In the classic lyric of Lorenz Hart, "Each day is Valentine's Day." So, why wait until next week? Here are three restaurants that suit the mood this weekend - and all weekends.
The Trattoria in St. James is a cozy, countrified spot that seems removed from the hectic pace you may keep. Recommended: housemade ricotta and sundried tomato tapenade; tomato-braised meatballs on polenta; 'nduja sausage and buffalo mozzarella flatbread; Peconic Bay scallops with squash puree and pecan butter; bucatini carbonara; pappardelle Bolognese; lasagna Bolognese; red wine brasato with creamy polenta; black-and-white creme brulee. Cash or check only; BYOB. Expensive.
The Trattoria, 532 N. Country Rd., St. James, 631-584-3518, thetrattoriarestaurant.com
Pier 95 in Freeport offers a perch on Hudson Canal as well as Mediterranean cuisine and Portuguese fare. Recommended: potato soup with collard greens and chourico sausage; steamed littleneck clams; salt cod with roasted peppers; cod with herbaceous tomato sauce; grilled swordfish with lemon-ginger sauce; paella Valenciana; crab cakes with Dijon mayonnaise; steak Diane; rack of lamb; bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin; roasted duck with blueberry sauce. Moderate to expensive.
Pier 95, 95 Hudson Ave., Freeport, 516-379-9898, pier95.com
La Plage in Wading River is a charming hideaway that, of course, faces the beach. You'll want to visit for the food as much as the location. Recommended: raw oysters and clams; gold and red beet salad with goat cheese; tricolor salad with ricotta salata, Marcona almonds, and kumquats; applewood smoked beef "carpaccio;" pappardelle with spicy tomato sauce, shellfish, and chorizo sausage; duck leg confit with chive risotto; herb-crusted striped bass with dragon tongue beans, braised escarole, grilled lemon, and black mussel broth. Expensive.
La Plage, 131 Creek Rd., Wading River, 631-744-9200, laplagewadingriver.com