With the exception of the lighthouse and the lobster, the best-known symbol of Montauk must be Gosman's. And, on a sunny afternoon, toward season's end, when the crowds have departed, it can be a delightful perch on the water.

Dining here, however, often can be less magical. You'll have to order carefully. The best advice is to stick with the simplest preparations.

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The best choices include the obligatory, steamed local lobster. The broiled version sometimes is a bit dry. The shore dinner adds yellowtail flounder, which is good; and baked clams, which are not.

Fried fare tends to be bland. You'll use a bucket of tartar sauce. Best of the fried is calamari. Broiled fluke is satisfactory, as is the basic shrimp cocktail. Skippables: crab cakes, stuffed sole, pork chops. The desserts are routine.

Be prepared to wait on a summer evening. There are enough shops around the dock to keep you busy. --Peter M. Gianotti