5 Delicious Dining Experiences to Have

From bustling main streets to tucked-away side streets, Long Island is full of dining options. But in a crowded field, the pressure to stand out is on. Some restaurants rely on the tried-and-true gameplan allowing the food and service to speak for themselves. Others come up with a schtick. But the ones who can pull off both to perfection serve up dining experiences that leave guests craving another trip.

Related Content: Underrated Long Island Foodie Towns 

Painters’ Restaurant, Bellport

Mother may know best but when it comes to Painters’ Restaurant, you can throw out her idea that drawing on the table is against the rules. Guests receive a set of crayons before they even get a breadbasket, allowing them to draw on the paper tablecloths. Inspiration is easy to come by—the walls at the trendy eatery are covered in artwork and live music is a weekend mainstay. Phone: 631-803-8593 | Address: 416 S Country Rd. Click to taste 

Flynn’s, Ocean Bay Park

Get a different view of Flynn's

Get a different view of Flynn’s

The legendary, 80-year-old Ocean Bay Park establishment isn’t one to rest on its laurels. Flynn’s introduced weeknight dinner cruises a few years ago, allowing guests to get a taste of Fire Island’s quieter side. The cruise leaves from Captree State Park at 7pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights and includes a buffet dinner, cash bar, a stop at the famed restaurant and sunset views. Phone: 631-583-5000 | Address: 1 Cayuga St. Click to taste 

EMP House, East Hampton

Already a summer home for award-winning entertainers, the Hamptons picked up a new resident this summer when Eleven Madison Park, named the world’s best restaurant by World’s 50 Best this spring, opened pop-up EMP House in June. The restaurant takes a more casual approach than the Manhattan hotspot, which is closed for renovations this summer. Think fried chicken, lobster and picnic basket takeout containers instead of honey lavender roasted duck. Before you go, step into the kitchen with executive chef Daniel Humm, who was featured in the July/August issue of PulseAddress:341 Pantigo Rd.. Click to taste 

Maroni, Northport

Chef Maroni takes guests on a big-time culinary adventure inside this pint-sized Italian bistro. And he does so without a menu. People don’t know what they’ll be eating until the dish hits their tables, nor do they know how many courses they’re in for (it can reach double digits). What they do know is they’ll be salivating for seconds, even if they’re full. Those craving a night in can order original hot pots of pasta and meatballs, made using a 100-year-old recipe passed down from Maroni’s grandmother, to go. Heads up: Cash-only Phone: 631-757-4500 | Address: 18 Woodbine Ave. Click to taste 

Harmony Vineyards, St. James

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One of the few Long Island vineyards not on a Fork, Harmony is a melting pot of food, wine, art, music and views. In addition to a wine list that includes a rich, tangy Chardonnay, Harmony boasts a full menu of sandwiches and small plates. There’s also an Instagram-worthy Sunday brunch where the plates are as delicious as they are gorgeous—think an indulgent broccoli and cheddar quiche and tall stacks of pancakes that can be topped with homemade preserves and Nutella. The Long Island Sound and lush vines provide the backdrop, and jazz club performances are the perfect soundtrack to any Saturday night. Phone: 631-291-9900 | Address: 169 Harbor Rd. Click to taste 

beth ann clyde

beth ann clyde

Beth Ann Clyde is a social strategist of Long Island Pulse. Have a story idea or just want to say hello? Email bethann@lipulse.com or reach out on Twitter @BAClyde.