Continuing the Montauk tradition of seafood by the sea, Westlake Fish House has a whole world of flavor to offer its patrons. This steak and seafood restaurant makes use of the area’s natural beauty, and styles its entrées in a similarly gorgeous fashion.
I made my way out to Montauk on a recent sunny evening, accompanied by my lovely girlfriend and dining companion Julie, to sample the sushi menu. (Westlake also offers separate lunch and dinner menus, though it’s possible to mix and match between the dinner and sushi menus.) Westlake’s patio is situated directly on Westlake Marina, placing diners in the midst of a lively waterfront scene, replete with seagulls, boats, aquariums and even a touch tank. The atmosphere is relaxed and casual—but the food is anything but.
Our server, the cheerful Jessica, quickly took our drink order (the Fish House serves Bedell Cellars wine, produced locally in Cutchogue, along with beer from Patchogue’s Blue Point Brewing Company and a number of different brands of sake). I ordered the Sesshu Otokoyama, an extra-dry, cold sake poured from a gargantuan bottle into a chilled glass. The drink proved to be light and clean, with definite hints of the rice used in its production. In the balmy weather the drink didn’t stay too cold for too long—but some might call that an incentive to drink quickly and order another! The restaurant also features a wide range of specialty cocktails, but Julie decided to save as much room as possible for the sushi extravaganza to come.
We began with the seaweed salad, which was a thick, briny and delicious affair with that great fish taste imparted by all good seaweed salads. The portion was huge, but we finished it all. A few minutes later, we were presented with a table-sized platter of sushi dishes, whipped up for us by chef and co-owner Larry Kolar.
Floored by the variety in front of us, we eventually decided to begin with the spicy salmon roll, which was soft and fittingly spicy, with a tough exterior, which gave way to a delectable salmon center. Next up came the shrimp avocado roll—which was a little overbearing with its avocado, but went perfectly with the soy sauce on the table—and the California roll, which was deliciously crunchy. Though the tuna avocado roll was a bit on the plain side, its companion, the spicy tuna roll, more than made up for it with its fiery flavor and perfect texture.
Next, we moved on to the specialty rolls—this was where the real fun began. The Rough Riders roll was a veritable tempest of shrimp tempura, cucumber, tuna and lobster salad, drizzled with an incredible mixture of sauces, and the Wizard roll was no slouch either, featuring cucumber, avocado, peppered tuna and a layer of salmon on the top, all garnished with the chef’s special sauce. The final effect was one of fruitiness and zest that had us fighting over the last few pieces.
The East Coast roll offered a combination of salmon, mango, avocado and tuna, which pleased our palates to no end. We brought our dining experience to a close with the Flame Roll, a not-on-the-menu local secret composed of spicy lobster salad mixed with tuna and avocado and topped with a generous serving of roe. This was, as Julie put it, “the sushi equivalent of a lobster roll,” and the ideal way to end our meal at Westlake. Kolar later informed me that he, together with co-owner James Lyons, works to serve “as much local product as possible” (for example, local bigeye tuna often find their way onto the menu). Trust us—if you’re finishing up a hard day’s work (or play) in Montauk, check out Westlake’s sushi offerings. You’ll leave satisfied, full and still somehow yearning for more.
Westlake Fish House, 352 Westlake Drive, Montauk, 631-668-3474, westlakefishhouse.com