Cooler weather doesn’t have to mean the end of outdoor dining — and this season on Long Island, it won't.
Fans of al fresco dining can stretch the season this year by having a meal in a unique and fun setting — be that a vineside bungalow, winterized cabana or a greenhouse or igloo.
Here are some memorable ways you can dine out this season in an open-air atmosphere.
COZY FALL-ESQUE DINING
2 Spring (2 Spring St., Oyster Bay): Inside this polished New American restaurant, it’s evident owner Lindsay Schenker pays very close attention to detail — no shortcomings when it comes to the outdoor patio, either. In an L-shaped space occupied by a dozen or so tables, Schenker’s added what she calls a "textured," "rich" and "beautiful" patio, decked out with scaffolding covered by burlap, plus dried flowers, herbs, decorative woods, twigs, ferns and string lights throughout (its original patio is under construction, being transformed into an enclosed glass atrium). The outdoor area, which also features forced heat from above as well as heaters, accommodates 40. The space is decorated with sheepskin throws, throw pillows and heated blankets. Reservations for Friday and Saturday are suggested. Open Tuesdays to Thursdays 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Fridays from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. More info: 516-624-2411, 2springstreet.com
Prime 1024 (1024 Northern Blvd., Roslyn): This Italian steakhouse might not bring you the ocean or warmer days, but its heated cabanas will do for now. Five spacious cabanas facing Northern Boulevard and another five wrapping around the side of the building facing its parking lot make up the restaurant’s new outdoor area. The front facing cabanas are more private, separated from others by large partitions. On top of heaters, each cabana has sliding doors with fairly tall curtains draped across, helping to keep the warmth inside. The side-facing cabanas are less private and separated only by smaller partitions. Each also has its own set of curtains, resembling a cabana. Adding to the vibe: music played by the restaurant. Reservations required for both indoor and outdoor dining. Prime 1024 is open daily from noon to 10 p.m. (last reservation at 8 p.m.). More info: 516-621-1024, prime1024.com
GLAMPING AT THE VINEYARDS
Macari Vineyards (150 Bergen Ave., Mattituck): Glamping at a North Fork vineyard? Welcome to 2020, folks. Macari Vineyards recently launched vine-side bungalows at its Mattituck tasting room location, dubbed the Bergen Road Bungalows. For $150 a person, up to six people can reserve the heated space (for the entire afternoon) which is filled with vintage and contemporary furnishings, local artwork, vinyl music and classic games, all of which is shoppable. The vineyard currently has two bungalows set up, but plans to add more in the coming weeks. Reservations, which include a tasting of four Macari wines and lunch by Chef Lauren Lombardi, can be made via TOCK. The bungalows are sanitized nightly. Macari Vineyards is open daily from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. More info: 631-298-0100, macariwines.com
EAT IN A BUBBLE
Konoba (46 Gerard St., Huntington): Last February, Daniel Pedisich brought a taste of Croatia to downtown Huntington — now he’s serving tent-meets-igloo contraptions set up in front of the restaurant and its neighbors for dinner service on the daily. Each bubble holds six people and has a small heater. Inside, customers can control their bubble's music via Bluetooth (speakers available upon request) and its lighting by a switch. Reservations needed. Konoba also offers more traditional al fresco dining, as well as heated tables. More info: 631-824-7712, konobahuntington.com
ITA Kitchen (45 W. Main St., Bay Shore): This Italian restaurant turned its side and back patios into outdoor dining wonderlands, where guests can dine within private greenhouses (and igloos) that can seat six to eight people. Both will feature mini chandeliers, heaters and music that guests can largely control and are available weekdays starting at 5 p.m. and weekends starting at 2:45 p.m. While there's no extra cost to eat in them during the week (unless it lands on a holiday), reservations for two-hour slots cost $125-$150 Fridays-Sundays (includes first round of drinks; some exclusions apply). For reservations: 516-779-4293. More info: 631-267-5916, itakitchenbayshore.com
HAVE A LATE-SEASON LOBSTER PICNIC
