By Alex Federico
In the last year, Gurney’s Montauk underwent a dramatic renovation in order to transform the property from an old-world beachfront property to a five-star luxury resort. Built with an open-air concept, high ceilings, and free flowing design, Gurney’s has a posh and modern interior to match its upscale surroundings with some of the finest dining options in the Hampton Bay areas. Among the resort’s newest additions (and top dining options) is Scarpetta Beach, a top-rated Manhattan eatery that sets itself apart not only as one of the top Italian-restaurants in Montauk, but as one of the few locations with an outdoor oceanfront dining room.
Aside from its impeccable views and mouthwatering cuisine, Scarpetta Beach was functionally designed as an open air indoor/outdoor space split between an indoor dining room with a sleek, long lobby bar and an outdoor dining room under the stars. Inside, floor-to-ceiling windows and giant sliding doors flood the restaurant with natural light. Diners are also invited to an open seating fire pit after their meal where they can sit back, smoke a cigar and enjoy a cocktail while cozying up with that special someone or laying the groundwork to forge new friendships.
The menu reflects the layout of many traditional Italian recipes with the addition of local ingredients. The chef at Scarpetta Beach puts a creative and fresh twist on Italian classics, sourcing the produce from an array of local farms throughout the Hamptons, and the seafood directly from the fishing community in Montauk. The pasta is made in-house, the fish is cooked fresh and they only use the finest grade of meats. Staying true to old-world Italian cooking methods (and not cutting corners), everything at Scarpetta is made on-premises, allowing the food and flavor to speak for itself.
During our recent trip to Scarpetta, we started off by requesting their signature dishes, family style, of course. For our Primi Piatti we had a Creamy Polenta with Truffled Mushrooms, and my favorite the Crispy Fritto Misto served with lightly fried calamari, shrimp and zucchini. Before the pasta course even hit the table, the first thing to arrive was the aroma of fresh garlic and basil. For the pasta course (which became an instant favorite), we were served a “melt in your mouth” Duck and Foie Gras Ravioli, and traditional spaghetti which will give your Italian grandmother a run for her money. For our main course we were served four amazing dishes, each better then the next, the Scallops and Branzino, both seared to perfection were the first dishes to be finished but the Colorado Lamb Loin (which cut like butter) and the organic Chicken were not far behind.
The desserts at Scarpetta are also made in-house, and are changed out by the season. A few of their specialties’ included a warm banana bread, butterscotch pudding, a coconut panna cotta, a flourless chocolate cake and my personal favorite, the Espresso Budino served like a tiramisu (but tastes like ice cream). Paying attention to every detail, from the restaurant design, down to the ingredient choices and serving etiquette, Scarpetta Beach at Gurney’s sets itself apart as one of the top dining options in Montauk.
After dinner, dinners are invited to hang out by the open seating fire pit where they can sit back, smoke a cigar and enjoy a cocktail while cozying up with that special someone or laying the groundwork for those new friendships. Paying attention to every detail, from the restaurant design, down to the ingredient choices and server etiquette the Scarpetta dining experience is definitely one worth visiting or revisiting again.