Favorite outdoor dining spots on Long Island
In sunny weather, restaurants with tables outdoors know how to keep you cool and dry. After all, they have umbrellas. So, enjoy your alfresco appetizers, whether it's blazing or drizzling out there.
Here are some inviting destinations that are more pleasurable in the open air, thanks to their canopies. And several of them offer water views on the side.
The Refuge(Credit: Angela Datre)
The Refuge, Melville: Look onto Route 110 from your outdoor table. The mix of cuisines often is as lively as the dining rooms' decorations. Some recommendations: guacamole, ropa vieja nachos, grilled Spanish octopus, rigatoni and meatballs, grilled skirt steak with chimichurri, the shrimp po' boy, the house burger, chorizo and hominy and pesto-mashed potatoes.
Chicken Sofia -- pan-roasted chicken with cheese and parsley sausage accompanied by fingerling potatoes and green beans -- is served at The Refuge in Melville.
Swingbellys Beachside BBQ(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)
Swingbellys Beachside BBQ, Long Beach: Having seen the wrath of superstorm Sandy, two renovations and five different pitmasters, Swingbellys Beachside BBQ comes out swinging harder than ever. Credit pitmaster and co-owner Dan Monteforte, who was on the scene when the place opened eight years ago and returns after a two-year absence.
The Classic BBQ sandwich is made with brisket and comes with coleslaw and crispy onions at Swingbellys Beachside BBQ in Long Beach.
EAT Gastropub(Credit: Marisol Diaz)
EAT Gastropub, Oceanside: A well-appointed patio with a bar, umbrella tables and lounge furniture offers a view of the restaurant's greenhouse, which produces the greens used in salads. From chef Gregory Baumel's new repertoire are dishes like salmon and crab burgers, and apricot chipotle roasted chicken.
One of the brunch specials at EAT Gastropub in Oceanside is The Nest, a poached egg nestled in a bed of crispy onions, crumbled bacon, pickled vegetables, asparagus, caramelized onions, roasted beets, mesclun greens, baby tomatoes and queso fresco with a Champagne vinaigrette.
Blackstone Steakhouse(Credit: Angela Datre)
Blackstone Steakhouse, Melville: The patio has an awning that may be opened at this stylish, high-end steakhouse. Standouts include sashimi, sushi, sushi rolls, the seafood plateau, grilled whole fish, crabcake, sliders, porterhouse steak, double-cut pork chop, and lobster macaroni and cheese.
A tomahawk steak is served outdoors at Blackstone Steakhouse in Melville.
Boca Kitchen Bar(Credit: Benjamin Petit)
Boca Kitchen Bar, Glen Cove: The newest occupant of the restaurant site at Jude Thaddeus Marina makes the most of its waterside setting. The menu brings together Mexican, seafood and steak, but your best bet is to stick to the simpler selections and enjoy the spacious patio with its view of boats bobbing in Glen Cove Creek.
Wagyu sliders are juicy appetizers at Boca Kitchen Bar in Glen Cove.
Jewel(Credit: Daniel Brennan)
Jewel, Melville: This splashy Tom Schaudel establishment ventures outdoors with fine traditional and New American dishes, and some Italian piatti, too. Winners include tuna tartare, grilled oysters, octopus salad with a merlot vinaigrette, penne rigate with spicy sausage, pork belly tacos, the house burger, and a pistachio ice cream sandwich.
The Be'Ju Spider Roll special-- sushi with deep fried soft shell crab-- is served with a mixed green salad with Asian vinegarette at Jewel in Melville.
Farm Country Kitchen(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)
Farm Country Kitchen, Riverhead: Eat on the veranda of this secreted-away little house overlooking the Peconic River. Chef-owner Tom Carson offers a lunch repertoire of soups, salads, sandwiches and wraps. At dinner, you'll find lobster cakes, duck breast and pan-seared sea scallops over linguine.
Farm Country Kitchen in Riverhead has a menu that changes daily, depending on what's fresh at the market.
Kenta(Credit: Daniel Brennan)
Kenta, Melville: Here's the area's newest seafood specialist, raw and cooked. The look is modern and so's plenty of the eclectic fare. Enjoy the day's special sashimi and sushi; the house's special sushi rolls; avocado toast with burrata; Kobe beef sliders; sweet-and-spicy jumbo prawns; fried oysters; chicken with shallot sauce and wasabi-fired mashed potatoes.
Jumbo prawns are served in a sweet-and-spicy chili sauce at Kenta in Melville.
Winston's Bar and Grill(Credit: Gordon M. Grant)
Winston's Bar and Grill, East Hampton: This East End eatery lights up the summer with Caribbean flair and more.
Key lime pie leads the desserts at Winston's Bar and Grill in East Hampton.
Whale's Tale(Credit: Danielle Finkelstein)
Whale's Tale, Northport: A laid-back vibe prevails at this summery spot by the Brittania Yacht Club. Eat on the deck within view of both pool and boatyard at tables shaded by umbrellas and awnings. Raw-bar items, wings, tacos, burgers, wraps, sandwiches and the like compose the menu.
