Robbin Haas earns his byline at the Montauk Yacht Club. The veteran chef's New American cuisine suits the Gulf Coast Kitchen, which the club renovated last season. The waterside eatery is all light, bright, comfortable. Haas arrived in March, after opening restaurants in Antigua, Guatemala and in Coral Gables, Fla. His Caribbean and South Florida experiences transfer easily to Montauk, where he's emphasizing seafood and the local angle. It's refined, unpretentious food, with hints of the tropics and the Mediterranean, New England and New York City. And now, "East End" easily could be subbed for "Gulf Coast."


THE BEST

Haas prepares excellent lobster dishes. His bisque is deeply flavored, coral-shaded, with nuggets of meat and a swirl of crème fraîche. Butter-poached lobster: terrific, with tender, shelled meat accompanied by asparagus, mushrooms, baby carrots, peas and edamame. Whole lobster, steamed, grilled or roasted, arrives with steamed potatoes and fresh corn. Seaside, the competition comes from a clambake that includes a small lobster, shrimp, clams, corn and potatoes; and a thick, moist cut of seared striped bass, surrounded by a summer succotash of corn, tomatoes and snap peas, seasoned with ginger and mint. Haas sends out a mild, good fritto misto of fluke, zucchini and scallops with basil mayo and ponzu sauce. Salads also are refreshing openers. Try the combo of avocado, tomato and bacon, loosely molded into a disc and capped with a smear of diverting, blue-cheese sorbet; and the field-fresh, generous mixed-green number with an herb vinaigrette. Gluten-free corn pasta, with tofu, asparagus, mushrooms, snap peas and pear tomatoes give vegetarians a satisfying choice. The carnivorous should veer toward the Roquefort-crusted filet mignon. On the side, sample sautes of fresh corn, bacon and green onions; and spinach with lemon and garlic. Tall, tart Key lime pie, and dark-and-milk chocolate mousse lead desserts.

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THE REST

Leaden goat-cheese gnocchi; tough, chewy seared duck breast; a bland blueberry-raspberry tart; and a strawberry-rhubarb tart that must have been reheated with a blowtorch.


THE BOTTOM LINE

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Year-round relaxation.