NewsdayTV's Elisa DiStefano tries Feed Me critics' picks for the best seafood at Kyma in Roslyn and Bigelow's in Rockville Centre. Credit: Newsday/Howard Schnapp

Long Island's top seafood restaurants take fish seriously — be it grilled whole, freshly shucked or hard-shelled. The best bets include come-as-you-are casual clam bars as well as upscale fish houses.


47 Front St., Greenport

Anker goes full steam ahead on local fish and a gill-to-tail ethos that yields lemon-rosemary fish collars and swordfish bone marrow. Mussels mingle with big chunks of roasted fennel and leeks, lots of fresh dill and parsley and a broth made with smoked fish stock, caramelized plums and black pepper. Shareable big plates include grilled whole black sea bass and hickory-smoked lamb brisket. But you can get a lobster roll, New England clam chowder, fish and chips and a locally focused raw bar, too. In fine weather, dine on the roof overlooking Greenport harbor. More info: 631-477-1300,

Roasted mussels served at Anker in Greenport.

Roasted mussels served at Anker in Greenport. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Bell & Anchor

3253 Noyack Rd., Sag Harbor

One frigid winter night at the Bell & Anchor, which is perched on the edge of a working marina, the dining room erupted into applause for a marriage proposal at one table while, at the bar, the bartender plunked down seared Peconic Bay scallops, in a lemon-cream sauce, during a month when scallops were nowhere to be found. "We know the baymen," she winked. That scene is typical of the Bell & Anchor, an irrepressible spot which manages to be a locals hangout, special-occasion place and superb seafood restaurant all at once. The connections forged with local fishermen translate to rare magic inside chef Sam McClelland’s kitchen, whether lobster thermidor panini, tilefish with Lyonnaise-style potatoes or pan-roasted monkfish (with littleneck clams and shrimp, of course) over saffron risotto. The drinks are on-point, the vibes are nautical and the welcome here is warm and lasting. More info: 631-725-3400,


79 N. Long Beach Rd., Rockville Centre

Since 1939, this stalwart has been Long Island’s unofficial Ipswich ambassador, frying up with abandon whole-belly clams from the town and environs. Just as delicious as those briny, oyster-like treats are Bigelow’s fried strips of Atlantic surf clams, sweeter and less rubber-band-y than anything Mrs. Paul ever stuffed into a box. Clam chowders, both New England ("white and creamy") and Manhattan ("red and brothy"), are equally beloved, but let's face it: Bigelow’s is a shrine to the fryolator, and rare is the sea creature that escapes its breaded, deep-fat treatment. Results are usually excellent, though, especially when accompanied by crunchy onion rings and hand-cut fries. An assault on your arteries? Maybe. But what a way to go. The Andreolas family, exacting stewards of this local treasure since the 1990s, has enclosed the patio and heated it, more than doubling Bigelow's year-round capacity. More info: 516-678-3878,

Bigelow's in Rockville Centre offers both clam strips and full...

Bigelow's in Rockville Centre offers both clam strips and full Ipswitch Clams (with bellies, shown here) that are breaded just before frying. Credit: Newsday/Rebecca Cooney

Catch Oyster Bar

63 N. Ocean Ave., Patchogue

Subway tiles, exposed ductwork and a distressed sculpture of a mermaid lend this cozy spot a nautical vibe, but Catch’s appeal goes far beyond décor. Though you’ll likely sit on a bar stool (there are only a few tables), an hour or two spent here usually includes meeting some locals, slurping oysters not found anywhere else, downing an excellent cocktail and leaving the premises proud to be a Long Islander. Those oysters — mostly harvested locally, but a few hail from points north and west — are delivered daily and listed on a chalkboard; order some on the half shell, and they’ll be shucked within eyeshot. Get a few more grilled with Parmesan and butter — trust us on that — then segue to a tuna Niçoise salad, scallop ceviche (an occasional special) or an oyster po’boy made with lightly fried bivalves from the Great South Bay. Lovers of bouillabaisse can go for the South Shore seafood stew. More info: 631-627-6860,

Five Ocean

5 New York Ave., Long Beach

This flip-flop-friendly dune-side eatery packs serious culinary firepower: Chef-owner Craig Attwood made his name running East End restaurants (East Hampton Point and Jedediah Hawkins Inn, among them). The menu reflects the seaside location, with local seafood pitched high (tuna tartar, roasted whole fish on a bed of caponata), low (fish tacos) and high-low (butter-poached lobster nachos). Any dish featuring clams is going to be a winner, as is the distinctly non-pescatarian fried chicken, two mahogany-crusted boneless thighs that share a big, low-sided galvanized steel bucket with a peppy slaw and hand-cut fries dusted with Old Bay seasoning. There’s a burger at lunch, a strip steak at dinner, and good cheer all day long. More info: 516-517-2828,

Steamed littleneck clams with chorizo, lemon and parsley at Five...

