The Garden Social Ale and a pretzel with mustard and...

The Garden Social Ale and a pretzel with mustard and cheese sauce at Garden Social in East Meadow. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Long Island restaurants usher in fall with new menus, heated outdoor spaces and creative touches that make dining out memorable long after the check has been paid.


2 Spring (2 Spring St., Oyster Bay): This polished New American restaurant has an Instagram-ready streetside patio decked out with burlap, sheepskin throws, pillows and string lights, plus forced heat from above. Elevated small plates run from light bites (caviar and smoked bacon) to seasonal fish. Reservations for Friday and Saturday are suggested. More info: 516-624-2411,

Centro Trattoria (336 W. Montauk Hwy., Hampton Bays): An outdoor fireplace creates a measure of coziness on chilly evenings, but Centro’s gravel "piazza" builds a case for warm ones too, with strings of party lights swooping down from blond wood beams, bringing a friendly glow to the white tablecloth dining area. Equally unexpected: the seriousness with which area old-timers play the bocce courts on select evenings. More info: 631-594-5744,

The gravel piazza at Centro Trattoria in Hampton Bays.

The gravel piazza at Centro Trattoria in Hampton Bays. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Gatsby's Landing (1362 Old Northern Blvd., Roslyn) Head to the back deck overlooking Roslyn Pond to dine on New American classics with a striking view of fall's foilage splendor taking shape. Tables here seat up to 4 people and are first-come, first serve, but the vantage point from the rear of the main dining room aren't bad, either. More info: 516-277-2318,

Hooks & Chops (6330 Jericho Tpke., Commack): The large bluestone- and Nicolock-paved patio adjacent to the restaurant’s main dining room is attractive and organic-looking. Arborvitae trees around the periphery shield diners from busy Jericho Turnpike, and musical duos and trios now play on select evenings. More info: 631-600-0521,

Seared diver scallops with shrimp and chorizo paella, smoked paprika...

Seared diver scallops with shrimp and chorizo paella, smoked paprika and chives at Hooks & Chops in Commack. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Maria's Mexican & Latin Cuisine (211 Smithtown Blvd., Smithtown): It's hard not to do a double-take at the oasis of tropicalia that on the east side of Smithtown Blvd. in Nesconset. Blooming hibiscus bushes, palm trees and strings of twinkling lights blanket the stone patio of Maria's, lending it a transportive vibe, with outdoor tables wedged into the patio's nooks. A long roster of margaritas deepens the Caribbean vibe and the menu takes you across many countries, from ceviche to Mexican tamales to Cubana-style quesadillas and Argentinian-style churrasco steak. For a final romantic flourish, share a churro sundae. More info: 631-979-7724,

Stone Creek Inn (405 Montauk Hwy., East Quogue): The restaurant’s fabulous outdoor setup stays in place until Columus Day weekend, bringing fine dining to the great outdoors via a giant sailcloth tent that’s as beautiful to look at as it is to eat under. Not far away, a vintage camper pairs well with two other vehicles on display, a pair of circa-1940 Fords that were part of the owner's late father’s collection. Flowering potted plants, bistro lights, Adirondack chairs and tiki torches add the trimming to a fun outdoor space where patrons can repair for drinks before or after dinner. More info: 631-653-6770,

An outdoor dining setup at Stone Creek Inn in East Quogue.

An outdoor dining setup at Stone Creek Inn in East Quogue. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

The Refuge (515 Broadhollow Rd., Melville): The indoor-outdoor restaurant perched along Route 110 is a magnet for after-work gatherings or meeting up with friends on the weekend. There's a long list of specialty cocktails, plus easy-to-share apps and pizzas. Weekend brunch, offered 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, offers a crowd-pleasing menu of eggs, loaded waffles, bowls, salads and beyond to be enjoyed in the modern rustic dining room or outdoor patio. More info: 631-577-4444,

ITA Kitchen (45 W. Main St., Bay Shore): This Italian restaurant turned its side and back patios into an outdoor dining wonderland, where guets can dine within private open-air cabanas, greenhouses (and later in the season, igloos) that seat six to eight people. All feature mini chandeliers, heaters and music that guests can largely control. Reservations require a $200 minimum spend on weekends. More info: 631-267-5916,