Jordan Lobster Farms (1 Pettit Pl, Island Park): Lobster has long been the main attraction at this fish market and restaurant that’s been around for 45 years, but when we aren’t talking food, its outdoor patios steal the show. Overlooking Reynold’s Channel, the patios are split into two sections: one with table service (currently open), one with self-serve seating (currently closed for the season). Order classics such as lobster, soups, oysters and lobster rolls to enjoy with a backdrop that includes the original Ferris wheel from Nunley’s Amusement Park in Baldwin. Live music on some nights, too. More info: 516-889-3314, jordanlobsterfarms.com
WINE AND DINE ON THE ROOF
Roslyn Social (1363 Old Northern Blvd., Roslyn): Nick Luisi and Sal Sorrentino have pivoted their original cocktails-first space to serve elevated pub food on a rooftop patio that seats up to 35 people and is warmed by air blowers. Offerings include fried Asian calamari, drunken vodka pizza, Champagne mushroom ravioli, lollipop lamb chops and fried chicken sandwiches. Not that you should overlook drinks, which include a spicy pineapple margarita, and fall-ready Bourbon Smash (with muddled berries, lemon juice ginger beer). Roslyn Social also has an uncovered outdoor area on the ground level that seats up to 20 and is kept warm by standing patio heaters. More info: 516-801-4963, roslynsocial.com
GO ROMANTIC BY THE THEATER
Lola (113a Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck): What used to be a break room and storage area for staff at Lola's has been transformed into a romantic patio complete with hanging lights and candles tucked into a concrete wall. The area, converted for the first time into a patio, was made doable by the closing of Lola's neighbor, Great Neck Cinemas. It currently has only three tables, so reservations (made at least four days in advance) are recommended. More info: 516-466-5666, restaurantlola.com
STAY TOASTY, EAT STEAK
Blackstone Steakhouse (10 Pinelawn Rd., Melville): Blackstone’s polished dining room extends outdoors to a garden patio that features heated bluestone flooring, a perk the restaurant has had since 2012. Electric fire pits, small patio heaters and a retractable roof (with lights strung from it), plus plenty of greenery give off a warm and cozy feeling. New this season, though, is a tented area that's an extension of the garden patio. A third outdoor space — formerly the cigar lounge — has 10 tables and is unheated for now. Sister restaurant Rare 650 in Syosset, also has heated floors in its outdoor patio. More info: 631-271-7780, blackstonesteakhouse.com
GO FOR ATMOSPHERIC PIZZA
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 capicollo, 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.
KEEPING THE HEAT INSIDE, OUTDOORS
Amici (304 Route 25A, Mount Sinai): Scoring a table and a parking spot at this 25-year-old restaurant has never been easier. The restaurant’s 800 square-foot patio, which can seat up to 32 people, is now joined by a makeshift 4,000-square-foot outdoor dining area that’s set up with 30 tables. Amici recently added to its tented areas, fire pits and standing heaters, as well as overhead infrared heaters. More info: 631-473-2400, amicirestaurant.org
A TENTED WINTER WONDERLAND
Beginnings Bar & Restaurant (1986 Park St., Atlantic Beach): This literature-themed restaurant has taken part of its parking lot and turned it into a tented winter wonderland featuring Christmas trees, lights, ornaments, light-up Santa and snowmen, and … naturally, typewriters. The space is heated by blow heaters and accommodates four to six people at 12 tables. Reservations required. There’s an al fresco area set up in front of the stand-alone building — outside, no tent — with only heat lamps. Beginnings is open Tuesdays to Fridays from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturdays from noon to 10 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 9 p.m. Closed Mondays. More info: 516-239-7483, beginningsrestaurant.com
WINE TASTING IN AN IGLOO
RG|NY (6025 Sound Ave., Riverhead): A weather-appropriate day spent at a vineyard in December is a treat in itself. RG|NY has introduced vine-side igloos just outside its tasting room. The heated domes — there are five — are furnished with chairs for up to eight people, end tables and a coffee table, plus lighting. RG|NY offers table service to the igloos, where guests can order from the tasting room’s menu (flights, bottles, platters and more). Reservations (two and a half-hour slots) are required on the weekends; first come, first served during the week. Each reservation comes with a bottle of sparkling white wine. RG|NY is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. More info: 631-298-0075, rgnywine.com