Whether you're sitting down to a pulled pork sandwich, a plate of fried clams or a big lobster dinner, your food will taste that much better when eaten at an outdoor table -- preferably one within view of sparkling water.
On Long Island, there is no shortage of restaurants that take to the decks and patios for picturesque summer dining. Any of the following may have just the table for you.
117 New York Ave., Huntington
Big and bold, Prime offers a New American menu that may be enjoyed on the porch overlooking Huntington Harbor. At the separate informal outdoor area, there's a dockside menu, but no protection from the sun.
On the deck of this Port Jefferson landmark, you can look out at the boats in the harbor. Dine on a New American menu that covers surf and turf essentials. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
A great view of the Great South Bay, accompanied by a Mediterranean-inspired repertoire -- a bar and tapas menu, too.
Sunsets viewed from a deck table are augmented by a "beachy American" menu featuring such dishes as vegetable samosas, fire-grilled filet mignon and wasabi-pea-crusted salmon.
This scenic bayfront seafood restaurant serves such dishes as barbecued swordfish and grilled salmon. Eat on the shaded deck and, weather permitting, on the dock.
There may be no lovelier dining spot on the North Fork than the gently swaying deck of this former grist mill, built in 1820. Watch fishing trawlers and sailing boats returning from Long Island Sound to moor for the night. The menu ranges from Old American to New American to Mediterranean.
A wraparound deck seats 100 diners at chef Tom Schaudel's eatery at the Port of Egypt marina with views of the water and the barrier beach bird sanctuary. The choices are mainly fish and shellfish, with a few "if you must" steaks and burgers.
Under the same ownership as the nearby Rumba, Cowfish takes over the waterfront location of Indian Cove. Chef and co-owner David Hersh offers such dishes as rotisserie chicken, Cuban-style mahi-mahi and a 20-ounce bone-in Angus rib eye. Two patios overlook Shinnecock Canal.
From the outdoor deck of this buoyant New American, the waterfront view takes in the entire harbor. It can be magical -- especially at sunset. Dine on Sichuan-style duck or bouillabaisse with lobster.
Andrra arrives with a Mediterranean menu on the former site of The Boathouse, where the outdoor deck looks out onto Three Mile Harbor. On the menu: Norwegian salmon crudo, lobster with beurre blanc sauce, fettuccine with shellfish and shaved fennel and orange salad.
One of the most popular restaurants in Montauk -- and among the most difficult to get a reservation at -- Dave's affords a view of fishing boats and emphasizes freshly caught seafood. Thai fish stew and Indonesian chicken adobo demonstrate the eclectic range of chef-owner Dave Marcley.
Dine on the deck within view of narrow waterways, open sea and distant coastlines. Here, freshness of seafood -- sushi included -- is paramount.
Swimsuits and flip-flops are the rule at this restaurant and bar on the edge of the beach at Montauk. The year-old spot reopened with a new upstairs bar and renovated deck overlooking sand and surf. On chef Reed Lucas' summery menu: watermelon salad, Montauk clams on the half shell and the signature tuna burger.
This outdoor waterfront clam shack in a Manorhaven marina has a well-edited seafood menu that emphasizes the locally caught. There's counter service only, plus a nautical view.
This marina-side Port Washington newcomer has both indoor and outdoor tables with a view of the boats in Manhasset Bay. Chef-owner Mario Coiro offers an Italian seafood menu with such dishes as polenta-dusted fried calamari and linguine with clam sauce. A lobster roll, of course.
Situated within a beach club but open to the public, this casual American eatery with a sushi bar and fish-shack menu offers patio seating in view of the pool and the dunes.
Affiliated with the more formal restaurant across the street, the tiki bar overlooks a boat-filled canal. Along with the bar menu, there's barbecue from chef Derrick "Big D" Sartor. Since the bar is entirely outdoors, it closes in inclement weather.
With an excellent bay-side view, this American seafood restaurant has patio seating that's practically on the beach. Watch boats glide by while having a lobster roll or jerk spiced swordfish sandwich.
Tropix joins the Nautical Mile mix at a dockside location that's entirely outdoors. In addition to a bar area overlooking a canal, there's a deck with tables where you can watch the boats bob while having lobster sliders or fish and chips.
At this dockside East Rockaway fish house with a lovely water view, raw bar platters, chowders, lobster and lobster rolls, both hot and cold, are headliners.
Eat on the rooftop deck, at a table or by the tiki bar of this kitschy nautical spot. The view of Long Island Sound goes well with the fine lobster roll and hand-cut fries.
New to the Brewers Yacht Yard is this casual seafood spot, whose patio affords a view of the boatyard. From consulting chef Adam Goldgell's menu comes a scallop- and-spinach Benedict at weekend breakfast, a lobster roll at lunch or shrimp étouffée at dinner.
Sit at an umbrella table right on the deck or even the beach, where you can watch your kids build sand castles over a burger, salad or lobster roll. Evenings, you'll find an American menu with such choices as crabcakes, steak and sesame-crusted tuna.