high quality feta.

Though Navy Beach’s bacon-onion marmalade fascinates, we ordered traditional desserts—a smooth and creamy coconut sorbet with noticeable coconut flakes satisfied The Girlfriend. My key lime pie had a pleasantly subdued tartness. Teenage Boy’s Vanilla Cheesecake was lush and creamy.

Then, of course, it was time to head back to the beach outside. The teens engaged in a stone-skipping marathon while I sat watching the setting sun. It was the perfect temperature there by the water…

Navy Beach, 16 Navy Road, Montauk, 631-668-6868,

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