Carpaccio (160 Walt Whitman Rd., Huntington Station): The Limani restaurant group's spin on Italian food is plopped into a dramatically revamped space at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station which used to be BRIO. Carpaccio is an expansive, handsome place of clean lines and decorative tile, equally suited for a shopping-break lunch or an evening out. Chef Massimiliano Francucci channels the Mediterranean stylings of his home region (he’s from Capri) into a dense, bistro-like menu that does indeed include carpaccio as its starting point —four in all, including a classic beef version, yellowtail, salmon and perhaps the only octopus carpaccio for miles. There’s also pizza, panini, salumi boards, salads, classic Italian starters such as clams Oreganata or grilled octopus, plenty of pasta (think gemelli genovese), meatballs and entrees galore (crab- and mozzarella-stuffed shrimp, filet mignon, chicken Piccata…). Equally notable is the drinks menu, anchored by an entire roster of spritzes and branching out to modern spins on classic cocktails, as well as a handful of beers and 18 wines by the glass. More info: 631-212-3000

The Robiola Tartufo pizza at Carpaccio in Huntington Station.

The Robiola Tartufo pizza at Carpaccio in Huntington Station. Credit: Linda Rosier

Cenote Modern Mexican (45 Foster Ave., Sayville): Cenote is not your average Mexican restaurant. Alongside the ceviche and guacamole, is “repollo de la plancha: charcoal-grilled cabbage with chimichurri, radish and smoked cashew.” Owner Mike Turner, who operated Bistro 25 at this address since 2011, was determined not “to do refried beans and overstuffed burritos.” Even the most expected items on chef Chris Owen’s menu have been re-imagined and elevated: Pescado crudo is made with Montauk-caught fluke, sesame, avocado and coriander; queso fundido includes not only chorizo but shishito peppers and wild mushrooms; the enchiladas verde are stuffed with chicken that’s been smoked for 24 hours; Mexican street corn comes with shoestring fries, salsa macha and tomatillos. The space — a bar, two dining rooms and a deck — is simple and clean. More info: 631-589-7775,

Nomiya Sushi & Izakaya (Roosevelt Field Mall, 630 Old Country Rd., Garden City): Some dishes are intended to be admired before they are consumed: A bluefin tuna, lobster and asparagus maki roll enveloped in blue flames, maybe, sesame oil smoldering along its base and lending smokiness. Or a tartare-meets-guacamole creation, called the avocado bomb, of wisps of avocado sculpted into an armor around an inner sanctum of bluefin tuna. Both are among the small plates at Nomiya, a placid sushi and izakaya restaurant that opened late this summer at Roosevelt Field mall. With muted tones, a hickory-and-granite bar and spare aesthetic, the 75-seat Nomiya is a distinct counterpoint to almost everything else offered at Roosevelt Field. More info: 516-605-5097,

The avocado bomb at Nomiya Sushi & Izakaya in Garden City.

The avocado bomb at Nomiya Sushi & Izakaya in Garden City. Credit: Noah Fecks

Swallow Kitchen & Cocktails (91 Broadway, Greenlawn): After stints in Huntington and Montauk, chef-owner James Tchinnis has settled his stylish, small-plates eatery into the heart of Greenlawn. He and his wife, Julie, removed all traces of pizzeria (the last few tenants), with a contemporary decor that blends dark wood, neon lights, pastel florals and a semiabstract “drip” mural on one of the dining room walls. The menu comprises about 18 small plates, some of which — butternut squash “cappuccino” with truffle froth; shrimp and grits with andouille sausage; macaroni-and-cheese with orzo, peas and bacon — have been Swallow standards for more than a decade. New to Greenlawn are charred cauliflower with cauliflower puree; sea scallop crudo with orange zest and red grapes; and mussels with fennel. The plates are designed to be shared, but Tchinnis made some menu additions to satisfy diners who want their own plates of meat: cheeseburgers and a grilled 32-ounce rib-eye with miso-mustard sauce, fingerling potatoes and green beans. More info: 631-239-6643,

7 Seventy 7 (777 W. Beech St., Long Beach): One of the newest additions to Long Beach’s bustling West End is this moodily lit trattoria that rolls a few things into one: Bar, lounge, restaurant and takeout spot. In that spirit, the menu is a patchwork of cuisines whose strongest vein is Italian-American, from clams Oreganata to Kobe-beef meatballs, chicken Francese to shrimp scampi with cauliflower risotto. (A mix-and-match pasta approach allows pairing your choice of noodle, from penne to ravioli, with sauces such as amatriciana or marinara). Also in effect is a sprinkling of American-slash-Meditteranean dishes — think charcuterie boards, grilled octopus and lamb chops with mint gremolata — and outliers such as Peruvian-style shrimp ceviche and pan-seared, sesame-crusted tuna with wasabi aioli. All of it springs from the mind of chef Saul Mejia in the space where Mio Posto used to be. More info: 516-544-6173,

Shrimp scampi with cauliflower at 7 Seventy 7 in Long Beach.

