Blog: Dans Clambake MTK
For more than fifty years, Dan’s Papers has been the premiere publication for Long Island’s East End for locals and visitors alike to catch a glimpse of life in and around the Hamptons. In recent years, the outlet has brought together some of the area’s finest chefs and mixologists for high end food tasting events under the moniker of Dan’s Taste of Summer and Saturday night, a few hundred guests flocked to the legendary Gurney’s in Montauk for the first feast of its kind. The debuting “Dan’s ClambakeMTK” welcomed more than a dozen local restaurants and purveyors- including some very special celebrity guests- to the spacious indoor/outdoor beach club setting, where the threat of rain would not deter a sizable crowd of attendees from gathering together in the spirit of summer.
With a portion of the proceeds from each ticket sold benefiting the Montauk Playhouse Community Center Foundation- used toward the upkeep and maintenance of the iconic local setting- and local domestic abuse shelter The Retreat, the $150 General Admission ticket price provided value far greater than a simple 2.5 hours of wining and dining. The causes meanwhile only added fuel to the already festive affair, where attendees like Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and TV personality Adam Richman could be spotted posing for photos with adoring eventgoers. The calling card for the evening though was the array of dishes being doled out by the talented restaurant staffs, where the spirit of a summertime clambake was very clearly every table’s inspiration.
Filled with clams, mussels, fresh corn and onions, the “Classic Clambake” prepared by the hosts from The Beach Club at Gurney’s Montauk (Chef Rick Denis) set the tone for the entire night with a mouthwatering red crawfish sitting atop the brothy bowl. Other clam focused fare from the likes of American Cut (“BBQ Baked Clams” with bacon powder) and Duryea’s Lobster Deck & Seafood Market (“Chorizo Stuffed Cherry Stone Clams”) each proved to be particularly savory offerings while Muse at the End’s “Shrimp Ceviche Cocktail” was among the lighter dishes being plated and served. Combined with charred corn, shishito peppers and avocado, the succulent chilled shrimps were immaculately seasoned and just tangy enough to appease those seeking out a dish with a kick.
Following a juicy “BBQ Brisket Slider” from Smokin’ Wolf BBQ & More, we gathered near the DJ booth as the evening’s hosts would take center stage to address the crowd on hand. Famed New York City Chef Marc Murphy (Landmarc, Ditch Plains) and TV personality Eden Grinshpan (Eden Eats) joyously bantered as audience members excitedly snapped photos of the pair. The music quickly resumed as Murphy would host a private book signing nearby for VIP ticketholders – while the rest of us went right back to the tasting tables. With delicious frozen drinks in hand from Montauk Rumrunners, we quickly indulged in some of the tasty dishes around the first floor space- namely, 668 Gigshack’s fantastic “Charred Lemon Caesar Salad with Grilled Shrimp,” Endless Summer Group’s soft belly clam based “New Mexico Clam Chowder” and Lugo Cucina Italiana’s “Fire Roast Clams,” with enough chorizo and charred tomato to satisfy even the most excited of pork-lovers.
For us, the highlight of the evening was touching base with co-founder of The Meatball Shop and owner of Seamore’s Michael Chernow and sampling some of his deliciously refreshing “Gazpacho.” Adorned with hunks of chilled lobster and grilled corn salad, each cold and zesty spoonful was memorable, punctuated by its garnish of ‘bulls blood.’ Paired with some equally refreshing cocktails from the likes of the nearby Milagro Tequila and “Gin and Tonics” made with Hendricks Gin, we made more than one visit to the Lower East Side seafood eatery’s table. Once we had sampled all there was to offer around the sprawling venue, we made our way to a vantage point and from above, snapped a few pictures of the crowd in great spirits- drinking, eating, living life and enjoying summer. In other words, making the very most out of their Hamptons weekend, in the merriment of a wildly successful first time food festival.
- Jane Van Arsdale
Food Highlights from Dan’s Taste of Summer: ClambakeMTK
Smokin’ Wolf BBQ & More: “BBQ Brisket Sliders”
Lynn’s Hula Hut: “Bean Salad with Clams, Pancetta & Shark Bite Puree”
Seamores NYC: “Chilled Lobster & Grilled Corn Salad with Gazpacho”
Gosman’s Dock: “Baked Crab Cake”
Westlake Fish House: “Scungilli Salad – Local Conch with Garlic, Lemon, Frisee & Parsley”
Ruschmeyer’s: “Grilled Clams with Sriracha Butter, Roasted Corn, Toasted Brioche”
668 Gigshack: “Charred Lemon Caesar Salad with Grilled Shrimp”
American Cut: “BBQ Baked Clams with Bacon Powder & Ararat”
The Beach Club at Gurney’s Montauk: “Classic Clambake with Clams, Mussels, Corn, Potato & Onion”
Duryea’s Lobster Deck & Seafood Market: “Chorizo Stuffed Cherry Stone Clam”
Endless Summer Group: “New Mexico Clam Chowder”
Scarpetta Beach: “Baby Gnocchi with Breadcrumbs”
Lugo Cucina Italiana: “Fire Roast Clams with Chorizo, Charred Tomato & Garlic Butter”
The Lobster Roll aka ‘Lunch’: “Pies, Cupcakes, Smore’s Treats, Cookies, Mini Cakes”
Muse at the End: “Shrimp Ceviche Cocktail”