Eat, drink and be merry ... but especially eat at these three spirited gastropubs, where the food is even better than the beverages.
Creative Left Coast Kitchen excels with hot-and-sour "slurpy noodles;" pappardelle with lamb Bolognese; warm lobster roll; lobster Cobb salad; grilled and sliced "baseball cut" strip steak; and "Porky McPub" union of root-beer glazed braised pork belly, slab bacon and pork sausage. $$-$$$
1810 Merrick Rd., Merrick; 516-868-5338.
One of downtown Patchogue's winners, PeraBell stands out with courses as varied as Tex-Mex empanadas with chicken and chorizo; sliders; chicken Cobb salad; Gorgonzola-crusted flat iron steak; Thai chile-glazed tempura shrimp; and sesame-and-wasabi crusted tuna. $$-$$$
69 E. Main St., Patchogue; 631-447-7766.
Tullulah's brings a Brooklyn vibe to Bay Shore. The big-flavor food includes pork belly tacos; eggplant pakoras; shrimp ceviche; scallops with grilled polenta; crisp duck skin salad; cauliflower with Thai basil and egg; brown sugar-glazed chorizo, smoked Gouda macaroni and cheese. $$-$$$
12 4th Ave., Bay Shore; 631-969-9800.