Steamed littleneck clams with chorizo, lemon and parsley at Five Ocean in Long Beach. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski


28 Cottage Ave., Bay Shore

In the early aughts, chef Brian Valdini returned to his native Long Island for a brief vacation — but instead ended up taking over this waterfront bistro to create a restaurant devoted to Mediterranean-style seafood and meat dishes. Even after Superstorm Sandy took the place down to its pilings, the rebuilt Fatfish remains one of the South Shore’s tucked-way gems and Valdini is nowhere near to losing his edge. The crowd is resolutely local, the deck seems to hover over the Great South Bay and Valdini layers magic over every piece of tuna, salmon, scallop, shrimp, oyster, monkfish, blackfish and fluke fillet that passes through the kitchen. Intuitive servers deliver the goods, from a finely tuned crudo of tuna with oranges and pistachios to seared scallops meunière or roasted halibut with shiitake mushrooms. Nibblers can stick to plates of charcuterie, carousers to icy martinis and a raw bar, and everyone can drink in the jaw-dropping view. More info: 631-666-2899,

The Frisky Oyster

27 Front St., Greenport

Both the smartly dressed crowd and chic atmosphere at this Greenport hot spot might have been airlifted from Manhattan’s Upper East Side, but the friendly service and straight-from-the-bay shellfish are distinctly North Fork. Tables can be hard to come by, especially on busy weekend evenings, but charming the reservation gods is worth it for superb Peconic oysters Friskafella, chipotle-spiced, baked with spinach and topped by a caramelized Parmesan aioli that ought to be the envy of every Rockefeller. And if there’s any more persuasive argument for local fowl than the restaurant’s Crescent Farms duck breast, we haven’t seen it: A finely seared crust gives way to pink meat lent delightful assistance by the syrupy tang of Bing cherry sauce. That and a side of spaghetti squash roasted with creamy Taleggio and dusted with garlic breadcrumbs sends this duck into the stratosphere. More info: 631-477-4265,

Halibut with zucchini noodles at The Frisky Oyster in Greenport.

Halibut with zucchini noodles at The Frisky Oyster in Greenport. Credit: The Frisky Oyster

Inlet Seafood

541 E. Lake Dr., Montauk

"From our boats to your table" has been this restaurant’s slogan ever since six local fishermen banded together to open it in 2006 as a side hustle for the group, which was better known for its wholesale business in the state’s largest commercial port. Not surprisingly, exceptionally fresh shellfish, along with fluke, sea bass and whatever else they happen to be catching, are the stars of the menu, and you can get them lots of ways: grilled or fried, sushi or po’boy. But there are specials for landlubbers too, along with a well-stocked bar and myriad fun cocktails. The place’s exceptional outdoor set-up is on the edge of Montauk Harbor, with picnic tables and corn hole below, and cafe tables above on a large second-floor veranda with dramatic seaside views. More info: 631-668-4272,


1446 Old Northern Blvd., Roslyn

This beach party of a Greek seafood restaurant swings all year with Roslynites and anyone looking for a scene plus top-notch seafood. Operating partner Reno Christou and chef Chris Kletsides are veterans of nearby Limani; they were lured 1 mile east in 2013 and Kletsides’ menu hasn’t strayed far. The selection of pristine fresh whole fish may include fagri, the sweet and meaty Mediterranean pink snapper, red snapper, royal dorado, pompano and black sea bass, plus huge shrimp, Maine lobster, Alaskan king crab legs and plenty of Greek salads and spreads. Moussaka, steaks, chops and braised lamb shanks will satisfy non-fish-eaters. During prime time, the noise level here can range from hubbub to din; early dinners are relatively serene. More info: 516-621-3700,

The Lavraki, or whole branzini, is a specialty at Kyma...

