The unofficial start of summer calls for bright, casual food, maybe alfresco but always easy on the appetite and generally on the budget Here are three establishments that fit the criteria and the season.
Babylon Burger Bar in Babylon ranks high among Long Island's burger-centric eateries. It's an upbeat, noisy downtown destination with enough hamburger variations to satisfy you and the entire baseball team: Recommended: 3 Lil Pigs, the house blend of chuck, short rib, and rib-eye steak, infused with bacon, topped with candied bacon, crisp pork belly, barbecue sauce and an onion ring; Great South Bay, or the burger topped with braised short rib, caramelized onions, Swiss cheese, and cabernet sauce; Juicy Lucy. the burger stuffed with American cheese, capped with caramelized onion, tomato, pickled cucumber, house sauce, on a challah bun; poutines; Bavarian pretzel; Nashville-style hot and sweet chicken; milkshakes. Moderate
Babylon Burger Bar, 1 W. Main St., Babylon, 631-620-3362, babylonburgerbar.com
Louie's Grill & Liquors in Port Washington traces its history to 1905. In its current life, the Main Street mainstay offers a water view, first-rate seafood, and more. Recommended: lobster taco with chives, lobster salad roll, steamed lobster, lobster Cantonese, the raw bar, fish tacos, New England-style clam chowder. miso black cod with a citrusy yuzu glaze, French-cut Berkshire pork chop. bone-in rib-eye steak with chimichurri, panna cotta with crystallized ginger and yuzu. Moderate to expensive.
Louie's Grill & Liquors, 395 Main St., Port Washington, 516-883-4242, louiessince1905.com
Bostwick's Chowder House in East Hampton doesn't accept reservations, so you might have to wait on a sunny weekend day. Then, your reward will be outdoor dining and watching the traffic move slowly by. Recommended: steamers, fried oysters with remoulade sauce, broiled local flounder, lobster taco, lobster rolls, Baja-style fish taco, corn chowder, New England-style clam chowder, tuna poke. Moderate.
Bostwick's Chowder House, 277 Pantigo Rd. (Route 27), East Hampton, 631-324-1111, bostwickschowderhouse.com