Shrimp scampi with cauliflower at 7 Seventy 7 in Long Beach. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Uthai Bistro (8285 Jericho Tpke., Woodbury): Building on the success of his Maple Thai Eatery, which launched in Astoria in 2018, chef and Bangkok native Apikorn Lombardi’s second restaurant, in Woodbury, has evangelical dedication to freshness, quality ingredients (kaffir lime leaves! no canned tamarind!). This labor-intensive approach is wonderfully evident in khao soi, a complexly flavored noodle curry and coconut milk noodle soup often associated with the northern city of Chiang Mai, and here executed with a perfect balance of sweet, spicy and sour. But Uthai’s is a menu filled with delights, including a Tom Yum fried rice with shrimp, calamari and scallops folded into it, and salmon pan-fried on rice paper with steamed bok choy and a ginger teriyaki sauce. More info: 516-304-5880,


Garden Social (1964 Hempstead Tpke., East Meadow): Outside, the landscaped "beer garden" sits beneath a towering cedar pergola. The 20-plus taps feature Long Island and New York State beers almost exclusively, and there are even more craft beers in bottles and cans. More info: 516-750-5338,

The Garden Social Ale and a pretzel with mustard and...

The Garden Social Ale and a pretzel with mustard and cheese sauce at Garden Social in East Meadow. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Dark Horse Tavern (12 S. Park Ave., Rockville Centre): This pub provides a buoyant crowd and a laid-back, old-world-style place to mingle, watch a game and enjoy bar food. Specializing in craft beer, it also features a large courtyard that's open all year. Other locations at 273 Main St. in Farmingdale and 1029A Park Blvd. in Massapequa Park. More info: 516-442-5477,

Plattduetsche Park Restaurant (1132 Hempstead Tpke., Franklin Square): This century-old German American restaurant with an outdoor area is the closest Long Island has to a traditional German beer garden, with tables spread across a concrete patio. There is also an outdoor bar, a bratwurst pit, a dance floor and a bandshell, where cover bands get the party started. More info: 516-354-3131,
Southampton Publick House (62 Jobs Lane, Southampton): Grab one of the house-brewed beers, such as Double White or Burton IPA, to accompany the classic pub fare at this spot's pretty patio and outdoor bar. More info: 631-283-2800,
Prost Grill & Garten (652 Franklin Ave., Garden City): Prost’s patio with three picnic tables is part of the restaurant's sudsy appeal, furthered by Spaten Oktoberfest and Hofbräu Original. The main dining area sports tables made from old bowling alley wood, the German eagle flag, the blue-and-white banner of Bavaria, and a hearty menu with wursts, burgers and chicken wings. More info: 516-427-5656,

Grab a house-brewed beer at Southampton Publick House.

Grab a house-brewed beer at Southampton Publick House. Credit: Facebook / Southampton Publick House

Repeal XVIII Cocktail Lounge & Beer Garden (30 New St., Huntington): This spot features a rustic lounge atmosphere with two rooms, each having its own bar, in addition to an outdoor beer garden. Enjoy craft cocktails and a large selection of local, domestic and imported craft beers. More info: 631-629-5878,


Picking a bushel of apples and hauling pumpkins straight from the field works up an appetite, as does sitting in the car inching along Suffolk's notoriously traffic-clogged roads during fall harvest season. You'll want a place to eat with a crowd-pleasing menu that doesn't require reservations.


Sound Bistro (3225 Sound Ave., Riverhead): With its blue-awning-ed windows and proud yardarm flagpole, the big, rambling Sound Bistro is unmissable as you travel along Sound Avenue. The former Lobster Roll Northside is one of the only places around to find that Long Island specialty, fried puffer fish tails. You’ll also find lobster rolls, fried fish baskets, local clams and oysters and, in season, soft-shell crabs and lobster-stuffed beefsteak tomatoes. The family-friendly menu features roast chicken, seared tuna, linguine and clams sauce, veal Milanese and much more. A terraced patio offers outdoor dining. More info: 631-381-0519,

The local lobster salad beefstake tomato at Sound Avenue Bistro...

The local lobster salad beefstake tomato at Sound Avenue Bistro in Riverhead. Credit: Randee Daddona

Broadway Market (643 Broadway, Rocky Point): Fuel up for a day in the patch or wind down afterward at this indoor-outdoor cafe, which serves brunch in the form of pancakes, loaded flatbreads, salads and burgers. The hearty market sandwich is layered with fried eggs, maple bacon, tomato and Mornay sauce on a house-baked potato bun ($12). The eatery's cleverly designed backyard seating area gives kids (and adults) space to roam and play. The restaurant's perch is just west of several u-pick farms on Route 27-A in Baiting Hollow and Wading River, making it a good pitstop. More info: 631-849-1729.

