When the temperature goes down, the firepits heat up — particularly in outdoor courtyards at restaurants and hotels all over Long Island. 

However, while sitting by roaring flames come fall and winter has long been a fun thing to try, during a pandemic, the ability to enjoy a night out while staying outside has become all the more important—so having the option to do so is currently even more key than would be on a typical evening when thermometers drop. 

Here are several spots to consider when looking to get out next to a fire pit:

Five Ocean

Credit: Five Ocean Bar & Grill

At the relaxed Five Ocean, customers can nosh on fish tacos, steamed littleneck clams and buttermilk fried chicken and waffles while sipping beer, a glass of wine or even a margarita. And now, they can do all that while dining fire-side. Two gas fire pits that seat up to five people are situated on the restaurant's back deck; standing heat lamps provide extra warmth. It's open for brunch, lunch and dinner. WHERE | INFO 5 New York Ave., Long Beach; 516-517-2828, fiveoceanlongbeach.com

The Rust and Gold

Credit: Frank Thomas Vincent Antonetti

Diners can now reserve a spot at the restaurant's sole fire pit table situated in the small nook in front of its brightly-colored mural. Up to eight people can sit around the propane-fueled fire, which is available on a first come, first served basis. Expect food truck and gastropub-inspired fare at this sports bar. Two heated bubbles have also been added to its outdoor patio. WHERE | INFO 70 Gerard St., Huntington; 631-629-4431, therustandgold.com

Gurney's Montauk Resort and Seawater Spa

Credit: Gurney's

Feast on artisan meats and cheeses, short rib sliders, oysters and more while taking in ocean views at Gurney's Montauk resort. Its open-air "Bungalows By The Sea" come equipped with fire pits, wooden chairs cushioned with plush throw blankets and a variety of tables big and small. Gurney's has eight bungalows, each accommodating up to six guests and available for two hours at time. There's a $25 per adult charitable donation to reserve the space, which benefits East Hampton Meals on Wheels, The Retreat, Project Most and Concerned Citizens of Montauk. Children younger than 12 are free. This a la carte dining experience is open to both hotel guests and the public through March. Reservations can be made hereWHERE | INFO 290 Old Montauk Highway, Montauk; 631-668-1771, gurneysresorts.com/montauk

Coach Meeting House

Credit: Coach Meeting House

The five propane-powered fire pits here are available as part of a package deal that also includes the use of prefabricated igloos, which are free to use but must be reserved in advance (via opentable.com; there is a minimum $200 spend for a two-hour session, there is a $100 cancellation fee up to 24 hours in advance and a $1000 charge for either no-shows or late cancellation fees) for groups of six to 10 people. Each pit is encircled by white, beachy lawn chairs--and the entire scene is further located within a courtyard wrapped in shrubbery that glows with small-bulb lighting at night. Patrons may dine by the flickering flames that reflect orange off short glass that sides each fire on all sides but is top-open so as to make the heat accessible--and not grabbing a drink while eating here is practically a crime as it's locally famous for its spiked slushies--but heated tipples like mulled cider, peppermint hot chocolate, butterbeer and Irish coffee are also available, with alcohol or without. WHERE | INFO 160 Mill River Rd., Oyster Bay; 516-588-9288, coachgrillandtavernoysterbay.com

Il Giardino

Credit: Randee Daddona

This is the kind of place that makes the North Fork so special -- a restaurant located in a house-like structure with wooden floors and dim lights. It's cozy, romantic and has a menu of southern Italian food. Out back, there's a secluded courtyard with a brick patio from which on a clear night you can see stars on top of stars. Call ahead to get on the list to be seated by the circular fire pit; if it's filled the evening you call, you can be put on the list for another night. Seating by the flame is otherwise first-come first serve and there may be a wait. WHERE | INFO 739 Main Rd., Aquebogue; 631-779-3900, ilgiardinoaquebogue.com

Broadway Market

Credit: Daniel Brennan

This modern gastropub serves a menu of comfort foods, plus brunch. Out back, there's a stone-filled propane-powered fire-pit to which guests can pull up a chair and feel the heat; a heater has also been installed nearby to help amp up the temperature, and live entertainment will be scheduled on occasion, weather-permitting. The menu offers a list of "munchies" like buffalo cauliflower and fried pickles, as well as a changing selection of eggrolls, quesadillas and soup, so ask your server what's cooking that day. WHERE | INFO 643 Broadway, Rocky Point; 631-849-1729, bmropo.com

Off Key Tikki

Credit: Johnny Milano

The log-burning fire pit at this place along the Patchogue River sees action all year round. In the colder months, the live entertainment shifts indoors but many guests still find their way out to the raging flames for drinks and conversation while sitting in beach chairs. The pit here is a large stone ring and the flames get some nice height. If the pit's not lit when you get there, ask if it can be ignited for your group; seating is first-come, first-serve. This spot does tiki bar-proud fruity cocktails, but in the cold air, perhaps a coconut jalapeno margarita is the kind of beachy yet spicy beverage to try. WHERE | INFO 31 Baker Pl., Patchogue; 631-475-1723, offkeytikki.com

Hotel Indigo

Credit: Daniel Brennan

Patrons at the hotel's Bistro 72 restaurant are welcome to take their drinks out back to relax on pillowed patio furniture that's half-circled around a wood-burning fire pit as well as propane-powered triangular fire towers. Full meals, taco plates and smaller bites from the snack menu all work around the fire--which is generally first-come, first serve unless it's been reserved for a private event. You can call and reserve the space for dining, but if you just show up and find an open seat, a server can meet you there to take your order. WHERE | INFO 1830 West Main St., Riverhead; 631-369-2200, indigoeastend.com  

H2O Seafood & Sushi

Credit: Jim Lennon

You'll know you're in the right place when you pull up and see a row of dancing flames set along the edge of the patio in a decorative fire wall piece--but there's also a warming fire pit located near the center of the courtyard where guests can reserve a seat. It's a place where wine, cocktails and craft beer are offered as are dishes largely focused on seafood such as sushi, fish and lobster--and people can still sit and dine or do drinks by the flames, no reservations required. WHERE | INFO 215 W. Main St., Smithtown; 631-361-6464, h2oseafoodsushi.com

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