The COVID19 Pandemic has changed a LOT about life. From outdoor dining at even the finest NYC restaurants, to completely forgetting what the office looks like, there’s been huge changes across all facets of life.
Even out east, things have definitely changed. While the changes might not be so drastic as those to the city portion of our lives, it’s safe to say the way we enjoy the Hamptons is going to be forever changed. And that includes how we Montauk. (Yes, it’s a verb, just go with it…)
While Montauk for us used to look like packed-in standing room crowdedness to watch Kate sing, or 10-deep lines at the bar at the S’Lodge, for this summer 2021, we’re still not quite ready to jump back into throngs of people just yet.
So what does a re-imagined Montauk look like, if not a festival-style free-for-all all summer long?
For us, it’s more intimate gatherings, chic dinners with friends, small group hangs on the beach, a mix of delivery, takeout, and dine-in, and a slow ease-in to what used to be life as normal.
And while just about every resto / bar / hospitality biz has been pivoting towards this model for some part of a year now, summer 2021 is going to see a head-first dive into it from a bevy of new businesses focused tightly on this format of customer experience.
Among them, our straight up fave is Hello Coco in Montauk.
The more northern little sister of DC’s Coconut Club, Hello Coco will be opening its doors, and its kitchen, in early May 2021.
But it really doesn’t make sense talking to you about Hello Coco before diving deep into the folks running it: the delightful dining industry duo of Jenn Walker and Patrick Forbes. Each bringing over 20 years of serious food & bev. cred to the proverbial table (see, e.g., Bartaco, Barcelona Wine Bar, Scarpetta Beach, etc.), Jenn and Patrick first met a decade ago while opening a restaurant together in Boston.
In recent years, the two have been putting their hospitality skills to work for themselves, culminating in 2020’s launch of dumbdumb Food Truck out in Montauk. (More on that later.)
For 2021, the pair were tapped to run the food & bev. program at our fave lil hotel spot Breakers, and that’s where Hello Coco comes in.
Breakers out in Montauk has been our go-to for chic experiences that blend beachy vibes with elevated hospitality. For the first food and bev program post-pandemic, we know this spot couldn’t afford to miss.
So, it’s no surprise that Jenn & Patrick sought out some elite-level help from their friend Chef Adam Greenberg. Adam’s a veteran of both cuisine and TV, having dealt Bobby Flay a whupping on Beat Bobby Flay, among other notable victories.
As the chef-owner behind DC’s Coconut Club, Adam lent his concept to our Montauk food mavens for their concept at Breakers, and Hello Coco was born.
So what’s Hello Coco bringing to the literal table for summer ’21?
For guests at Breakers, count on fresh, low-ABV cocktails on draft (on draft!) and canned bevs, an all-day menu from 10a to 10p, and bi-weekly prix-fix dinners on the decks at the hotel, overlooking the ocean.
For the rest of y’all, there’s take-out and delivery options across Montauk and East Hampton, of course.
And let’s talk about that menu for a sec…
Leveraging the Hawaii-themed vibes of its big sister in DC, Hello Coco’s bringing an absolute fire spread to Montauk, including fresh local seafood crudos, a spicy salmon poké, Hawaiian-style fried rice, and more. Spare yourself the flight across the country, these Island-style “grindz” can send you to into the Pacific right here out east.
But wait, wasn’t there a food truck involved in all this? Yep.
If you’re headed to the beach and not into packing your own picnic basket (or yours got swiped by a random bear), dumbdumb Food Truck has your back. Reopening in May ’21, the truck brings lunchbox-style eats just about anywhere you might find yourself on the end this summer.
Our go-to is the “Bon Me Baby,” DDFT’s take on the traditional Vietnamese bahn mi sandwich. For the vegans among you, their açai bowl is what you’ll for sure want to mess with (over, and over again). Their charcuterie is bomb, as are their noodles, but the real start of the show is the ice pops, with pieces of fresh fruit frozen into ’em.
And while two new offerings don’t quite make a “scene,” three sort of…do. Adding a third dimension to what’s about to hit Montauk this summer 2021 is CBD MTK. Now, you’re probably thinking CBD as in the weed extract…and that’s not quite it.
CBD here stands for Curated Beach Dinners, not cannabi…dog…something. Just as relaxing, though, CBD MTK brings a truly unique, only-in-Montauk experience to this upcoming season. Expect highly-curated private dinners held on the beach out in Montauk, right across from Breakers. The offering is delivered by the team behind Hello Coco and DDFT, working in collaboration with the sisters behind drippingly chic east end shop Hidden Gem.
Truth be told, this is what we’re here for. There’s nothing chic about outdoor dining in the hot, smelly (really) environs of the mess that is NYC in summer. For us, outdoor dining should be naturally inspired, on the beach, with a boho-chic aesthetic, effortlessly spaced-out and shared only with close friends.
Your thoughts exactly? Book here. (Now, because spots will most definitely be limited.)