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Eat & Drink

Sep 29, 2009 2:33 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Two restaurants in one at Second House Tavern

Sep 29, 2009 2:33 PM

A seasoned veteran of the local food scene has teamed up with a New York restaurateur to open Second House Tavern, a casual dining spot overlooking Fort Pond on Second House Road in Montauk. For the summer just passed—the restaurant’s second “season”—new executive chef Jeremy Blutstein brought not one, but two updated menus to the “new American pub” establishment.

Abby Monahan, managing partner and Montauk native, said in a recent interview that she and fellow owner Jon Chapski had always wanted the restaurant to offer two different dining experiences under one roof. To that end, she said that she and Mr. Chapski worked with Mr. Blutstein to ensure that the restaurant continues to serve up two separate menus in its casual, bar-like grill room and slightly more formal tavern dining room.

The grill room is furnished almost entirely with wood salvaged from an old building in New York City and includes booths, tables and bar-style seating. From nearly any spot in the room, diners can catch a glimpse of one of four flat-screen televisions tuned to live sports channels. The large bar is stocked with a variety of liquors, bottled beers and beers on tap. The grill room menu includes soups, salads, starters, sandwiches and entrées.

The tavern dining room, with lofted ceilings and panoramic views of Fort Pond, offers a more formal setting. Artisan-style farm tables, lighting hung from trusses, wood floors and white walls create an airy, open dining space. The tavern room also has a bar area, though it is considerably smaller than its grill room counterpart. The tavern room menu includes soups, salads, appetizers, entrées and side dishes.

“It’s a classic tavern in the true Montauk style,” Ms. Monahan said of the restaurant, which is located on the historic site of the former Ruschmeyer’s estate. Current plans call for Second House to remain open through Christmas.

“We want it to be a place for locals and tourists alike,” she said, “with good food in the new American pub style.”

The grill menu soups include fire roasted tomato soup with Vermont cheddar, toasted caraway seed and lump crab, $9, and New England clam chowder with charred corn, house cured bacon and smoked jalapeno, $10. Salads range from baby arugula with crumbled Danish bleu cheese, pine nuts and a simple citrus emulsion, $11, and classic Caesar salad, with chopped romaine and croutons, $11, to the “Grill Room” chopped salad, with romaine, radicchio, onion, fire roasted red pepper and anchovy, $12, and duck confit Cobb salad, with hard-boiled egg, romaine, lardon and tomato creme fraiche vinaigrette, $15.

The grill menu also includes starters, ranging from mac ’n’ cheese with pancetta, $9, to crispy pancetta-wrapped diver sea scallops, $15. Other starters include warm truffled brie and fries, $9; margherita pizza, $12; firecracker lollypop chicken wings, $13; roasted clams casino, $14; and lobster sliders, $16.

Entrées range from vegetarian cassoulet, with white beans, roasted garlic, wood roasted root vegetables and charred tomato, $18, to bone-in rib eye with coriander, black pepper crust, hotel butter and frites, $35. Other entrées include fish and chips with stout beer battered cod, Old Bay seasoned fries and tartar sauce, $19; gunpowder chicken with wild mushroom, caramelized onions and herb roasted garlic broth, $23; crispy pork belly with a confit of garlic, rainbow Swiss chard and honey glaze, $24; double cut pork chop with apple butter, fingerling potato, caramelized onion and bacon vinaigrette, $26; and crusted tuna with asparagus, oyster mushrooms, kaffir lime leaf, pink peppercorn and soy mirin reduction. $29.

Sandwiches include pulled pork with mustard, barbecue sauce and fries, $12; Tavern burger with pickles, greens, tomato, fries, and a choice of cheddar, gruyere, Danish bleu or ‘shrooms,” $13; and shaved rib eye served on a garlic toasted bun with sautéed onions, cheddar and fries, $16.

The tavern menu includes two soups: watermelon gazpacho, $9, and New England clam chowder with roasted local corn, jalapeño, fingerling potato and smoked bacon, $10. Salads include baby arugula with Danish bleu cheese, Granny Smith apple, toasted pine nuts and citrus emulsion, $11; heirloom tomato salad with avocado, watermelon, fresh mint and farmer’s cheese, $12; and shaved asparagus salad with baby fennel, tarragon, spiced hazelnuts and champagne vinaigrette, also $12.

Appetizers range from margherita pizza, $12, to hand chopped tuna with lime segments, avocado, red onion, raspberries, and 25-year aged balsamic, $17. Other appetizers include chilled shrimp cocktail, $12.50; Point Judith calamari and rock shrimp with three dipping sauces, $14; lump crab with celeriac, shredded carrot, avocado mousse and gazpacho water, $15; and roasted local clams served in a hot English mustard broth with fresh thyme and bacon, $15.

Entrées range from vegetarian cassoulet of seasonal root vegetables, charred tomato, chickpeas, and roasted garlic, $18, to cowboy steak, $35. Other entrées include wood roasted mussels with cracked black pepper and lemon white wine broth, $22; Montauk striped bass with wild mushroom, red curry broth and fried leeks, $27; herb seared diver scallops with baby fennel, grapefruit, pink peppercorn and fine herbs, $27; seared tuna with charred local corn succotash and salsa verde, $31; and wild Atlantic halibut with heirloom tomato, ricotta salada and citrus burnt butter, $32.

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I have dined at the Second House twice. My first experience was very good. It was off season in the middle of May 2009. My second time there was horrible!! In season, the middle of August 2009. The hostess asked if we had a reservation and when we said no her attitude arrived! When we asked for the specials she said there was none, even though we could hear other wait staff telling customers all the specials. The final straw was when my mother in law asked for bread because her pasta was ...more
By Mom of 2 (12), flanders on Sep 27, 09 6:18 PM
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