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Navy Beach in Montauk

Navy Beach is a new nautical-themed restaurant recently

Navy Beach is a new nautical-themed restaurant recently opened in Montauk. (May 15, 2010) Credit: Photo by Gordon M. Grant

Put your feet in the sand and take a seat at the picnic table: instant summer - plus some chowder and fried chicken at Navy Beach.

Welcome to your beach house on Fort Pond Bay. This newcomer is as summery as it gets, whether you're nibbling alfresco or joining the laid-back diners indoors. Navy Beach is an ideal place for lunch. And if you're planning dinner, be sure to be here for a spectacular sunset.

Follow the signs to this reverie. The retooled eatery is off the main roads of Montauk, at the site of a private beach.

It's all fun in soft colors as chef Paul LaBue, veteran of The Beacon in Sag Harbor and The Laundry in East Hampton, delivers the season on a plate. You'll enjoy Navy Beach at the outdoor, communal tables; the antique bar; or in the main dining room, which is festooned with vintage bathing suits and nautical imagery.

LaBue's menus, day and night, include that mild local clam-and-corn chowder and a generous lump crab cake. Try the juicy, buttermilk-fried chicken, too. The meaty lobster roll, a bit underseasoned, is served cool by day, butter-poached at night. You also can dive into a generous combo of littlenecks, white beans, tomato and chorizo sausage. Seafood-and-chips: cod, scallops and shrimp. And order the Parmesan fries, cheesy in the true sense.

Sweets: toasted-almond panna cotta; Key-lime custard with mango coulis; and the best one, passion-fruit granita with tropical-fruit salsa and chocolate-and-orange gelato.

Party on. 

Navy Beach, 16 Navy Rd., Montauk; 631-668-6868

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