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Restaurant of the Week: Set to launch next week, the legendary chef is taking the helm at this Hamptons' hot spot.
By Emma Al-Mousawi | July 28 2021
Two icons are set to collide next week when famed chef Paul Liebrandt kicks off his hotly anticipated summer residency at Montauk’s beloved Surf Lodge.
The innovative chef, known for his daring cuisine which is a treat for the eyes as well as the tastebuds, will kick off his tenure at the luxury Montauk hotel on Monday, August 2.
Liebrandt is set to follow in the footsteps of some of the world’s most coveted chefs including Jean Georges, Dan Kluger, Daniela Soto Ines, Eric Ripert, and Shaun Hergatt — all of whom have graced the Surf Lodge’s kitchen.
The chef’s elevated three-course menu, delivered in partnership with San Pellegrino, is set to be served every Monday and Tuesday evening throughout the month of August. And as one of Montauk’s hottest summer dining tickets, the two dinner seatings (one at 5pm and another at 8pm) are expected to fill up fast.
So what can we expect from the Paul Liebrand Surf Lodge residency?
Probably best known as the title star of the HBO Emmy-nominated documentary A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt, the Zimbabwean born chef sharpened his exceptional gatronomic talents in London and Paris before heading to the kitchen of New York’s Atlas restaurant.
It is here where Liebrandt’s career skyrocketed when in 2000, he became the youngest chef ever to earn three stars from the New York Times, with the critic describing the then 25-year-old as “a highly revved culinary engine… Mr. Liebrandt makes you use tastebuds that other chefs ignore.”
Liebrandt went on to open his own Tribeca eatery, Corton, in 2008, which went on to receive two Michelin stars thanks to the chef’s inventive and elegant brand of cuisine.
With Corton and his subsequent eatery, The Elm, now closed, today the chef mainly spends his time consulting for top restaurants. This makes Liebrandt’s summer residency at the Surf Lodge extra special, a rare chance to taste the unique culinary skills of one of the most exciting chefs of the past two decades.
At the Surf Lodge, Liebrandt’s menu is set to pare back the flamboyance ever so slightly to reflect the laid-back essence of Montauk and the property: “I am so inspired by the spirit and culture of Montauk and of course the magic of The Surf Lodge,” says the chef. “For me, it’s a celebration of local summertime ingredients sourced from the fisheries and farms on the east end that I’ve had the privilege of working with over the years.”
Indeed Liebrandt is staying true to the Surf Lodge’s sustainable ethos, opting to design a menu that is 80% plant-based, with ingredients all sourced from local farms in the NY State area. In fact, taking this one step further, the rainbow of squash blossoms, purple basil, wood sorrel and anise hyssop that feature on the menu are all grown by Liebrandt’s sous chef in his own garden.
Naturally in Montauk, seafood plates feature heavily as well, with elegant yet relaxed dishes such as summer lobster boil and bluefin tuna roll, perfect for carefree coastal dining. Like the fruit and veg, the fish and seafood are all sourced locally from trusted suppliers.
A fresh bounty of ingredients is brought to life using the exciting combinations Liebrandt is known for. Beautifully plated dishes such as Summer kiss melon with cucumber and shiso leaf gazpacho served alongside Montauk lobster are filled with flavor, while the tastes of the herb-steamed Montauk black bass — served with pesto made from fragrant anise hyssop flowers and finished with touches of bronze fennel ferns and opal basil — are unlike any other you’ll sample in the Hamptons this summer.
Alongside the seafood plates, Liebrandt has created equally flavorsome vegan options for every course, including the vibrant jewel drop tomato and badger flame beet served with black truffle puree.
The delights of Liebrandt’s Surf Lodge summer residency will be enjoyed in the breezy surrounds of the hotel’s contemporary coastal-themed restaurant. Opt for one of the white-washed booths or dine alfresco on the terrace while watching the sunset over Fort Pond.