Swordfish "fish-and-lime"-style at Whale's Tale in Northport.
Kyma(Credit: Uli Seit)
Kyma, Roslyn: It's all about Greek-accented seafood at Kyma -- grilled shrimp and octopus and whole fish anointed with lemon and olive oil. Take a bite, then a sip of dry white moschofilero, close your eyes and pretend that instead of a patio outside the restaurant in Roslyn Village, you're overlooking the Aegean.
The tower of fried eggplant and zucchini chips, are a favorite of patrons at Kyma Restaurant in Roslyn.
Nick's Pizza and Clam Bar(Credit: Nicole Horton)
Nick's Pizza and Clam Bar, Smithtown: There's no water in sight along this tree-lined stretch of Route 25A, but sitting on Nick's deck, polishing off a dozen briny clams on the half shell, you'll swear you hear the roar of the surf. Also on the menu: oysters, steamers, salads, burgers and pizza.
Besito(Credit: Newsday / Rebecca Cooney)
Besito, Huntington: Besito is one of LI's best Mexican restaurants, staying clear of the cliches and mixing a mean margarita. When the weather's warm, the experience is enhanced by the tables set up on the sidewalk of Huntington's bustling New York Avenue. Cool off with refreshing ceviche, or turn up the heat with mole poblano.
Cedar Beach Bar & Grille(Credit: John Griffin)
Cedar Beach Bar ... Grille, Mount Sinai: Perched on the sand and at the beach, here's a real summer place, with an eclectic menu. Notable: mini-Reuben sliders, lobster roll, shrimp cocktail, chicken samosas with mango chutney, lobster macaroni-and-cheese with smoked duck bacon, fish-and-chips and marinated skirt steak.
Grasso's(Credit: Jin Lee)
Grasso's, Cold Spring Harbor: The Main Street mainstay has a few outdoor tables and a lively dining room and bar. Notable: pan-seared diver scallops, cavatelli Bolognese, a spin on cioppino emphasizing shellfish, grilled filet mignon, grilled Berkshire pork rib, grilled calamari, chopped salad and roast duck.
A Lure(Credit: Randee Daddona)
A Lure, Southold: This oyster house and "oysteria" offers a delightful water view and seafood to match it. Notable: bay scallop ceviche, yellowfin tuna tartare, fish chowder, Baja-style fish tacos, lobster roll, steamed lobster, sauteed soft-shell crabs, grilled swordfish and grilled burger.
Fisherman's Catch(Credit: Marisol Diaz)
Fisherman's Catch, Point Lookout: At this waterside restaurant owned by fishermen, you can dine on an outdoor deck overlooking Reynolds Channel. Choices include sesame-seared tuna, herb-crusted swordfish and a catch of the day crudo.
The Oar(Credit: Daniel Brennan)
The Oar, Patchogue: The Oar in Patchogue powers you to seafood and steak, and doubtless a few drinks, while providing a very summery water view.
H2O Seafood & Sushi(Credit: Alessandro Vecchi)
H2O Seafood ... Sushi, Smithtown: Seafood, raw and cooked, is the focus of this dining spot whose outdoor patio is pretty enough to make you forget you're on Jericho Turnpike. Past culinary hits include sashimi, spicy tuna crispy rice sliders and "everything"-crusted tuna.
Tony Cuban Cucina & Cocktails(Credit: Tony Cuban)
Tony Cuban Cucina and Cocktails, Freeport: This hybrid Cuban-Italian newcomer offers seating on an outdoor deck overlooking a boat basin. On the menu are such dishes as ropa vieja fettuccine and plantain-crusted branzino. And, of course, a Cubano sandwich.
Brixx and Barley(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)
Brixx and Barley, Long Beach: In fine weather, Long Beach's newest gastropub sets up tables on its broad sidewalk so diners can see and be seen. Enjoy expertly grilled burgers, overstuffed sandwiches and more than 30 beers on tap (another 30 in bottles).
Claws Seafood Market(Credit: Nicole Horton)
Claws Seafood Market, West Sayville: This fish market has a creek-side outdoor clam bar / crab shack. Stake out a picnic or umbrella table and order from a repertoire that includes steamers, mussels, lobsters and Maryland-style hard-shelled crabs. There's a fine lobster roll, too.
The Boat House(Credit: The Boat House)
The Boat House, Merrick: At this waterside spot overlooking Merrick Bay, you'll find sunset vistas and seating for about 80. On the seafood-centric menu: Chilean sea bass, linguine with clam sauce and, of course, a burger.
Uncle Bacala's(Credit: Alessandro Vecchi)
Uncle Bacala's, Garden City Park: Enjoy Uncle Bacala's crowd-pleasing, seafood-centric Italian-American cuisine on this spacious patio, which has been cleverly designed to block out the view (and most of the noise) from Jericho Turnpike.
