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Weekend picks: Spring ahead

The main dining room at Amarelle, a restaurant

The main dining room at Amarelle, a restaurant in Wading River, has a high, stone fireplace in its center. (Aug. 28, 2009) Photo Credit: John Griffin

This weekend, put a little spring in your step. Just avoid the potholes. And look for a refreshing restaurant to welcome the season. Here are three choices.

Refreshment definitely is served at the new Left Coast Kitchen in Merrick, a cozy, unfussy gastro pub. Try the well-seasoned lobster roll, with slaw and chips; also the Caesar salad with hot peppers and anchovies, dubbed The Brutus. Buffalo-style chicken and shrimp on skewers, with buttermilk dressing and crumbled blue cheese: just fine.

Left Coast Kitchen is at 1810 Merrick Rd., Merrick; 516-868-5338.

Amarelle in Wading River looks good and tastes better. Winning dishes at the country-style establishment include the grilled lobster; lamb shank with white polenta; tempura-style shrimp with arugula pesto; the eatery's namesake salad, with assorted greens, dried cherries, almonds and cocoa-dusted goat cheese; and a clever spin on a Creamsicle for dessert.

Amarelle is at 2028 North Country Rd., Wading River; 631-886-2242.

Sayville's Bullfish deserves your attention for skillfully prepared seafood and easygoing style. Some recommendations: seafood chowder; cedar-planked smoked local bluefish; hazelnut-crusted catfish; the baked crab cake; a lobster egg roll with sweet-chile and ponzu sauces; and the garlic-roasted chicken.

Bullfish is at 298 W. Main St., Sayville; 631-563-9400.

Photo:  Dining at Amarelle in Wading River .

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