935 Bay Walk
Ocean Beach, New York 11770
(631) 583-8016 • www.matthewsseafood.com
Matthew’s Seafood House holds a lot of memories for us, for my husband John especially. Through his friend Casey he moonlighted there on weekends in the 1980s, and got to know Casey’s parents who founded the enterprise, Cosmo Sr. and Emily; Casey’s brothers, Matthew and Vincent; Vincent’s wife, Jennifer (Jenn); and the children that followed: young Cosmo, Lana, Reed, Matthew and Adam. That’s where John and I had our first spark playing several rounds of darts at their bar on a Saturday night back in the 1990s. I don’t think our experience with this special place is all that unusual, and is perhaps the secret behind why Matthew’s has endured for 47 years and still counting.
There is another reason people keep coming back of course and that’s the seafood. The best and freshest seafood in Ocean Beach can be found here, just a little bit off the beaten track on the far eastern edge of the village, and that’s pretty much an open secret on Fire Island. This lunch would be our first on site dining experience since the lockdown for both of us. Much has changed since COVID-19, we all know that, but we all have to dip our toes back into the water again sometime, and Matthew’s created an environment that felt safe to do so.
Unlike most waterfront dining establishments in the area, Matthew’s back deck dining is distinctive, because of the protective overhead canopy. It’s almost atrium-like, and this allows you to enjoy open-air dining even on a rainy day, as well as offering protection from the hot summer sun. Then there is its 18-slip marina, which makes it ideal for private boaters who want to pull right up and dine without navigating through the bustling downtown. Like all of the Ocean Beach restaurants, Matthew’s studied their table plan to keep things safe. Breezy white gossamer curtains separate the family sized tables, while the high bar tables are amply spaced. A few small tables even grace the marina now, a romantic spot where couples can overlook the bay and feel that piece of the world is all their own.
When it came to placing our orders, we could have been more adventurous, but found ourselves sticking to old favorites. Baked stuffed clams for starters. We like how they are done here,
the bread and seasoning is light, for the meat of the clams should be complemented not overpowered, and Matthew’s understands this.
For my main entree I went with the Seafood Cobb Salad. There is a reason this has been a staple item on their menu for many years. With shrimp, lobster claws, hard-boiled egg, bacon, avocado, cherry tomatoes, crumbled Gorgonzola all over a bed of fresh greens and cilantro lime vinaigrette dressing, this is one of those salads you will return to again and again. Because it was lunch, John went with the fried sole sandwich with fries and coleslaw. This was no ordinary fish sandwich. Served on a pretzel style role, there was a generous serving of fish, fried lightly and not a hint of grease.
When we come back again for dinner, orange grilled salmon or their Mediterranean halibut are possibilities to consider – or we just might go for one of their weekly specials. There is Twin-tail Tuesdays for the lobster fans out there. Jenn also mentioned their new Late Nite Eats that includes after hour snacks like sesame noodles, pita chips & hummus, and beer battered whiskey onion rings all affordably priced to go with those cocktails – and cocktails is something Matthew’s does very well.
Generations have come of age on Matty’s Staff Party Punch or their Margarita Madness nights, but it has not gone unnoticed by us that they are dabbling in some new frontiers – their mango rocket fuels has us intrigued.
So whether it’s late night lounging or bringing the whole family together, there’s a place for everyone at the table at Matthew’s Seafood House.
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