il Buco at Mostrador Marram Brings the Mediterranean to Montauk

Donna Lennard & chef Justin Smillie

In Montauk, where the old Atlantic Terrace once stood, now stands a far edgier hotel, with clean lines and unobstructed ocean views. The Mostrador Marram has reimagined one of Montauk’s most iconic hotel properties, and that means a reimagination of the food served at the property, too. Once, the snack bar at Atlantic Terrace served sub-par pool food. This year, you won’t find such indignities.

il Buco at Mostrador Marram is now rocking and rolling on the beach, an outpost that represents an urban Mediterranean ethos in a decidedly laid-back atmosphere. It’s the brainchild of restaurateur Donna Lennard and Chef Justin Smillie and seeks to marry what il Buco is known for—artisanal Mediterranean food that never fails to impress its many adorers—with that very specific Montauk feel.

The menu supports local farmers, fishermen, and purveyors. On a recent afternoon, a mezze platter, of sorts, featured a marinated mushroom salad, local beets with goat cheese, sungold tomatoes with Thai basil, charred cabbage, a creamy eggplant spread, and roasted peppers. An overfull lobster roll (truly the size of two) arrived on chewy, buttered focaccia, accompanied by thick steak fries. Fresh fish and fresh produce are the name of the game, with nary a chicken finger or wan sandwich in sight.

The menu at il Buco supports local farmers, fishermen, and purveyors.

At the bar, cocktails are playful and highlight light, healthy juices. Patrons can sit pretty much anywhere on the sprawling property, which is dotted with well-spaced seating options, from high tops to couches to lounge chairs. With the ocean breeze kicking in, the outdoor venue offers what is debatably some of the cleanest air in all of Long Island dining right now (not to mention a rigorous staff who is detail-oriented when it comes to enforcing mask-wearing and other safety protocol).

Of course, you can always take your food truly to go. The beach is only a staircase away, and there’s no reason you can’t—in the age of takeaway and newly disposable everything—grab your meal from il Buco and take it to a blanket on the sand below the property. Atlantic Terrace was once known as a surf spot for locals, and the surf break hasn’t changed, even if a renovation has made things a little nicer. Once you find your spot, you can watch the ocean do its frothy magic, since this slice of Montauk beach remains one of the most impressive places when it comes to watching the surf. The only thing better than digging your feet into the sand on a beautiful August afternoon? Doing it with a buttered focaccia lobster roll in hand.

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