Lucha Farm (177 Main St., Center Moriches): Part of Marc LaMaina’s growing empire of Lucharitos restaurants, “the farm” rambles over more than an acre of multiple outdoor dining areas. The menu will be familiar to patrons of the original Lucharitos in Greenport and its outposts in Aquebogue, Mattituck and Melville. The exuberant take on Mexican and Mexican American street food — tacos filled with coconut shrimp, quesadillas made with local duck — may all be washed down with premium tequilas, beer and Mexican soft drinks. More info: 631-400-9625,

A small section of the outdoor area at Lucharitos farm...

A small section of the outdoor area at Lucharitos farm and restaurant in Center Moriches. Credit: Newsday/Joann Vaglica


Cooperage Inn (2218 Sound Ave., Baiting Hollow): This North Fork stalwart is the very model of a rural restaurant, situated across the street from Fox Hollow Farm and next to Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard. The restaurant’s décor reflects its setting, with a verdant patio, old-fashioned tap room, a "harvest" dining room with a fireplace. The menu blends American standards (homemade pot pies, steaks, meatloaf, roast duck) with more contemporary touches and, of course, pasta. Cooperage Inn’s annual fall festival runs every weekend through October, featuring face painting, a hay playground and a petting zoo. Festival menu specials include roasted corn, pulled pork sandwiches, barbecued ribs and chicken and bratwurst. More info: 631-727-8994,

Barrow Food House (452 Main Rd., Aquebogue): It's an eatery of high aspirations and distinction at a wallet-friendly price point. The setting is a dramatic one: a rebuilt 1850s farmhouse (the owners live upstairs) with a handsome indoor dining area and a partially shaded picnic table area outside, plus a front porch perfect for dining and drinking. All the dining areas are quaint and cozy, but no reservations are accepted, so get there early. More info: 631-779-3379,

Patrons dine on the outdoor patio at Barrow Food House...

Patrons dine on the outdoor patio at Barrow Food House in Aquebogue. Credit: Randee Daddona

Modern Snack Bar (628 Main Rd., Aquebogue) Modern Snack Bar in Aquebogue is like a welcoming center on the North Fork, warm and reliable, as it has been since Truman was president. Recommended: fried soft-shell crabs; lobster salad; chicken croquettes; deep-fried flounder sandwich; fried chicken; roast loin of pork with mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, and apple sauce; roast turkey, with stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce; meat loaf; New England-style clam chowder; sauerbraten with red cabbage, potato dumplings, and gingersnap gravy; all pies. More info: 631-722-3655,

North Fork Shack (41150 County Rd. 48, Southold): A compelling little spot whose casual vibe belies its culinary ambitions. Follow a local clam chowder with a sandwich of local fish with tomato, arugula and Old Bay aioli, or a wrap of pulled lamb with cucumber yogurt sauce and pickled vegetables. Tacos and tostadas are filled with your choice of pulled chicken, marinated steak, fried fish or Buffalo eggplant. Order at the counter and dine at picnic tables outside. More info: 631-876-5566,

Buttermilk fried chicken sandwich with chipotle ranch, lettuce, pickles and...

Buttermilk fried chicken sandwich with chipotle ranch, lettuce, pickles and pepperjack at The North Fork Shack in Southold. Credit: Randee Daddona


Little Gull Cafe (54 N. Phillips Ave., Speonk): At this charmer located in a decommissioned train depot, chef-owner Will Pendergast offers homestyle breakfasts and lunches made with truly local ingredients. The dining room offers unobstructed views of the chefs as they make tender, towering buttermilk biscuits, sourdough pancakes, egg sandwiches on thick-cut toast, lobster rolls on homemade buns, greens-and-grains bowls and much more. Don’t leave without dessert, whether it’s a local fruit buckle or Pendergast’s signature pistachio-olive oil Bundt with a tunnel of chocolate. More info: 631-801-2176,

The chocolate-pistachio cake at Little Gull Cafe in Speonk.

