I haven’t seen 6am in weeks, let alone on a Saturday. I arrived at Penn Station with the early crowd for my three hour train ride out east, far east. This would be an adventure to unchartered territory. I was taking on Montauk.
A half of a cinnamon raisin bagel, one full movie and too many failed nap attempts later, I arrived as far east as one could go. I think the next stop after Montauk is London. Not really, but it might as well be. Lugging far too many clothes for one night’s stay, I met my friends at the adorable, affordable, Ocean Vista Hotel. Now when one thinks of the Hamptons, the ritzy, Bently types come to mind. But as 23-year-old girls, this was good enough for us; right on the beach, clean linens and a fridge for our beverages. This was summer at its best.
To top off our little nook of the island, one of the locals’ favorite lobster roll shacks was located right across the street. You would easily miss it if it weren’t for the waving patriotic flags and parked cars lining the street.
Cyril’s epitomizes everything you would think of when it comes to a highway side beach town sea food joint. Plastic tables and utensils, colorful umbrellas, customers from all walks of life and a straight forward, delicious menu.
I had been told about their famous drink, BBC, unsure of what the letters stood for or it’s actual content. All I knew is that when they ask if you want a floater, you say yes.
Reading the menu, the BBC was revealed to be a Banana Bailey’s Colada. Sold. With a floater. Rachel and I both ordered these while Madison and Amanda went for the alcoholic Iced Tea. We toasted to a great weekend and waited for our food to arrive.
We decided to start off the meal with fried calamari. After all, what’s better then fried seafood?
When it comes to calamari, I am somewhat of an expert. This was damn good calamari. Each piece was lightly breaded allowing for the flavor of the calamari to shine through. Their marinara sauce was light, but full of intense flavor. It didn’t seem canned, and if it was I want to know the brand. We all devoured this dish, starving from the hot day and lack of breakfast.
Then came the main course and main reason for coming arrived; lobster rolls.
This lobster roll was unique to my many experiences with this dish. I always love seeing the variations in hopes of finding the most perfect one of the Atlantic. When it comes down to it, there are two key elements to create the quintessential lobster roll; the bun and lobster filling.
This roll was actually labeled on the menu as “Lobster Salad Roll, ” and that’s exactly what it was. Mixed with celery and mayonnaise, there was unique element of crunch that is typically missed when the roll is just straight up lobster and whatever dressing of choice. This roll was made mainly from claws, about six per roll, according to their waiter. The combination between finely chopped pieces and full chunks of claw created a great texture and flavor balance. I throughly enjoyed being able to pick up a full claw with my fork and eat it on the side. Full lobster and roll in one.
The other key component was the potato bun. This version was slightly toasted, the preparation I happen to prefer. This crunch on top of the celery and the lobster. It was delicious, creamy without being overly heavy.
The ideal lobster salad roll.
I might just have to head back tomorrow before trekking back to the concrete jungle, free of reasonably priced lobster rolls.
Cyril’s Fish House - 2167 Montauk Highway - Montauk, NY