The Monte family boasts a legacy of over four generations in the hospitality business in New York. Their current venture, “Monte’s At the Manor,” holds deep roots in Italy, as Chris Monte, the current proprietor, shared with Hamptons.com. The journey began in the early 1900s when Chris’s great-grandfather opened the original Monte’s Venetian Room on Carroll Street in Brooklyn. Growing up above the restaurant, Chris’s grandfather and his brothers were integral to the family business, handling various tasks as soon as they were old enough.
Five of Chris’s uncles served in World War II, with Uncle Nick remaining to manage the business for his father. Upon their safe return, the family resumed their commitment to making people happy at the Venetian Room. The Montes expanded their reach in 1956 when Nick Monte acquired Gurney’s Inn during a memorable encounter involving a martini and a determined negotiation.
Despite selling Gurney’s in 2014 and briefly exploring retirement and a “farm to table” restaurant in Dutchess County, the family found themselves drawn back to the coastal lifestyle. The pandemic further solidified their decision, and they eventually seized an opportunity that presented itself amidst other restaurant and development offers.
In 2022, Chris’s father, Paul Monte, and Chris discovered the lease was available for the restaurant at the historic Montauk Manor. Paul, the former Gurney’s CEO, had been semi-retired but remained active through his company, Monte Hospitality, advising local businesses. The Montauk Manor, known for its architectural brilliance and stunning views, became the latest canvas for the Monte family’s hospitality expertise.
Chris expressed that, despite the Manor’s beauty, it hadn’t been a regular dining destination for many locals, himself included. However, with their extensive history in Montauk, the Monte family aims to rejuvenate interest and appreciation for the Montauk Manor.
According to Chris, the driving force behind this venture is his father. Drawing from his experiences working alongside his father and grandfather at Gurney’s, Chris emphasizes the familial approach to hospitality. The motto is clear – employees are not just staff but family. “Monte’s at the Manor” endeavors to be approachable affordable, and serve irresistibly delicious dishes. While staying true to their classic recipes, the Montes also introduce unique items like the “swordfish meatballs,” inspired by a family trip to the Amalfi Coast.
In summary, “Monte’s At the Manor” is more than just a restaurant; it’s a continuation of the Monte family’s rich history, a testament to their commitment to hospitality, and a culinary journey that spans over a century.