Dock to Dish: Sampling the Sustainable Delights at Montauk’s New Showfish
It’s the same every Hamptons season: you’ve barely recovered from your Memorial Day hangover, and suddenly it’s August. And wouldn’t you know, we’d yet to set foot in Showfish, the buzzy new eatery in the stylishly renovated Gurney’s Star Island Resort & Marina.
We quickly remedied that situation, and learned just what all that buzz was about. Epitomizing the joys of laidback summer dining, the Montauk restaurant is the latest to follow the principles of Dock to Dish, a program recognized by the United Nations in 2017 for its innovative approach to sustaining our troubled oceans.
Indeed, Showfish offers up some of the freshest seafood all caught by local fisherman in the Long Island Sound, and prepared with vegetables sourced from local farms. The seasonally focused menu was created by Chef Jeremy Blutstein, who had won heaps of praise for his stint at Bridgehampton’s perpetually trendy Almond bistro.
But here, he is decisively elevating seafood shack classics to a whole new level of sophistication.
“As an East End native,” he explains, “it’s incredibly rewarding to utilize my longstanding relationships with the community’s top farmers, fishermen, bay men and artisans and put my knowledge of sustainable practices to use with local products. We really want our diners to experience the best of the region and to provide the opportunity to enjoy local produce and seafood in ways they haven’t before.”
The name Showfish is actually a reference to the sprawling nine-foot seafood display and lobster tank where diners can select their catch of the day.
Though we were tempted by the fruits de mer raw bar tower, we started with smaller shareable plates: the slightly cured Montauk fluke crudo, tuna crudo and scallop carpaccio. We then moved on to vegetarian options found on the From the Farm section of the menu, including Sagaponack Foster Farm spring asparagus and Quail Hill Farm warm carrot salad.
Chef Blutstein’s entrees, an innovative mix of the fresh and the cured, included some genuine showstoppers. Standouts were the house dry-aged bone-in tuna ribeye, tagliatelle with Maine uni butter and Calabrian chili, and, our fave, seared scallops with house-cured duck prosciutto.
Something you don’t often see out East, the cocktail program at Showfish Bar mirrors the restaurant’s values on sustainability and localism. Unused strawberry stems from the 1 Tequila 2 Tequila strawberry margarita are refashioned to create a strawberry vinegar used in dishes or in mocktails. Leftover fruit is also utilized in house-infused spirits and syrups such as the habanero herradura tequila and cucumber vodka.
Other potent tipples on the drinks menu included the Shaolin Sour, featuring Bombay sapphire, lemon verbena, matcha green tea, lemon and black sesame, and the Caffe Shakerato, Showfish’s excellent signature espresso martini.
Though the interiors exhibit an inviting, breezy-chic (rattan chairs, natural woods, parquet floors, curved white banquettes), we highly recommend dining alfresco, under the stars and twinkling lights, on the porch overlooking the marina. Oh, and Gurney’s has played host to the likes of Naomi Watts, Gwyneth Paltrow and Cameron Diaz – so here everything on the Dock to Dish menu comes with a side of superb people watching.