Where to Dine En-Mass
Going out with a group can be diffcult on multiple accounts: people are picky, or restaurants don’t accommodate. However, we’ve cracked the code for you and chosen our favorite five spots for group dining, featuring big tables, made-for-sharing menus, music, after-hours dancing, and some of the most photo-worthy sunset views.
The Montauk Beach House (55 S. Elmwood Ave., Montauk) Between the beach and the heart of its namesake town, Montauk Beach House couldn’t have a more ideal seat in the Hamptons from which to throw its legendary parties. This on-trend hotel boasts a well- earned reputation of being grounds for some of the Hamptons’ best pool parties, with a summer calendar full of bands and DJs.
But for all its fun and games, it takes itself seriously, especially when it comes to food. Snacks, salads, pizzas, tacos, and burgers flesh out the Outdoor Grill’s menu, which sounds like prime party food, but take a closer look: hummus is flecked with pickled mustard seeds and tzatziki with shaved fennel; a superfood salad of rainbow carrats, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts, kale, and more can come topped with mahi-mahi; fish and roast pork tacos are rounded out with a vegetarian option of sweet potato tacos topped with queso fresco, beans, pickled cabbage, and grilled pineapple; and the pizzas – all of which, but especially the clam pizza, are heavenly – can be ordered gluten-free. Whether you’re pre-, mid-, or post party, fear not: dinner awaits, and it’ll be well worth the time away from the dance floor.
Duryea’s (65 Tuthill Rd., Montauk)If BYOB doesn’t have your friends saying yes” to a group invite, then what will? Perhaps one of the best lobster rolls around – but Duryea’s, fantastically, has both. This lobster deck” is one of the most picturesque spots in the Hamptons, with a shaded patio jutting out toward TK, making your table seemingly float above the lapis waters. Casual and chic, charming and serene, Duryea’s is one of those restaurants that has the power to erase all problems during the duration of a meal, especially during the unobstructed sunset hour. And, it’s almost impossible to come here without a group, as – aside from its famous lobster rolls – most of its menu is served in portions for two or more.
This “lobster deck” is one of the most picturesque spots in the Hamptons Seafood platters can serve up to four with lobster, king crab, snow crab, oysters, shrimp, local clams, and tuna tartare, as can sharing-sized portions of crudités, calamari, and pots of shrimp cooked in garlic and chili and served with lime butter. Shared mains range from market fish to steak and from a clam bake to three pounds of grilled octopus, and there are plenty of options for kids, if you can keep the little ones from running to play on the dock long enough to have a bite. Come prepared with bottles of rosé; you’ll need more than a glass to wash it all down.
Ruschmeyer’s (161 2nd House Rd., Montauk)
Relive your youth (or, continue reveling in it!) at Ruschmeyer’s, a Wes Anderson dream of a hotel that has long been loved for its old shady trees to lounge under, its lawn games to compete in, its cabins to dwell in – and its food to fawn over. Like the most idyllic of summer camp dining halls, the restaurant here is set under wood-beamed vaulted ceiling with long wooden tables designed to seat hungry parties ready to partake in big, rowdy group feasts after full days out in the sun.
Unlike meals you might recall if you ever spent weeks away from home in your youth, the menu here is less mini-corndog and more max-local. It’s still comfort food, no doubt, but regularly changing seasonal menus might see fried chicken come glazed and served with stone fruit, or lobster rolls served with sweet the most idyllic of summer camp dining halls potato chips instead of fries. Biodynamic wines and cocktails whipped up with garden ingredients make for perfect ends to meals – but starts to nights spent around a campfire or dancing at one of the weekend discos put on outside. Consider it a camp dance.
Grey Lady MTK (440 W. Lake Drive, Montauk)
Up for a lake trip? Grey Lady MTK on Montauk Lake is ready to host, and with its sister locales in the ritzy reaches of Manhattan and Aspen, you can trust that this Lady will serve you and your crowd well – though, only if you and your crowd are fans of the freshest, locally caught seafood. East Coast Jonah crab served on toast with homemade herbed mayonnaise, calamari Asian-style glazed in chili and soy, and smoked trout pâté are all choice for table-sized starters, while the limited choice of entrées are all so enticing that an easy approach is to order most and split.
There’s line-caught black sea bass pan- seared with seaweed butter, platters of fish- of-the-day tacos, expansive plates of fried seafood, and Maine lobster rolls served with a heap of fries. Better yet, add on a raw-bar plateau” – a dozen oysters, four littlenecks, four shrimp, and a half-lobster, or a larger, double-sized version that also throws in a chef’s selection of crudo – and a bottle of nice prosecco can be added on for a reduced price. Perhaps the cherry on all of it (if cherries were to go on aquatic creatures) is the drink menu, which will serve any of its eight craft cocktails in table-sized carafes, as well as its beers and White Claws in buckets. One thing’s for sure: Grey’s quite the lady, especially on nights when DJ friends visit to spin until well past dark.
Sotto Sopra (231 Main St., Amagansett)
Think Tuscan villa with a twist of New England charm, and you’ll land at a table in Sotto Sopra, an Italian eatery in Amagansett that has been serving pizzas, prime meats, and more since 2012. Wood-fired flatbreads come topped with bresaola and provolone, or spinach, sautéed mushrooms, and truffle robiolina. Fish stew brims with all manner of shellfish simmering in tomato and fresh basil aioli, and the most tender filet mignon or grass- fed lambchops pair with sides of vegetables like rosemary-roasted brussels
This is all to say that while Sotto Sopra might not fashion itself as a family-style, red sauce establishment, its menu runs strong, best enjoyed by ordering for the table and sharing. As the wine list and cocktail menu are both extensive, consider starting with the former before moving to the latter. And as handsome as the cedar-paneled dining room might be, the back patio couldn’t be lovelier in the summertime. sprouts and asparagus simply grilled in olive oil.