HOW A BAY ONCE OCCUPIED BY THE U.S. NAVY BECAME ONE OF MONTAUK'S MOST CHERISHED BEACHSIDE DINING DESTINATIONS. It was a risky venture 10 seasons ago when even Hamptonites were digging themselves out of a catastrophic economic recession. But there was a grumble in the belly of Franklin Ferguson that defied common sense when he stepped into the shell of a restaurant that would eventually become Navy Beach. Ferguson had never been to the Hamptons, but after meeting Frank and Kristina Davis at a wedding several months earlier, the couple approached Ferguson and his wife, Leyla Marchetto, about the venue begging for a new identity. “I spent a lot of time in California in a coastal atmosphere, and the space reminded me of Santa Monica,” reflects Ferguson. “The people had a more laid-back vibe.” The menu with global influences was a hit from the get-go, and in spite of annual tinkering frequent customers can't get enough of the classics. “We all had varied experiences at different coastal places throughout the world, so we took those techniques and paired them with local seafood and products to support the community,” Ferguson says of the menu's staying power. For Ferguson, his business partners and the throngs of returning customers, umami is as much about place as it is taste. “Montauk is a lifestyle destination where people head to better their lives and have new beginnings,” he says. “It's nice to be in that kind of environment where possibilities are all around you.” Navy Beach's annual benefit for the Navy SEAL Foundation returns as well as a Riviera-style, weekendlong anniversary soiree. The restaurant has commissioned local artist Alison Seiffer to create a limited-edition print and JOYA Studio to create a signature candle, with a percentage of sales benefiting the foundation. 16 Navy Road, Montauk, 631.668.6868, navybeach.com FRANKLIN'S FAVORITES HAMACHI CEVICHE Chilean and Japanese influences collide with the bright combination of celery, red onion, daikon and lemon grass. ATLANTIC SALMON This favorite dish pairs locally caught salmon with soba noodles, daikon, baby bok choy and mushroom dashi. PARM FRIES “An addiction you don't ever want to give up,” says Ferguson of the guilty combo of crispy fries, garlic parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano aioli. A MAGNUM OF ROSÉ Franklin (who's also a sommelier) picks Chêne Bleu (2018) from the Vaucluse region of the Rhone Valley for drinking with a crowd. Partners Frank and Kristina Davis, Franklin Ferguson and Leyla Marchetto; Navy Beach serves up lobster and clam bake and refreshing cocktails for a laid-back outdoor dining experience.