The unofficial end of summer may be quickly approaching, but there’s still plenty of time to try places from Massapequa to Montauk that serve up great fare and fantastic views. Savor every last bit of the season by requesting an outdoor table at one of Long Island’s most photogenic restaurants.
Dockers Waterside Marina & Restaurant, East Quogue
At the nearly 30-year-old Hamptons mainstay, all seats overlook the water including those in the two waterside living rooms and three bars. Dockers menu is mix of American cuisine with an emphasis on fresh seafood and steaks. Standout dishes include the fish tacos that are made with swordfish in a hard shell, tuna two ways and ahi tuna BLT. Go.
Fatfish Wine Bar & Bistro, Bay Shore
The outside deck of this Mediterranean-inspired seafood restaurant has sprawling views of the Great South Bay. Visitors rave about the friendly, efficient service and just about all the seafood choices like lobster, salmon salad, scallops and mussels. If you’re up for oysters, pair them with a bottle of The Oyster, a sustainably grown, vegan Sauvignon Blanc. A post-meal stroll at sunset makes for a ravishing digestif. Go.
La Plage, Wading River
Some call La Plage small and intimate, others say it resembles a casual beach shack with superb French-American food delivered by a top-notch staff. Whatever you call it, La Plage, just steps from the Long Island Sound, is one of those off-the-beaten path places that diners cherish. Some recommended dishes include the pan-seared branzino and the pappardelle with chorizo sausage, mussels, bay scallops, baby shrimp in a spicy Pomodoro sauce. Go.
Rachel’s Waterside Grill, Freeport
A Nautical Mile go-to place for many, Rachel’s has been serving New American seafood for more than two decades. Overlooking the Woodcleft Canal, the upscale ambience is amplified by a cool water breeze and a delectable menu. Baked clams, lobster sliders paired with Parmesan truffle chips and the broiled seafood platter entrée are among the favorites. And don’t forget to try the restaurant’s assortment of fruity mixed-drink specials. Go.
Smuggler Jacks, Massapequa
Smuggler Jacks offers a variety of American cuisine featuring seafood, steaks and pastas. When the weather is good, the back wall of the restaurant opens up onto the patio, which overlooks Schmidt Canal. Things to try: the seafood chowder, cilantro baked clams and the cowboy steak. As for mixed drinks, Smuggler’s Lemonade, with peach vodka, Pama pomegranate liqueur, cranberry juice and sour mix is a refreshing choice. Go.
Swallow East, Montauk
One of the hippest places on the already-hip Montauk restaurant scene, Swallow East’s wooden accents and large waterfront windows have earned it high marks and large crowds. The New American small plates and entrées like butternut squash cappuccino soup, mac & cheese with orzo, peas, bacon and asiago cream sauce and coconut curry mussels, are just as buzz-worthy. Go.
If you’ve been on Long Island long enough, you’ve probably been here for at least one bridal shower or graduation. Formerly Riverview, this Lessing’s property is appropriately named, with vast views of the Great South Bay. In fact, the outdoor area is a floating dock where diners can enjoy favorite seafood choices such as the crispy Thai calamari, sea scallops and Maine lobster pasta—which can be ordered on a big or small plate—as well as a sushi bar. Go.
The Whale’s Tale, Northport
Located in the Britannia Yacht Club, this laid-back dockside eatery is as famous for its over-stuffed fish tacos and “bang-bang” sauce as it is for its captivating view of the Long Island Sound. The restaurant’s fish are caught from local waters daily and produce comes from Long Island farms. Diners also enjoy drinks such as the blue raspberry lemonade and blue pineapple mojito. Go.