Mary Giuliani's Small Bites, Big Stories: "Miss Montauk" Tour
July 05, 2012 | At Home
I need to come clean. I turned my back on Montauk.
Yes Montauk…the most beautiful beach town in the world that everyone complains is too far of a drive, but once there, no one ever wants to leave.
The town that my family helped pioneer, where my parents met and fell in love, where my grandmother built her first hotel. The town where I first learned how to swim, where I also took my first steps, and the town where I met, fell in love with, and married my husband! Shame on me!!!
Well, Montauk did something without asking my permission. It became hip!
No one said “Hey Mary, would you be okay with us turning the old burger shack (where you used to kiss boys) into a Momofuku?!” Or “Remember that place you used to be high scorer on Ms. Pacman? Well now it’s a VIP dance club with velvet ropes.” And where was my memo when someone decided to remove the fish tank from the Crow’s Nest! Didn’t they know that I spent hours on my grandfather’s lap staring at that thing?
So I took personal offense and joined the ranks of people shaking their fists and shouting, “Montauk has changed! It’s not like it used to be!” and then, like a scorned lover, broke up with my childhood beach town and headed to the mountains.
But last week, Montauk, like a great song you forgot you loved, came blaring on the radio inside my head. I realized that I had begun to think of Montauk the same way the cool girls in high school thought of me, after they had been off at summer camp kissing boys and I had been home reading Nancy Drew—it was mostly off my radar but not because I was too cool for Montauk. Montauk, I woefully thought, was too cool for me.
So I set off on a mission to fall back in love with Montauk…and I did! I drove around chasing all my old memories. Turns out they were all still there. So many places have remained untouched (a good thing) and there are some new and shiny places that ain’t half bad (a great thing!).
Here goes: On my journey, I stopped at the old burger shack that is now Momofuku, and guess what? I had THE most AMAZING cookie and iced coffee I’ve ever had in my life while looking at the front of the first hotel in town, built by my grandmother (and still perfectly intact). Between bites and sips, I realized Montauk and I had fallen back in love!
Here is my MISS MONTAUK tour for those who want to fall back in love with her again:
Breakfast - Anthony’s (710 Main St., Montauk, 668-9705)
Celebrating 60 years, this remains the best place for a yummy morning meal after a late night out. They still make the most delicious milkshakes in that same green Hamilton blender.
Lunch - Duryea’s (65 Tuthill Road, Montauk, 668-2410)
Nothing better than sitting outside on the water eating a lobster roll at this unchanged spot that defines Montauk perfection. They also sell cool hats.
Drinks - The Hideaway (364 W. Lake Dr., Montauk, 668-6592)
Best margaritas in Montauk set on an old fishing dock. Don’t miss the Mexican corn…you’ll definitely want seconds.
Dinner - Dave’s Grill (468 W. Lake Dr., Montauk, 668-9190)
Okay, it’s not an oldie but it is REALLY good. My husband can’t get enough of the tempura sushi.
Trouble - The Memory Motel (692 Montauk Hwy., Montauk, 668-2702)
‘Nuff said. Two Mind Erasers and you won’t care (or remember) who you're dancing with.
Recovery Day - Navy Beach (16 Navy Road, Montauk, 668-6868)
Perfect place to experience the simplicity and beauty that is Montauk.
Mary and her husband Ryan launched marygiuliani.com in 2005, based on their shared love of entertaining, food, and hospitality. The figurehead of the company, Mary creates parties and mingles with the absolute crème de la crème of the Hollywood and fashion scenes. Her clients look to her to break the traditions of entertaining norms and to provide them with party ideas that are one of a kind, out of the box, playful experiences.
Her schedule is jam packed from morning to night when she’s on the party circuit. Mary is the exclusive caterer for J. CREW, Madewell, and Christie’s. Her client roster includes: The Rolling Stones, Bradley Cooper, Sheryl Crow, Natalie Portman, Sephora, Conde Nast, Hearst, Time Inc., Stella McCartney, Warner Brothers, Universal Pictures, and many more. In 2011, Mary executed 27 events in one evening across Manhattan for Vogue’s Fashion’s Night out and her company produces over 600 events a year. Biz Bash also honored her as “Caterer of the Year” in 2011. Follow Mary on Twitter: @mary_giuliani