This weekend promises to be truly springlike, sunny and mild enough to dine outside (perhaps with a light jacket). Most of Long Island’s outdoor decks will officially open in May, but in the meantime here are some places where you can dine al fresco right now.
Tim’s Shipwreck Diner, Northport
The Shipwreck is that rare diner with outdoor dining, in this case the charming backyard courtyard shielded from the bustle of downtown Northport. Actually, downtown Northport would make a great destination this weekend: After a late breakfast at Tim’s, gaze at the boats bobbing in the harbor, stroll from shop to shop, pick up an iced tea at Clipper Ship Tea Company and, when hunger strikes, stop for an ice cream at Northport Sweet Shop.
Tim’s Shipwreck Diner is at 46 Main St., Northport; 631-754-1797, shipwreckdiner.com
Claws Seafood Market, West Sayville
One of Long Island’s best fish markets, Claws also has an outdoor dining area alongside Green Creek. Stake out a picnic or umbrella table and order from a menu that includes steamers, mussels, lobsters and Maryland-style hard-shelled crabs. There’s a fine lobster roll, too, and a small selection of beers and wine. Even if you plan to meander your way home, buy some fresh fish, too; the staff is happy to pack it up with ice so it stays cold in your car.
Claws Seafood Market is at 20 Montauk Hwy., West Sayville, 631-256-5900, clawsseafoodmarket.com
Even if the temperature dips into the 50s, you’ll be comfortable at Cipollini: the outdoor dining area is surrounded by heat lamps. True, it’s in a parking lot — but the parking lot at Americana Manhasset may offer more gawk-worthy vehicles per square foot than any other on Long Island. And the food at Cipollini has never been better than it is now, under new executive chef German Rizzo. Relax with bucatini pomodoro, spaghetti alla carbonara, black linguine with lobster and arugula or a pristine and ample veal Milanese.
Cipollini is at 2110 Northern Blvd., Manhasset, 516-627-7172