Butler's Flat(Credit: Linda Rosier)
Butler's Flat, Port Washington: Named after the lighthouse in New Bedford, Massachusetts, this New England-style clam shack in Brewer Capri Marina West has a sweeping view of Manhasset Bay. Highlights include fried belly clams (with good fries and slaw), steamed littlenecks, and a meaty, mayonnaise-free lobster roll.
La Plage(Credit: Gordon M. Grant)
La Plage, Wading River: Dine among the bulrushes on La Plages beachy patio, and sample chef Wayne Waddingtons elegant take on French, Italian and American cuisine. Specialties include smoked beef carpacci and ancho-braised lamb shank.
Cornucopia's Noshery(Credit: Jeremy Bales)
Cornucopia's Noshery, Amityville: Courtyard seating is the warm weather choice at this attractive breakfast and lunch destination with four outdoor tables. Small well-behaved dogs are welcome, said owner Erica Reichlin. Come June, there should be dinner service with acoustic music.
Empanadaville(Credit: Daniel Brennan)
Empanadaville, Mastic Beach: Warm weather is when this takeout shop for Puerto Rican-style empanadas shines. Alongside the building, youll find two picnic tables, each seating six, plus two smaller tables for two. No table seating inside.
BurgerFi(Credit: Uli Seit)
Burgerfi, Uniondale: At the biggest branch of this sustainably minded burger chain, 12 tables are set up in an area in front of the restaurant, where an awning shades diners from the sun and music plays both day and night.
The Patio(Credit: Aaron Zebrook)
The Patio, Freeport: The look is1960s, but the menu is of the moment at The Patio. Notable: watermelon-feta-frisee-preserved lemon salad, lobster empanadas, Buffalo chicken "lollipops," the Kobe beef hot dog with kimchee, oven-roasted Berkshire pork and pork tacos.
MP Taverna(Credit: Uli Seit)
MP Taverna, Roslyn: Michael Psilakis' inventive Greek gastropub offers seating for about 50 on the rooftop patio. From your perch, under an umbrella, you can look over the town while eating a lamb burger or lemon-roasted chicken.
Scrimshaw(Credit: Gordon M. Grant)
Scrimshaw, Greenport: The wharf dining room at this Greenport spot gives you a water view on three sides, but pay attention to what's on chef-owner Rosa Ross' East-meets-West menu: leek-and-goat-cheese flan, duck breast with orange sauce, seared diver scallops, seafood chowder, gravlax, dim sum.
Kingston's Clam Bar(Credit: Linda Rosier)
Kingston's Clam Bar, West Sayville: Oysters have been shucked at this site overlooking the boats in Dutchman's Cove in West Sayville for centuries. Since 1978, the waterside spot has hosted a popular clam bar. You'll find clams on the half shell, steamers, fried clams and chowder. Post-Colonial menu additions include lobster rolls and fish tacos.
Pop's Seafood Shack and Grill(Credit: Marisol Diaz)
Pop's Seafood Shack and Grill, Island Park: Wear flip-flops to this seafood spot on Reynolds Channel in Island Park with its own little man-made beach. On the seafood-centric menu: sesame ahi tuna lollipops, three types of lobster rolls, and fish and chips. After dark, the place can be a major party scene with DJs and dancing.
Mannino's Italian Kitchen(Credit: Jeremy Bales)
Mannino's Italian Kitchen, Commack: This sleek new Italian destination, known for such dishes as grilled octopus and baked lasagna, offers an upstairs deck with seating for about 50. There's also an outdoor lounge with a fire pit and, some nights, live music.
Dodici(Credit: Heather Walsh / Heather Walsh)
Dodici, Rockville Centre: The busy Rockville Centre street scene may be observed from a sidewalk table outside this local Italian favorite. Among specialties: Margherita pizzetta, fresh cavatelli Bolognese and wood-oven roasted chicken.
Cipollini(Credit: Nicole Horton)
Cipollini , Manhasset: Your warm-weather meal is here in the east end of the Americana Shopping Center. Cipollini has a dining room for light Italian cooking, and goes alfresco on the parking lot side. Try the robiola pizza, panini, Tuscan tomato soup, beef carpaccio, seafood salad, grilled octopus or whole branzino.
Tim's Shipwreck Diner(Credit: John Griffin)
Tim's Shipwreck Diner, Northport: The interior of this Northport mainstay was recently renovated, but the courtyard out back is as tranquil as ever. A lovely spot for updated diner classics, breakfast and lunch only.
Maliblue(Credit: Nicole Horton)
Maliblue, Lido Beach: The raw bar is an elemental part of this summer spot, but it also serves a lot of steamers, lobster tacos, lobster rolls, baked clams oreganata and pan-seared branzino to balance the burgers, po'boys and chicken-Caesar salad wraps. The umbrellas unfurl in front of the sleek, contemporary restaurant. Opens May 22.