Avid surfer and executive chef and owner Marc Murphy talks to us about what’s in store at Ditch Plains and Landmarc this fall, his obsession with keeping the summer vibes going all year round, and where he might just throw down a dance move or two.
You have two beloved restaurants in NYC--what’s in store for Ditch Plains and Landmarc this season?
Fall is an exciting time in New York and we are excited about our fall menus that will debut on October 18 at both Landmarc locations and October 25 at both Ditch Plains locations. At Landmarc, we always bring back our lamb shank in the fall which is a fan favorite. And at Ditch Plains, we are going to be introducing our Pig Roast Dinners that are available for 10-12 people in our private dining room. It includes caesar salad, collard greens, cheddar grits, cucumber salad and a whole roast suckling pig. Oh, and butterscotch-bourbon pudding for dessert!
What’s your favorite meal on the Ditch Plains menu right now?
I always love the fish tacos, but right now, I'm really loving Surfer Sundays (and Mondays, too!), our lobster pots that we offer on Sundays and Mondays. It's a steamed 1 1/4 lobster, potatoes, corn, andouille sausage and cole slaw all for $40. It helps keep summer around all year long!
We know you are a surfer. Does surfing inspire the food that you make?
What I love about Ditch Plains is that there's a ton of simple, fresh food that is reminiscent of what I like to eat when I'm on a surfing trip.
It’s getting cold here on the East Coast. Are you still surfing year-round? Where are the best places for surfing in New York right now?
I love to surf, but when the water here gets too cold, I try to take it down south to Costa Rica. In New York, I really love Ditch Plains in Montauk, my restaurant’s namesake.
Your restaurant Ditch Plains really allows New Yorkers to escape the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and kick back in a surf-enthusiastic environment. Do you think this is even more attractive to customers now as the weather starts to get colder?
Absolutely. But the great thing about Ditch Plains is that even though we are a New-York-style fish and surf shack, our restaurants are still cozy and they are great to hang out in during the cold winter months. We have so much comfort food on our menus--there's always something to warm you up.
What is your personal favorite late-night thing to eat?
Spaghetti alla Carbonara. We serve it at Landmarc on Tuesdays, but I could pretty much eat it every day of the week.
What is your personal cocktail or beverage of choice?
Ricard or Ketel One and Soda with lime
What is the most unique dining experience you’ve ever had?
There's a place on top of a mountain near Spoleto in Italy called Il Rifugio. It's literally on top of a mountain, up an unmarked dirt road and it's the best food I think I have ever had. There's one woman standing at a huge open fire cooking everything from the bread to meats to pasta with summer truffles. It's a crazy place, and at night, when you drive back down you are literally in the clouds.
Do you have a sweet tooth? What is the most extraordinary dessert you’ve ever eaten?
I'm not really a sweets person, but the best dessert I've ever had was a raspberry soufflé I had when I was a kid in the South of France at La Chevre D'or.
Is there ever a moment you just want to throw down a dance move? What is your dance move and go-to venue for a good night out?
I love to dance but it tends to happen spontaneously and sometimes in my living room. I think I might be too old to hit the clubs.
A guy with a schedule like yours has got to need some downtime once in awhile. How do you spend your downtime? Is there a hotel you love to visit for escaping reality?
My schedule is crazy but I love what I do, and I always say that if you love what you do for a living, you can't really consider it work. But when I have time off, I spend it with my wife and my kids. We love to go to the beach, and if the water is warm, I take the kids boogie boarding. In the city, we spend weekends visiting museums or watching my son's little league games. And, we love to travel when we have the time for that. I was brought up all over Europe, so I'm trying to take my kids as much as I can. As for a favorite hotel, we've been known to sneak away to the Mandarin Oriental on a couple of anniversaries. It's in the same building as Landmarc, so it's a fun escape upstairs.