The Lavraki, or whole branzini, is a specialty at Kyma in Rosyln. Credit: Newsday/Jonah Markowitz


1043 Northern Blvd., Roslyn

Before Limani opened in 2008, Long Island had never seen either a fish restaurant or a Greek restaurant to match it. The sumptuous design eschewed Greek key motifs and paintings of Santorini in favor of mosaic tile, luxe upholstery and fine stemware. The fish, dozens of species sourced from all over the world, reclined upon a bed of ice, waiting for their turn over the fire where they would be grilled and then, in deference to their excellence, anointed simply with imported olive oil and lemon juice. None of this comes cheap, nor is it the place to waste your money on the farmed branzino or salmon you can find elsewhere: Go for the whole grilled fagri (Greek snapper) or the mammoth head-on South African shrimp. Pescaphobes will enjoy the fried, wafer-thin zucchini and eggplant, tomato salad (good year-round!) or lamb chops. More info: 516-869-8989,

Lost At Sea

888 W. Beech St., Long Beach

This petite, paneled nautical spot has bric-a-brac on the walls and seawater running through its veins (and kitchen), from fried cherrystone clams with charred lemon to celery-root pancakes with smoked salmon and apple brown butter or grilled swordfish with sweet potato and bok choy. Chef Alecia St. Aubrey switches up the menu often, so by the time you read this, it likely will have changed — but a few terrestrial dishes are usually in the mix, such as hanger steak frites with aioli. What stays constant: superlative cocktails from co-owner Stephan Magliano. The place is truly tiny, so call ahead. Cash only. More info: 516-632-5263

Grilled octopus with garlic aioli, potato and chipotle at Lost...

Grilled octopus with garlic aioli, potato and chipotle at Lost at Sea in Long Beach. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

The Plaza Café

61 Hill St., Southampton

Chef-owner Doug Gulija’s fare is always delicious, frequently fascinating, and served in a polished and refined Hamptons dining room. The oft-changing menu reflects a searching, restless creativity, one whose appetizer highlights have included a salmon Napoleon with pea pancakes, prosciutto-wrapped shrimp and a tian of crab meat, tuna tartare, and a wasabi-goosed avocado mash. Lately, the list of intriguing so-called medium plates has featured tuna poke nachos and a lobster roll with meat poached in butter. Main courses of note include the signature lobster-and-shrimp shepherd's pie, grilled swordfish loin matched with sweet-sausage meat in carrot-chive broth, and pan-seared king salmon with lardons and a mustard seed vinaigrette. But no visit to the Plaza is complete without sampling at least one of Gulija’s mother Maria’s desserts. Among the five or so available at any one time are the chocolate mousse cake and orange vanilla torte with a Creamsicle-ish ice cream, both epic in the best sense of the word. More info: 631-283-9323,

Salt & Barrel

61 W. Main St., Bay Shore

There are usually a dozen oysters to choose from (shucked to order from a station at one end of the stunning bar) and the seafood dishes that follow are polished and a little eclectic. Some of it is locally sourced — clams are chopped, baked and threaded with chorizo, bacon and Hawaiian sweet bread and the blackened fluke arrives in housemade tortillas with slaw and pineapple-mango chutney. And sure, you can land a warm lobster roll, but the kitchen also trades in lobster mac-and-cheese or lobster ravioli fra diavolo. Subtle "crispy octopus" is a clever twist on the grilled versions that proliferate these days, and miso-glazed black sea bass or pine nut- and almond-crusted mahi-mahi are also waiting in the wings. Cocktails are always a work of art. More info: 631-647-8818,

Sea Bar

7 Great Neck Rd., Great Neck Plaza

They both have roots in Greece but when Jimmy Soursos and Gregory Zapantis opened Sea Bar, they envisioned a friendly, casual venue suited to everyday dining, not weekend celebrations. They wanted to explore the whole world of fish cookery, with local seafood plateaus, tuna tartare, popcorn shrimp, crab cakes, fish tacos and steamed lobster. The heart of the menu is a mix-and-match lineup of eight fish that are grilled and served with your choice of sauce (lemon and olive oil, tomato and ginger, herbs and cream, cilantro and lime or Cajun tartar sauce). But chef Zapantis, whose resume includes the Manhattan restaurants Estiatorio Milos, Trata and Kellari, is not about to hide his Greek bona fides under a barrel. An undeniable Hellenic influence can be seen in such dishes as flash-fried red mullet (barbounia), braised green beans (fasolakia) and rustic tomato salad (horiatiki). More info: 516-441-5708,

A seafood plateau at Sea Bar in Great Neck.

A seafood plateau at Sea Bar in Great Neck. Credit: Noah Fecks

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