17 S. Edison St. Montauk, NY 631-668-4200
In its third season, South Edison keeps its carefully cultivated, surf-town cool. This sharp spot, now with chef Roy Wohlars, lures you with fish-and-chips made with local hake and sashimi of day-boat fluke; a spicy tuna BLT chalupa with house-smoked bacon and shrimp-and-grits fra diavolo; olive-oil braised baby octopus tacos and chilled Thai-style coconut soup with Jonah crabmeat. There's a very good raw bar, too. The menu changes regularly. The quality doesn't.
In the time it takes to towel off and freshen up, you'll go from the beach to the dining room at South Edison. This new addition to downtown eating is situated midway between Montauk Highway and the ocean, about two blocks each way. Come for the raw bar in late afternoon or for a creative combo of New American and surf-and-turf from 5:30 p.m. It's the model of a summer eatery in a beachy town. The restaurant is awash in sunny and aquatic hues. South Edison sports a busy bar, with brews on tap, and a menu of uncomplicated but stylish dishes in the appropriately named, bright and light Bike Room and Surf Room. Chef Todd Mitgang heads very east after cooking at Cascabel Taqueria and Kittichai in Manhattan. You'll walk slightly north from the sands for plates of littlenecks and cherrystones, assorted oysters and crabs, plus the obligatory shrimp and lobster cocktails. Consider this a leisurely, pre-dinner stop. Mitgang updates and juices up a buttery lobster roll with black-garlic mayo. Day-boat fluke sashimi vies with a spicy tuna BLT chalupa completed with house-smoked bacon and warm tortillas. Of course, there's linguine with clam sauce, here with littlenecks and fresh tomato, clam broth and lemon. The carnivorous can enjoy a sliced strip steak, cherry-cola braised pork belly and jerk-roasted Crescent Farm duck breast. If there's room: the salted-caramel, fudge-brownie ice cream sandwich, a contemporary riff on a summer classic.