By Erika Halweil
Lest you forget where you are, as soon as you enter Mavericks steakhouse in Montauk, you spot a Warhol print of a cow. Take a few more steps and the constellation of Taurus, in intricate golden rods, adorns the ceiling, four times layered upon itself. Whether they knew it or not, the number 4 represents the material world, the four elements of the earthly plane and also the four seasons. Blue, brown and gold throughout the interior speak to the perfect balance of sea and Earth, nourished by the rays of the sun. The west-facing wall of windows welcomes spectacular sunsets and continues to invite the wonders of nature into the restaurant. As its slogan reads: “A surf-and-turf reboot, with sunsets on the side.” In this reimagining, you find yourself stepping away from “Fred Flintstone dinosaur cuts” in favor of various bone-in presentations from fish and land animals, a unique, signature maitake mushroom steak, as well as flavorful, well-composed vegetable side dishes.
Jeremy Blutstein, executive chef and partner of Mavericks (along with managing partner Vanessa Price), is passionately committed to localism and food-as-bond. “I think it’s super-important to maintain these relationships because that’s what this community is built on,” says the East End native, who has helmed numerous beloved restaurants in Montauk over the years, from The Surf Lodge to Crow’s Nest to Showfish. “The underlying community here is wildly talented and mostly unknown, and should be celebrated on the biggest stage possible. I’m proud to come to work and show you what my friends are doing. The stuff I get from them is perfect. I keep things in the purest form. Just about everything from the piece of cheese on a plate, to the asparagus, to the carrot, to the vodka behind the bar, relates to someone within a 20-mile radius. It’s important to put our best food forward with all the ingredients. It’s not just a story, it’s a friendship, and I think that friendship is celebrated on the menu. And that menu is a testament to the people who live out here, who have stayed true to an antiquated industry, and are not only thriving in it but are progressing the industry to new levels.”
For their beef, the team at Mavericks also works with small farms in the Adirondacks, Hudson Valley and Sullivan County. Unlike conventional beef, which is finished on corn for its quick fattening effect, much of the beef at Maverick’s is finished with the spent mash from a beer brewery in the Adirondacks. They use the wheat from Amber Waves for pasta as well as the made-in-house Parker House rolls and crackers. “Not only are we embracing the seasons as they come, with a fresh perspective,” says Blutstein, “but we are harvesting the season and either fermenting or pickling or freezing or doing whatever manipulating so that we can use it again at a later date.”
When you work with ingredients the way Blutstein does, each creation is a reminder of the importance of community supporting friends, neighbors and the environment, protecting what is unique about each part of this magical planet, and ensuring that it will be experienced for one more season.
At Mavericks, the effort is genuine and sincere, and the ingredients speak for themselves. When the world is so flashy and externally focused for validation, it’s nice to be somewhere where you can sense the depth of care and genuine love that went into the craft and the offering. Make a plan to visit Mavericks, and experience the beauty of localism on every level.
51 S. Edgemere St., Montauk; mavericksmontauk.com