From Sand to Sandwich

Hamptons lunch spots keep beachside dining an effortless affair

On the list of things best kept simple, lunches at the beach rank fairly high. In the midst of days of sun and sand, a fanciful meal is more of a bother than an enjoyment, so instead, head to these low-key spots that require little more than shirts and shoes for top-notch service and food.

668 The GigShack has the kind of food and vibes that one might imagine Australian surfers regularly indulge in. Fusion takes on classic lunch dishes keep the restaurant casual-cool, as do the brightly painted bar stools and natural light that pours in to warm the tiled floor. Salads and bowls are hearty fare here, as are generous burgers, blackened local fish sandwiches, vegetarian flatbreads and their signature fish montacos. With 30 beer choices, libations make this spot a favorite place to hang more than ten, and with live music nearly every night, lingering longer than expected is never a bad idea. (782 Main St., Montauk)

The Lobster Roll needs little further explanation beyond its name, as this Amagansett institution is credited with having invented the lobster roll. What began as a tiny roadside clam shack more than 50 years ago has since become a full-fledged destination that is quintessentially American, complete with plastic white chairs under red umbrellas on the outdoor patio. As if the enormous “Lunch” sign that sits atop the restaurant (and has earned the place its nickname) doesn’t speak loudly enough, go for the midday meal, when beach balls lay around for restless kids to play with in between sips of milkshakes and Shirley Temples. There are all sorts of tempting options including seafood mac n’ cheese, seafood nachos, crab dip, and every kind of broiled, fried and stuffed seafood. But it would be a sin to skip the lobster salad that has kept this place famous for decades. (1980 Montauk Hwy., Amagansett)

Don’t let Silver’s menu fool you. Despite its sophistication, no pretention will be found here, nor will fancy clothes (though don’t come in swimwear). Owned and operated by the same family since the early 1920s, the current chef is the grandson of the original, and recipes here are accordingly refined. Dishes hail from Europe, such as the Tuscan vegetable soup, salade de Provence, truffled foie gras mousse, and French picnic platter of various finger foods francais. As if its reputation doesn’t speak well enough of its storied lunch menu, it’s the only meal the restaurant serves, which therein ensures it to be no less than excellent. (15 Main St., Southampton)

Conversely, The Dock House in Sag Harbor could not appear more casual as a weathered, slatted building perched atop a wharf. But inside its salt-washed walls, its seafood could not be fresher (delivered daily) nor could its chowders be more heavenly (award-winning). The menu is comprised of everything expected from an authentic seafood shack: salads with grilled seafood, oysters and clams on the half-shell, an assortment of seafood platters, chicken fingers and burgers. And if your seafood craving is still not satisfied, an in-house fish market and quarts of its chowder available to-go makes dinner plans a no-brainer. (1 Long Wharf, Sag Harbor)