The Spot: The Montauk
4360 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
The Hours: Happy hour is from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Perfect For: When your wanderlust shouts, “Take me to the Hamptons!” but your bank account replies, “Best I can do is Scottsdale!”
The Interior: When East meets West, the results are often mixed; The Montauk is no exception. The restaurant occupies the space that used to be Bungalow in Old Town Scottsdale and has attempted a beach-house-on-Long-Island-meets-adobe-in-Arizona kind of vibe. In other words, they whitewashed the walls, threw a Mexican blanket over a couch and pinned up a West Point banner in the lounge area. Pardon the pun, but they also go so overboard on the sailing theme that we half-expected our server to show up at our table in a life preserver.
Despite the cheesy interior, The Montauk does have a great bar with seating that wraps around outside. Plus, the patio overlooks Stetson Drive, which means you can watch Old Town debauchery from a safe distance, cocktail in hand.
The Food: We will say this for The Montauk: Our server was really nice. She brought us our deviled eggs ($5) and burrata ($6) with a smile, and even let us order artichoke off of the Restaurant Week menu. Our own smiles lasted only so long, however, when we discovered that the filling in our deviled eggs was practically liquified, while the bacon on top was so crunchy we swear it was Bac-Os. The burrata was a mess of cheese, prosciutto, and fig jam topped with four ginormous hunks of mediocre bread. Also, both dishes (nay, the entire menu) really overdid it with the truffle oil, because holy truffle oil.
Other happy hour options include house potato chips ($3), chicken wings ($7), haystack fries ($5), tuna tartare guacamole ($10), clam chowder ($4) and mac ‘n’ cheese ($6).
The Drinks: Happy hour at The Montauk means $3 drafts and bottles, slightly discounted wines by the glass (a Seaglass Pinot Grigio is $5, rather than $7, for example), and $5 well cocktails.
We went with a pint of Shock Top and a specialty cocktail called The Spark Plug. The latter was not on happy hour and so rang in at $10, but it came highly recommended by our server. While it was indeed tasty, the combination of vanilla vodka, Bailey’s Irish Cream, cold-brew coffee, and a coffee cube meant we were almost too shaky to sign our check.
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Conclusion: You know when you’re in Disneyland, and you get clam chowder in a bread bowl at that New Orleans-style restaurant near Pirates of the Caribbean because it’s kind of fun and why not? The Montauk sort of feels like that. We like that it dares to be different, but we have a feeling that the kitschy theme would feel tired upon repeat visits. And while the prices are reasonable at happy hour, the food is only so-so. Your check arrives with a “Greetings from The Montauk” postcard which the restaurant will mail for you, free of charge. Cute, but you might want to send it to yourself with the reminder to try somewhere else next time.
Don’t Miss: The nice server who is as yet unjaded by the Scottsdale scene. May she always remain so.
Skip This: The burrata. The deviled eggs. The truffle oil.