Jazz by day or jazz by night, take your pick. On Long Island, you can listen to the music of John Coltrane or Miles Davis live while enjoying brunch or dinner. Here are four spots where you'll find live jazz in the most unexpected places.
JAZZ BY DAY
WHEN | WHERE 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays, 117 New York Ave., Huntington
INFO 631-385-1515, restaurantprime.com
When you walk into Prime's jazz brunch on a Sunday, you will be welcomed by a view of Huntington Harbor and the sounds of the Joe Lopez Trio.
"People don't hear that kind of music anymore, and we play it authentically," says drummer Joe Lopez. "We keep the sound level down so we are not in anybody's face."
Executive chef Gregg Lauletta has prepared a separate menu for this event that includes crab Benedict ($27), blueberry pancakes ($14) and a full list of sushi rolls along with red or white homemade sangria.
The atmosphere is lively but low-key. Outdoor seating on the deck is open (weather permitting) with docking space available by reservation.
WHEN | WHERE Noon-3 p.m. Sundays, 1 Park Lane, Massapequa
INFO 516-799-8877, bigdaddysny.com
Big Daddy's in Massapequa captures the funky flavor of New Orleans through both its menu and accompanying live music at Sunday jazz brunch. This 20-year-old restaurant fills up, and a rotating roster of bands such as Session 99 and Au Privave keeps things fresh.
"People seem to like the traditional classic jazz over smooth modern jazz," says Session 99 bassist Bill Ramirez. "Sometimes there's not a seat to be had."
The menu features Miles Davis' muffuletta omelet ($13), Charlie Parker's eggs over andouille hash ($13) and Red Garland's Texas BBQ skirt steak and eggs ($17). Try a Bloody Mary decorated with homemade marinated string beans and rimmed with Cajun seasonings.
"Jazz brunch is a classic in New Orleans," says manager Tommy Kurtz. "Since we added the live jazz, we've doubled our business."
JAZZ BY NIGHT
WHEN | WHERE 8-11 p.m., Mondays, 7725 Jericho Tpke., Woodbury
INFO 516-921-1415, thefoxhollow.com
Monday is jazz night at Fox Hollow's Rose Hunt Lounge in Woodbury. Over the course of the past four years, a jazz community has formed around a jam session led by the Robert Lepley Trio.
"We started packing this place from the first night," says pianist Robert Lepley. "It's basically standing room only."
Singers and musicians drop in to perform while jazz enthusiasts sip cocktails at the bar and dine on a fixed-price menu ($28 for appetizer and entree, including saffron risotto primavera and tuna au poivre).
"In the city, we pay a fortune for live jazz, and this is better," says regular Jane Potter, 66, of Rockville Centre. "You never know who is going to show up."
WHEN | WHERE 6-8:30 p.m., Thursdays, 55765 Main Rd., Southold
INFO 631-765-6766, bonniejeansnofo.com
Pairing live jazz with homemade buttermilk-soaked fried chicken is the winning combination at Bonnie Jean's. With its "retro diner-meets- a-ski lodge" decor, this local eatery showcases the Sunnyland Jazz Band on Thursday nights, aka "fried chicken night."
"If you walk into the dining room, you will see everybody tapping their toes," says owner Jennilee Morris.
The three-piece band -- a banjo, trumpet and tuba -- focuses on traditional jazz from the '20s and '30s mixing it up with songs from the '60s and '70s.
"The atmosphere is friendly and receptive," says banjo player-vocalist Bob Barta. "Regulars get to know each other and socialize."