The chocolate-pistachio cake at Little Gull Cafe in Speonk. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Shinnecock Lobster Factory (42 Montauk Hwy., Southampton): If you’re heading to the Hamptons, it’s worth getting off of Route 27 once you cross the Shinnecock Canal. Not only will the scenery improve, but you’ll pass right by Shinnecock Lobster Factory, a collaboration between former Shinnecock tribal leader Lance Gumbs and Sicilian-born chef-caterer Marco Barrila. Lobster rolls here come in guppy, shark and whale sizes and in six varieties, from classic or BLT-style to diablo (with spicy tomato sauce) or “Shinnecock” (with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon). There’s also lobster bisque, lobster salad, lobster get the idea. Dine on the porch or at picnic tables on the lawn out back. More info: 631-259-3334,

TownLine BBQ (3593 Montauk Hwy., Sagaponack): The roadside barbecue joint is casual and counter-service, making it a perfect turnoff for a quick bite when you've had your fill of agri-tainment at nearby Hank's Pumpkintown or The Milk Pail. Smoked meats reign, of course, especially St. Louis-style ribs. Sides, from cornbread to collard greens, are solid. TownLine is the rare BBQ spot that makes its own (and very good) desserts. More info: 631-537-2271, 

Ribs served at Townline BBQ in Sagaponack.

Ribs served at Townline BBQ in Sagaponack. Credit: Gordon M. Grant


Piñons (23 Birch Hill Rd., Locust Valley): The succinct menu of organic-flour crust pies includes simple mozzarella cheese with herbs to more unorthodox creations involving Vermont maple syrup and white Cheddar cheese. Rotating weekly specials draw on what's around. Diners can choose to sit outdoors in a dog-friendly walled-off sidewalk garden area bolstered, as needed, with heat towers. More info: 516-801-3200,

Chris Brown and Jaime Burchfield, of Locust Valley, dine outdoors...

Chris Brown and Jaime Burchfield, of Locust Valley, dine outdoors at Pinon's Pizza Company in Locust Valley last month. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

1943 Pizza Company (308 D Main St., Greenport): Since 2014, Greenporters have congregated at Matt Michel’s wood-oven pizzeria, whose seating begins on a small deck with a view of the oven and then spreads out all over Stirling Square and onto the sidewalk of Main Street. Specialties include the "New Haven," topped with mashed potato and bacon, and seasonal pizzas that draw on the bounty of the North Fork. Folks wait all year for the white pie with Comté cheese, red onion, rosemary and sliced potatoes More info: 631-477-6984,

Cena 081 (103 Post Ave., Westbury): Its outdoor patio offers an eyeful of attractions, from a moderately sized waterfall to a wood-burning oven that churns out calzones, focaccia and pizza, including a Buffalo chicken bacon pizza, "Quattro Stagioni," with capocollo, anchovies, olives and mushrooms, and an artichoke, spinach, Gorgonzola pizza. About 20 tables make up the area, which features light music, some standing heaters and a fire pit. A lounge occupies the space just outside of the restaurant’s back door. More info: 516-385-3795,

Artichoke, spinach and gorgonzola pizza at Cena 081 in Westbury.

Artichoke, spinach and gorgonzola pizza at Cena 081 in Westbury. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

King Umberto (1343 Hempstead Tpke., Elmont): King Umberto's pizza-on-the-patio spot is a huge, marble-floored, open-sided terrace with tables and couches. With more than 140 seats, it was the perfect excuse to introduce a new menu, "pizza on the patio." Nor could the timing have been better for John Cesarano, who owns King Umberto with his brother, Ciro, and the 45-year-old venue’s original partner Rosario Fuschetto. It’s John who runs the pizzeria and, over the last A fancy new oven churns out 14-inch artisinal pies that have the structure and refinement of a classic Neapolitan, but with the crunch and crackle of New York. Along with the classic Margherita and Marinara, there are more fanciful pies such as those inspired by cacio e pepe and Amatriciana pastas. Plus an amazing calzone, filled with ricotta and either meatballs or eggplant. More info: 516-352-8391,

Mangia Bene (14 S. Park Ave., Rockville Centre): The menu at this new Rockville Centre trattoria ranges all over the boot, but attention must be paid to the individual Neapolitan-style pizzas. Crust and toppings are in perfect harmony, from the simplest marinara and Margherita to the "PLT" (smoked Tyrolean Speck, arugula, cherry tomatoes, lemon, mozzarella and Parmesan) and the "Calabrese," sparked by hot sausage and Calabrian chilies. Enjoy them in a tented "giardino" out back that has standing heaters to lengthen the al fresco season. More info: 516-447-6744,

At Mangia Bene in Rockville Centre, the Calabrese pizza is...

At Mangia Bene in Rockville Centre, the Calabrese pizza is topped with crumbled sausage and Calabrian chilis. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Contributing reporting by Joann Vaglica