Montauk >Food & Dining > Dave's Grill
Flamingo Rd, Montauk, NY | Directions 1195441.051891 -71.953299
Mon, Tue, 5:30pm - 10pm; Thurs - Sun, 5:30pm - 10pm
Neighborhoods: Long Island
Dumb decisions like this make people write reviews!!! – As a guy in the biz, I was amazed at what transpired. I arrived with a friend who's a great customer (a few times a week). After starters arrive, on the second bite, the crab cocktail, piled precariously in a martini glass, tips over and spills over my wife and onto the floor. After an embarrassing episode of cleaning up, we expected one of two typical courtesies - either re-fire (send out a new one) or take it off the bill - standard practice. Honestly, couldnt care less about the $14.95 price as the bill with tip approached $300 (and yes I still left 20%). This was pure principal. When I asked to speak with a "manager", Dave, the owner, who is also the chef (meaning no front of house management existed) came and asked "who had me come out of the kitchen?". BAD attitude and way to commence a conversation, idiot. What're you the Pope? After much back and forth, I paid the bill, spilled crab included. At what is likely a 3-4 dollar (tops) cost to Dave, is that really worth it? Don't bother with this loser. Im sure there'll be someone else running the joint soon... Too bad though.
Worst service – We arrived at 6:35 for a 6:30 reservation after driving an hour in torrential rain to get to the restaurant, and found out that our table had been given away, with nothing else available. We ended up going next door to Gosman's dock right next door, which was amazing and had much friendlier service.
Not sure it's worth the hassles – While I've been going to the east end for years, and there is a reason why I've only been to Dave's just twice in over 15 years. I'm even ok with the annoying reservation policy (what are you going to do, the place is small, and many people want t to eat there), but when the hostess barely acknowledges you when you get there for a 9:45 reservations (after calling frantically for 15 min), then says it will be just a few minutes and don't seat you for another 30 min (it's now 10:15), that does not make you feel warm and fuzzy, just starving. She asked us to move to the bar, and while the bartender saw us approach, he said he will get to us when he got a chance. 10 min pass, and not drink order. Then he says it will be just "several " more minutes, before he could even take our order. I realize there were people eating at the bar, but couldn't he just take our order while he was meticulously pooring the olive oil for the people at the bar. I do understand that he's busy, but then don't send us to the bar to wait for our table, when you can't even take our drink orders!!
I have to say, the waitress was great, and very friendly. The food was also very good, despite the prices. But when I read there would be a minimum $25 pp, and a $5 charge for sharing, that was the final straw. If you've already charged us $25pp, what's the difference if we share a dish!!! Once again, I do realize it's a small seasonal restaurant, but so are all the other places on Montauk, and I have yet to those policies.
Overall, I think the food at Dave's is very good, but given all the downside of eating there, I don't think I can go back, not for another 15 years, when I'll might have forgotten about all the bad aspects of the place.
Don't miss Dave's Grill – I am from the city and do not agree with the other reviewer. I called at exactly 4:30 from my cell phone and made an 8 pM reservation for 6 people. The woman on the phone couldnt be nicer. We arrived at 7;45 and were seated promptly. The drink orders were taken right away. The appetizers were truly memorable. Crab cake, seafood martini, fried succulent calamari, ceaser salad, chopped salad. YUM YUM YUM. Very well done Dave. Entrees Daves original seafood stew over linguini, vegetetarian orchietta (spelling? sorry), half baked stuffed lobster,, parpadelle lobster bolognese and one person had two apps as his entree: vegetable spring roll and tuna tempura roll. EVERYTHING WAS PERFECT. Water glasses filled without asking, bread basket replaced with hot bread. You must try the chocolate bag for dessert. You will leave on a cloud.
Mediocre and OVERPRICED – As so often happens when a restaurant gets hyped, it rests on it's laurels. Yes, this place is on the marina and has incredibly fresh seafood but that's where the plus side comes to a halt. Snotty hostess - I live in NYC so I can handle that. Undercooked potatoes, wrancid olive oil, a wine list not particularly well-suited to the cuisine, overgarlicked & amateur food preparation..... inexcusable at $35 per entree.
We sent the olive oil back that is served with the bread b/c it was wrancid (spelled incorrectly so the it can sneak by the citysearch guidelines). They brought us fresh oil but later in the meal the waitress had the audacity to inform us that she gave the oil to Dave to taste and he proclaimed it good/fresh. A) My wife & I dine out frequently in the city and we have keen palates - when we tasted the oil we looked at each other immediately and both knew it had turned. B) Even if it had been fine, you don't go tell a customer that they're wrong. This place is a rip-off to the point where Dave should be prosecuted.
Best food in Montauk. Best seafood in the Hamptons. Atmosphere and Service to match. – Getting a table at Dave's in the summer requires jumping through some hoops. It's worth it. Located right on the Montauk fishing docks, you won't find fresher fish anywhere in the world. Owner and chef Dave Marcley's technique is usually flawless and his wife Julie oversees the dining room, with its exceptionally professional staff (especially for the East End), and its great background music. Regulars to Dave's all have their favorites. Mine are the mussels Provencal (loaded with buttah) and Cioppino. If you go for the Cioppino, stick with the red Cioppino. You will never go wrong with a fish special here if its preparation suits your mood. A very nice wine list (with a limited, but nice selection of wines by the glass) and beautiful desserts make the ideal dinner experience complete. Dave's same-day only reservation policy generates significant anxiety among city people who are used to getting what they want, when they want it. Reservations are accepted beginning at 4:30 at the restaurant's front door. If you want a prime time table on a summer weekend, then you must queue up at 4:00 pm to be early in the line when they begin taking reservations. If it's not worth it to you to get a reservation, then eating late or sitting at one of the seven seats at the bar are an alternative worth considering. My take on Dave's controversial reservation policy is this: it's completely clear and completely transparent. If you want a reservation, it is perfectly clear what is required. Potential diners have complete freedom of choice as to whether or not to make the effort to eat at Dave's. For my money, it is almost always worth the effort.
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