Maybe it’s a new concept that’s not ready for prime time, maybe the chef is between gigs, maybe the location only hops when the weather is hot. There can be many reasons why a restaurant chooses to pop up rather than settle down. Here are five summer-only LI eateries. Get them while it's hot.
Where: 801 W. Beech St., Long Beach (no phone)
Open: 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Thursday-Saturday through early October
On the menu: The blackout burger, $6, is a five-ounce patty of ground chuck, smashed on a flat griddle for a crusty edge and served on a Martin’s potato roll with onions, pickles, tomatoes and red-light sauce. Add cheese for $2; fries are $4.
There's no sign to guide you to the burgers at this hidden Long Beach spot, and they are only available in the wee hours of the weekend. Blackdoor Burger in Long Beach got its start last year when the owners of Long Beach Sandwich Company, brothers Dan and Frankie Monteforte and their father, Frank, decided to put the shop to some late-night use.
“There’s never a place to eat late night, and my little brother came up with the idea to sell burgers out of the back door and we just ran with it,” said Dan Monteforte, who is also pitmaster-partner at Swingbellys Beachside BBQ, nine blocks to the west.
HUSH BISTRO AT PRIME
Where: 117 North New York Ave., Huntington, 631-385-1515, restaurantprime.com
Open: 4-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-10 p.m. Sunday
On the menu: Hush favorites, including the HB burger (with bacon, white Cheddar and shallot jam, $21), the kimchi burger (a chicken patty topped with kimchi, sunny-side-up egg and barbecue sauce, $19), roast chicken with buttermilk biscuit, maple butter and berry jam ($26) and a cauliflower “steak” with cauliflower puree, fried chickpeas and pickled raisins ($14). And of course you’ll find Bynum’s famous chipotle ribs.
Marc Bynum's global-soul bistro that moved from Farmingdale to Huntington before closing last year, is popping up on somebody else's turf in Huntington. The chef is teaming up with the Bohlsen Restaurant Group to reanimate the bistro on the capacious outdoor deck of Restaurant Prime, the 3½-star eatery that overlooks Huntington Harbor.
Bynum’s food is cooked in a truck on the premises that artist Jared Long has decorated with a mural. During the summer, more artist “installations” are planned.
Where: 437 Main St., Greenport, 631-477-4000, galleryhotelny.com
Open: 6 to 11 p.m. Thursday to Monday
On the menu: Tuna poke, fluke carpaccio, hoisin baby back ribs, spring rolls, dumplings, ramen, oyster shooters, seafood stew and kimchi fried rice crowned with a sunny-side-up egg. Dine in or take out.
It takes its name from Thor Heyerdahl's raft, which in 1947 crossed the Pacific Ocean from South America to Polynesia. You'll take a more modest journey at this singular restaurant, which has returned to its summer residence in the very boutiquey Gallery Hotel, which hosts a modern gallery. The theme is Asian-fusion, delivered diversely with flair.
Where: At Bruce & Son, 208 Main St., Greenport, pawpawpopup.com
Open: Select Saturdays, with dinner seatings at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Reservations required.
Named for fruit trees found from the Great Lakes to the Florida Panhandle that produce a near-tropical, creamy fruit, PAWPAW hosts once-a-week tasting dinners ($70) created by chef Taylor Knapp. Diners sit at a communal table and partake of a tasting menu with ingredients almost entirely from the North Fork, including chickens from Browder’s Birds in Mattituck, duck from Crescent in Aquebogue and lamb from 8 Hands Farm in Cutchogue. Knapp is also the owner of the Cutchogue snail farm, Peconic Escargot.
SALT & SEA BISTRO
Where: At Bay Breeze Inn, 46 Front St., South Jamesport, 631-779-3454, baybreezeinnli.com
Open: Starting July 5, open for lunch and dinner Wednesday to Monday through the summer and possibly into fall
On the menu: The contemporary lineup featuring starters like swordfish kebabs with salsa verde and Rhode Island-style fried calamari with cherry peppers, mains such as homemade linguine with crab in a saffron broth and duck confit with potato puree and cranberry-orange mostarda. The Salt & Sea burger is topped with Gouda, bacon, caramelized onions and mustard aioli. Prices are still being set but expect most starters and sandwiches to be less than $20, mains from $25 to $35.
Allison Fasano, formerly the founding chef at Harleys American Grille in Farmingdale, is spending her summer at the beach. She and Don Schiavetta, owner of Campagne House in Bethpage, have teamed up with the owners of this North Fork inn to create this seasonal pop-up. Eat in the clubby dining room or out on the gracious porch.