There’s nothing like the beaches here in Southern California in summer. But there’s also something so quintessentially summery about the Hamptons this time of year too! Our gal Dria Murphy has been cooling her heels at Montauk’s The Surf Lodge all summer long and we asked her to share a little with us about how the other coast spends the summer. Her answer? With a Hamptons-esque raw bar, of course.

The Surf Lodge‘s Chef Chris Rendell is giving us the 411 on building a perfect raw bar at home – from essential pre-planning and tool gathering to dips on dips on dips. Take his cues, do some of the strategic prep-work beforehand, and invite everyone over! We wonder how to get our hands on a case of that local brew?

Keep things simple so that you can party along with your guests: press play on Sunburnt Synths Radio, Chef Chris’s cooking class playlist of choice, and you’re good to go. Here’s how to wow your backyard crew: 

How To Build A Raw Bar


Classic raw bar ingredients:
– poached shrimp
– snow crab claws
– oysters
– steamed lobster
– clams


Prepare in advance, as much as you can – from poaching shrimp and cooking lobster to having oysters open. Do the prepwork beforehand and you’ll be glad you did. Save that time and enjoy your crowd.


Oysters can be opened in advance! Once opened, place the ‘lid’ back on top to keep the oyster moist and keep them in the fridge til you’re ready to serve over ice.


Have ample ice on hand. And I mean ample. Serving shellfish is no time to run out of ice – and be sure to keep the ice for drinks separate from the ice for raw fish. Pro tip: pre-freeze any ice-filled tubs so they won’t melt as quickly.


Proper tools are a must for a good raw bar. The right utensils are essential for getting the last bit of meat out of the crab leg or just simply cracking the lobster claws. Without them, you might as well serve fish sticks.


You can really jazz up your raw bar with amazing dips and sauces – from hot sauce to a great cocktail sauce to a lemon aioli. With the right condiments, you can transform a raw bar from good to amazing. Here are a few ideal raw bar condiments:
– cocktail sauce
– Thousand Island dressing
– lemon aioli
– tabasco
– horseradish
– lemon
– radish
– cucumber

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