Vail’s Montauk plunges into lunch
Montauk Seafood Grill
549 E. Lionshead Circle. Vail
Featuring fresh seafood and now open for lunch, beginning at 11:30 a.m.
Recommendations: Try the white prawn scampi ($15), and the Maine lobster roll ($24).
Montauk is located in Lionshead, on the north side of the Arrabelle building across from Patagonia.
VAIL — Montauk Seafood Grill owner Tom Ludwig solved his dilemma; he likes lunch but didn’t know where to go.
So Ludwig expanded Montauk’s day and now offers lunch. Problem solved.
Chef Dimitri Souvorin is in the house anyway, prepping for dinner.
Souvorin brings some of his top menu items to the lunch menu.
“It’s simple and flavorful,” Ludwig said.
Ludwig worked at Montauk for 10 years before he bought it in 2005. He and Souvorin got together on the deal, Ludwig handling the front of the house and Souvorin the back. That explains the delightful cuisine, artful presentation and outstanding service.
They had wanted to offer lunch when they bought the place, and now they do. It means their day runs from about 11 a.m. to close.
Being willing to work hard and take chances runs in Ludwig’s blood. His parents escaped Hungary in 1954, immigrating to the United States through Ellis Island.
Sit outside — It’s summer
Sit outside if you can, because, well … Vail summer.
For soups and appetizers, try the Creole bisque. It’s creamy but not too heavy, and full of flavor.
The kale and arugula salad is a home run, especially if you’re a guy and you’re trying to impress a girl — and what guy isn’t — and say it’s for you. It’s very good.
For entrees we had the white prawn scampi and the Maine lobster roll.
The scampi is light and flavorful, and the Maine lobster roll is traditional, which means people from New England get tears in their eyes and people from the deep South think it could use a little Cajun seasoning. It doesn’t, but they’re very nice people and can think what they want.
Also, each lobster roll has more than an entire lobster tail in it.
They offer the standard fish and chips, only theirs is better because it’s made with huge pieces of haddock and hand-cut chips.
You can get a burger and the kids can get pizza, but the kids menu also includes grilled fresh salmon, chicken breast and crispy shrimp.
Dessert is worth it
For dessert, Montauk is four-for-four. We had the sand pie. It’s whipped chocolate ice cream in a graham cracker crust with warm caramel and chocolate sauce and toasted almonds. It has been on the menu for 30 years. If something works, stick with it.
You’ll want to ask for extra spoons to try the warm brownie sundae, the bourbon and caramel bread pudding and the classic Spanish flan.
The wine list is expansive but not intimidating. To be certain, ask your servers to pleasantly surprise you. They will.
Most of the fish comes from Hawaii and is flown in overnight. Some of it comes from the East Coast and some from the Gulf, but all of it was in the water yesterday, whatever day that is.
Prices range from $9 to $16 for entrees, $9 for appetizers and soups, and $9 to $11 for dessert.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.