Stretching almost a mile from the Long Island Rail Road station to the Manhasset Bay waterfront, Port Washington is a mecca for nightlife, from concert hall Landmark on Main Street to The Dolphin Bookshop. Tonight, visitors of all ages are enjoying ethnic cuisine, music, art and more. For movie fans, there's even a familiar face in the crowd.
299 Main St.
INFO 516-767-2650, thedolphinbookshop.com
A local landmark since 1946, the Dolphin sells books along with gifts like scented body cream. A cafe has recently been added, where about 25 people are listening to a local band. The menu includes panini, soup, lattes and other specialty coffees.
Local high schooler Emma Podolsky, 16, of Port Washington, usually orders a pot of tea when she visits. "I like green tea with jasmine," she says as she browses the bookshelves.
Stephanie Carlucci, 32, who also lives in Port Washington, has come for the concert and the cozy ambience. "It's like a coffeehouse feel -- family-friendly, and there are a lot of kids," says the North Bellmore pediatrician.
294 Main St.
INFO 516-767-7164, laptiteframboise.com
The familiar face in town belongs to veteran actor Burt Young, who co-starred in six "Rocky" films, lives in Port Washington and is exhibiting his paintings at The Dolphin Bookshop. Tonight, Young is sitting at the bar in this French bistro, chatting with other customers and showing off a script he's written. "I went to Rome to make a movie," he tells a visitor. However, Young adds, he's glad to be "back where people know you."
On weekends La P'tite Framboise draws an adult crowd two-deep at the bar, says manager Enio Prenda. The "old country"-style cuisine includes mussels Provencal and French wine.
293 Main St.
INFO 516-767-1400, ayhansrestaurants.com
Across Main Street, Ayhan's Mediterranean Marketplace Cafe stays open until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Diners are enjoying Greek specialties such as spanakopita (spinach pie) and Greek salads. To set the mood, a keyboardist plays jazz as the lights of Manhasset Bay twinkle beyond the panoramic windows.
Proprietor Ayhan Hassan is sitting at a table with two guests. "The glittering lights make you feel like you're in New York City, but you're in Port Washington," says Hassan, who also owns two other Port Washington restaurants.
1 Library Dr.
INFO 516-883-4400, pwpl.org
A short walk uphill, the Port Washington Public Library offers public space for kids and adults.
"We hang out in the library," says Megan Oldak, 14, of Port Washington, here with a half-dozen friends. In the library's teen section, they can talk "if we're not too noisy," play board games and chess, and sip hot drinks from the coffee bar, she says.
The library also boasts art and photo galleries and shows independent and classic (pre-1950) Hollywood films. Admission is free.
1005 Port Washington Blvd.
INFO 516-439-4715, 16handles.com
Nicole Feldman of Roslyn is celebrating her 16th birthday tonight with close friends.
The girls have eaten sushi at Aki, a Main Street Japanese restaurant, and now they're enjoying dessert at the national frozen yogurt chain's only Long Island outpost. (The store features 16 flavors, such as chocolate love affair and peanut butter confession.) They often hang out in Great Neck or Manhattan, but Port Washington is one of their favorite places closer to home.
"Being in Port Washington is like the illusion of being in a quiet part of New York City," says Feldman's friend, Rebecca Stewart, 16, of Roslyn.