"Montauk. Big bonfire. A secluded piece of beach at Ditch Plains. Lobsters everywhere… We buy lobsters at Duryea's on Tuthill Road."
"We drive out to Duryea's for one last lobster. The waterside patio is overrun with people, but the mood is festive and relaxed. Everyone toasts their good luck at being here and their good taste for not being somewhere else. We pop some champagne and drink it out of plastic cups. There's a phrase in Bonac that means being the last one to leave a party. "Let's clam the tide out," they say. I read that somewhere and liked it. And like any good Hamptons arriviste, I'm happy to take a piece of the past and fit it to my own purposes. So we'll linger around our table at Duryea's until way past dark, order another round of steamers, and hold on to our Hamptons summer for as long as possible. We'll clam the tide out."
On the stretch of Route 27 between Amagansett and Montauk, the Clam Bar and the Lobster Roll compete for East End seafood-shack dominance. Better yet, wait till Montauk, where Duryea's Lobster Deck, overlooking Fort Pond Bay, has the area's best steamed lobsters, fish burgers, and steamers.
DURYEA'S LOBSTER DECK
65 Tuthill Road
Tel: 631 668 2410
To find this family-owned, cash-only seafood spot, you'll pass the last stop on the Long Island Railroad, then ride out to what feels like the end of the world. On a breezy dock, patrons unwind on plastic outdoor furniture with B.Y.O. beer and wine. (In town, the friendly folks at White's Liquor will be happy to recommend a chilled dry Riesling, sell you a corkscrew, and throw in some plastic cups.) At the cashier's window, photocopied menus offer a selection of impeccably fresh seafood that's steamed or broiled—but never fried. A lobster roll is a taste of heaven—toothsome chunks of the meat and celery expertly seasoned and dressed with just enough mayonnaise to hold them together, then piled into a buttered and toasted sesame seed bun. Steamed littlenecks, embellished only with a squirt of lemon and a dipping bowl of melted butter, are as uplifting as the salty ocean air.