The Crow's Nest on Old West Lake Drive in Montauk, NY is a restaurant I could probably credit my love of food. There I was a 4-year-old who ordered lobster for the first time (mom took on the kid's hot dog), and years later, grew to taste rich, flavorful bites, like squid ink ravioli oozing with cream sauce and crab meat.
I literally grew up at this restaurant. Mom and dad brought me along for their weekends out east, practically hidden table-side in my baby bucket. Later, my brother and I insisted on running in to claim a table along the floor-to-ceiling fish tanks so we could press our faces against the glass in between each bite. Then, I grew old enough to walk through the lobster market out back with my boyfriend to pick the biggest in house, a six-pounder (Yeah, that's a $100 lobster… and looking back, it was worth every penny, having been my last time in my family's old favorite.)
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So, when you consider yourself a Montauk "summer local," the vibe of this town over the past few years could be a turn-off. Heels, G-wagons, and $14 cocktails weren't often things that traveled East enough to make it to "The End." But in a town with beautiful beaches and the warmest locals, you've just got to embrace the change and have fun with it. And the same goes for the Crow's Nest, bought and revamped a couple of years back by Manhattan hotelier Sean Macpherson (And yes, it took some time for me to suck it up and finally go).
So, here are the perks, and jerks, of the new Crow's Nest:
- The beautiful fields and docks are finally being used! Check out the cocktail bar out back while watching the sunset; or lounge in front of the property's two fire pits and enjoy the Montauk air.
- Jalapeno margaritas: Montauk is doing margs justice, especially here where this drink has just the right amount of kick. The mixologist told us they infused the liquor with limes and lemons all day to help smooth out the spice of the pepper. And, it definitely did the job.
- The "Fresh Lemon Pasta" with lemon olive oil, arugula, and parmigiano--fresh and crisp. The perfect summer pasta dish.
- The newest trend in Montauk: Two-hour-plus waits, never accepting advanced reservations. This is especially the case here, but if you're willing to stay for some drinks out back, they'll get you seated quicker.
- Waiters wear overalls. Not just impractical in all white, but also, they look ridiculous. Come on, overalls weren't even that cool in the 90s. Mr. Sommelier in the khakis and a hawaiian shirt was reppin' the locals right.
- And personally, I'd love some lobster on the menu. At least, just to pay homage to the beautiful place that once was.
Though I'll never stop missing my nights growing up over dishes at the original Crow's Nest, sometimes change is good. Sean Macpherson may have a lot to live up to but I think he's well aware of the gem he has out in Eastern Long Island.