Gurneys Sea Grill

Gurneys Resort sits on top of the dunes in Montauk over looking the Atlantic ocean.  Gurneys has gone down hill over the past few decades.  Apparently the previous owners not only let the place deteriorate but there were a bunch of issues with time shares and a like that were not being managed properly.  It was so unfortunate because the 11 acre property is perched on one of the most beautiful locations.

In May of 2013 the property changed hands.  The renovations have begun and the first spot to be changed was the restaurant.  The place is sprawling.  Easily fits almost two hundred diners not including the outside terraces.  It is huge.  Of course there are people renting their for the week or summer in time shares so there is no lack of people to have a meal.  We decided to go check it out.

seagullAt first glance the menu looks like the food is going to be really delicious.  Here you are overlooking a beautiful beach with views of the ocean figuring this is going to be great.  It took about 30 minutes for someone to realize that nobody had paid any attention to us.  Someone finally came out and asked if we had seen our server which we had not so he took our order and got us a bottle of wine.   We were treated to a meal with the local seagull who managed to grab a nice hunk of bread off one of the nearby tables when everybody was looking.

rollsBread is key.  The small pretzel rolls come out warm but eat them quick because they get super hard quickly.

salmonI started with the salmon tartare.  Chopped salmon with creme fraiche, fried capers, citrus oil and thinly sliced cucumbers on the side with wonton chips.  It looks good but it was tasteless.  I tried salt.  It was just totally bland.

burrataFred had the heirloom tomato and burrata salad.  The burrata was nice but the concept did not fly.  Small balsamic pearls and powder made to look elegant but it just did not work.

seabassOnce they got us going the food came out super quick.  Ridiculously quick.  We sat for 30 minutes with nothing.  Then we got our wine and appetizers.  By the time we put down our fork and our plates were cleared the entrees came out.   Fred had the striped bass poached in a very heavy handed corn veloute with a few pieces of corn for garnish.  It was ok.

charI had the grilled arctic char.  Over cooked and dry with wilted watercress on the side and a spoonful of salmon roe on the top.

The whole experience was so disappointing.  Granted my expectations out east are pretty low.  Had high hopes for this place with the changing of the guard.  It looks new but if they do not fix the kitchen people will not return for several meals over the course of the summer.  We would have had dessert and perhaps an after dinner drink but why would we when the local ice cream shop is probably better. Beautiful location for a drink but the vibe, the food and the rest is subpar.


Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    An aside on restaurants….Need to say that the announcements that both the Union Square Cafe and Rouge Tomate are closing due to rental costs gave me pause.For different reasons but both are part of the NY that just works for me.

    1. Brandon Burns

      WD-50 is closing, too, also due to real estate issues. And when I look around at the crap places moving into the lower east side, I just shake my head.There’s a NYT article about the cycle of: restaurant moves into a neighborhood –> neighborhood gentrifies — generic businesses with deeper pockets move in —> prices go up —> restaurant moves into new neighborhood.

      1. awaldstein

        Thanks…NY changes in these massive cycles of leases coming due and also, the generational shift of rent controlled apts fading away.Interesting stuff with a hard grating edge.Got closer to it a bit as my buddies opened a restaurant wine bar in TriBeCa. Racines is a great spot if you are into wine and French food–

    2. Gotham Gal

      Beyond upsetting. It gives me huge pause. Shame shame on the owners of these buildings. They have made plenty over the years and they should think about the impact of turning NYC into a shopping mall. Disgusting.

      1. awaldstein

        I’m friends with the Somm at Rouge and know they will be moving downtown and can see them being reborn anew.For Union Square, I’m scheduling a number of reunions there now as I fear this is entering the past, part of mine with it.

  2. Laura Yecies

    We’ve been to Gourneys at least once per summer over many years. View and setting is awesome but you need to stick with the simple dishes – steamed lobster, steak etc unfortunately. Any recommendations of where to go? We’ll be in Amagansett next week.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Nothing new. I have to say that Boswicks in the old ice cream parlor on Route 27 is simple and good.

      1. Snooch

        Big Bostwicks fan!

        1. Gotham Gal

          Stay there

  3. pointsnfigures


  4. Jeff Jones

    I hope you at least stopped for a BBC at Cyril’s on the way back! You should try the clam chowder at the Backyard at Sole East next time you are in Mtk.