Nature is in full bloom on Long Island and that means local produce is thriving, vines are growing and simplicity is taking over the land. From farm-to-table restaurants to folksy activities, consider these the best ways to experience Long Island au natural.
Committed to delivering French-style cuisine shaped from local products, Almond’s menu is in alignment with the seasons. Current favorites include a grilled Spanish octopus dish plated with options like sunchokes (Eeco Farm), sunflower greens (Goodwater Farm) and ramps aioli. Another hearty plate is the gnudi with arts ricotta from Mecox Bay Farm, stinging nettles from Quail Hill Farm and lamb from 8 Hands Farm on the North Fork. Talk about eating local. Phone: 631-537-5665 | Address: 1 Ocean Rd Click to taste.
Catch Oyster Bar, Patchogue
The coastal-themed joint opened in February with a rotating cast of characters from the Great South Bay and Peconic Bay. At least eight varieties of oysters can be found on the daily menu. Insider tip: When you see the house oyster catch 63 on the menu, know it’s the freshest of the fresh—it was plucked from the Peconic that very morning. Other fun plates include the lobster roll (made sans mayo), blackened red snapper tacos and fried oysters Rockefeller. Phone: 631-627-6860 | Address: 63 N Ocean Ave Click to taste.
Full House Organic, Greenvale
Full House Organic designed its menu with the health and palate of the customer in mind. Dishes are prepared with grass-fed meats and dairy and local poultry. One of the most popular items is the organic turkey meatballs served in marinara sauce. Pair them with a plate of sautéed organic kale with garlic and oil or the curried organic cauliflower and your tastebuds will be in heaven. Phone: 516-621-4040 | Address: 38 Glen Cove Rd Click to taste.
Lulu Kitchen & Bar, Sag Harbor
Lulu Kitchen is heating up. Anchored by a wood-burning grill and oven, the lunch, dinner and late-night menu have a large focus on local products. Seafood platters range from Montauk pearl oysters and Bonac razor clams to duck leg confit with frisee salad. Other wholesome entrees include the signature Lulu cheeseburger served on a housemade brioche bun with Mecox cheddar, smoked pickles, tomatoes and onions and organic chicken with porcini rub, potato gratin and mustard jus. Phone: 631-725-0900 | Address: 126 Main Street Click to taste.
Your Second Course
Yoga Shanti, Various locations
From students to seniors, beginners to pros, Yoga Shanti has a class for everyone. The studio, founded in Sag Harbor by world-renowned teacher Colleen Saidman Yee, honors the traditions of yoga as well as the needs of modern, western bodies and minds. Hallmarks of the practice include relaxation, good digestion, easy respiration, a calmer nervous system and a more positive outlook on life. Click to visit.
Captain Lou Fleet, Freeport
Set sail on your own charter boat. Each of the vessels are equipped with the latest fish finding and navigation technology to hunt down the fluke, seabass, porgy, bluefish, striped bass and tuna that are around from May to September. Private parties can cater the trip with breakfast, lunch and dinner options available on board. Phone: 516-623-5823 | Address: 28 Woodcleft Ave Click to visit.
Quogue Wildlife Refuge, Quogue
The 305-acre nature preserve is home to three trails (.8 miles, 1.4 miles and 3 miles) with connecting trails that add up to more than 7 miles of hiking in the pine barrens. Throughout the trek, visitors will be able to spot bobcats, owls, falcons and eagles. Phone: 631-653-4771 | Address: 3 Old Country Rd Click to visit.
Bethpage State Park, Farmingdale
Calling all bikers: The Bethpage Bikeway (great for beginners) offers a serene and green escape along the Bethpage State Parkway and then the Massapequa Preserve. The Bethpage Mountain Bike Trail offers a more intense off-road path for those who want more of a challenge. Phone: 516-249-0700 | Address: 99 Quaker Meeting House Rd Click to visit.