Dining Out: La Brisa

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The concept for La Brisa is simple, it’s where Montauk meets Mexico, according to executive chef Luis Aguilar.

During a visit to the restaurant last Wednesday, the Cordon Bleu-trained chef, who hails from Mexico and has cooked and traveled through a half dozen countries, said that putting authentic Mexican food together with Montauk’s “fisher town” fare was an easy match.

“The Mexican cuisine has such a diversity and we thought we should adapt it here … always respecting what is local,” he said. “Everyone who is anyone that wants to travel through food and the flavors of Mexico in the Hamptons, this is a good place to visit.”

The restaurant, which offers traditional Sonoran-style tacos on made-in-house gluten-free corn tortillas, features a variety of local-caught fish tacos and ceviches, plus meat and vegetarian selections. For drinks, there are fresh Mexican-style Lupita juices and aguas frescos, plus beer, wine and sangria.

La Brisa

668-8338

tacombi.com/labrisa

Most Popular: Crispy Local Fluke Taco, $5.95

Signature Dish: Lobster Taco, $12.95

Chef’s Favorite: Shrimp Ceviche Tostada, $5.95

Aside from the stunning visual presentation of the dish, with just one bite it’s easy to taste why the Crispy Local Fluke Taco is a huge crowd-pleaser. The beer-battered and locally caught fish is fried in canola oil and served atop two corn tortillas, topped with a mound of pickled red cabbage and homemade chipotle mayo.

“The flavor and the textures really mix well,” Mr. Aguilar said. “There’s the softness of the fish, the crispy batter, the smoothness of the mayo and the freshness of the cabbage—a balance for the taste buds.”

The restaurant’s signature dish is the Lobster Taco. This dish is loaded with fresh lobster meat—tails and claws—sautéed with garlic butter and powdered piquin chili, served atop two corn tortillas. A side salsa of julienned carrots with corn, lime juice, salt and piquin chili is artfully heaped atop and then sprinkled with chopped scallion.

“We’ve taken the Mexican cuisine and adapted it here; lobster is quite popular,” Mr. Aguilar explained of the beautifully presented and delicious dish.

The chef’s favorite is the Shrimp Ceviche Tostada. This dish captures the same types of sophisticated yet accessible flavor profiles as the other lunch and dinner entrées and is simple but elegant in its taste and presentation.

The shrimp is thinly butterflied and then cured in an “agua chili,” or chili water—made of cucumber, cilantro, lime, garlic, jalapeño and salt—for approximately 25 minutes and then served over a fried tostada with homemade chipotle mayo, pickled red onion and a slice of avocado and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.

“The textures and cooking techniques are how you inject the flavor,” Mr. Aguilar reported, adding that at La Brisa, “it’s the best product, handled with love and care, to be eaten and enjoyed, and reflected in the stomach.”

La Brisa is located at 752 Montauk Highway in Montauk. It is open seven days a week, year-round Breakfast is served daily from 7 to 11 a.m. and until 1 p.m. on weekends. Lunch and dinner is served daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. during the week and from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. on the weekends. For reservations or additional information, call 668-8338 or visit tacombi.com/labrisa.

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