Rock City Dogs in Bay Shore and more Long Island restaurants to try this weekend
This weekend is summer's last hurrah (that is, unless you're the type to keep swimming and sunbathing in September, which after all is technically still summer). What do you want the culinary capstone of your summer to be — a basket of fried clams? A lobster-topped hot dog? Hiking onto Fire Island for a blueberry mule and some oysters? Whichever breeze grabs you, the pleasures should be simple, the living easy. Here are three places to visit for each day of the long Labor Day weekend.
Tiki Joe's at Cedar Beach (Harbor Beach Rd., Mount Sinai): Cedar Beach is one of those under-the-radar stretches of sand, one with a nature trail, a mellow vibe and killer views of the sunset. It's here you'll also find an outdoor bar with a rollicking evening scene and an adjacent patio steps from the Sound. The place seems to change identities almost every season but for now, it's Tiki Joe's at Cedar Beach, and there are two ways to nosh: From a snack bar window serving the usual suspects (lobster rolls, burgers and baskets of fried seafood) and a sit-down section where you can have a proper lunch or dinner (pots of mussels, lobster quesadillas, seared sesame-crusted tuna and the like). Afterward, there's a strong chance you'll be roped into dancing, as live bands here play through the week. Note: There is metered parking at Cedar Beach for non-Brookhaven residents. Tiki Joe's closes for the season September 16, and also closes when there is inclement weather. More info: 631-743-9410, tikijoesbeachclub.com
Rock City Dogs (3 E. Main St., Bay Shore): For a throwback to the Labor Days of yore, how about the juicy snap of a hot dog while the opening bass lines of Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" thump in the background? At this newish Bay Shore hangout you can at least eat a hot dog called Deep Purple (a Feltman's dog topped with beet-pickled cabbage, whipped goat cheese and dijonnaise) and some kind of classic rock will provide the soundtrack. Another dog, named for Queen, is smothered in beef chili, Cheddar cheese and Dipsy Doodles; and yet another is topped with lobster, whipped horseradish and Champagne mignonette. With a side of disco fries? Sure. More info: 631-876-2530, rockcitydogs.com
Dive (1 Bay Walk, Kismet, Fire Island): One of Long Island's most iconic but lesser-known summer pursuits is to park at field 5 at Robert Moses State Park and meander the raised walkways past the Fire Island Lighthouse, down the sandy Burma Road and into Kismet, Fire Island's westernmost burg. It's about a 40-minute walk rewarded by arrival in Kismet's sleepy little "downtown" — basically, a ferry landing, a pizzeria and two restaurants that were long known as the Inn and the Out. Until, that is, the Out became Surf's Out, and then this summer became Dive. It's still a bustling spot, now more modernized, with lots of space for dancing to live music and the same festive patios where you can tuck into sushi rolls, poke bowls, burgers, steak, cod tacos and oysters harvested from just across Great South Bay. More info: 631-583-7400, divekismet.com