Experience France on Long Island

They say France, particularly Paris, is most beautiful in the springtime. But spring has come and gone and though it’s wonderful in the fall, the hustle and bustle of New York life tends to get in the way of vacation. That, or you’re out of vacation days. But there’s no need to bid adieu to hopes of a European escape. A few Long Island French restaurants and businesses offer one on our side of the pond. You can say, “merci” to me later.

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Sparkling Pointe, Southold

image: facebook.com/sparklingpointe

image: facebook.com/sparklingpointe

Walk into the tasting room at Sparkling Pointe, one of the Eastern most on the Long Island wine trail and the only to focus exclusively on sparkling wine, and it’s immediately obvious you’re in for something special. Where many wineries rely on rustic charm or pay homage to Italian roots, Sparkling Pointe opted for clean lines, sophistication and a taste of France. The smell of champagne fills the pristine white space, a dazzling chandelier hangs from the ceiling and brightly colored art adds a fun touch that doesn’t subtract from the winery’s elegance. It’s only natural that Gilles Martin, who was born at the gates of the Champagne region, serves as the vintner. Martin and the Sparkling Pointe staff recently raised a glass to some serious honors. It was named “Co-Winery of the Year” at the New York Food and Wine Classic in August, sharing the honors with CK Cellars/Torrey Ridge Winery of Penn Yan, New York. Phone: 631-765-0200 | Address: 39750 County Rd. 48 Click to go

La Femme Dangereuse, Woodbury 

Pick up a fashion magazine and it’s full of ways to dress like a French woman by day—striped shirts, flats, skinny jeans and cat-eye sunglasses. But this Nassau County boutique lets women dress like a French woman by night. Peruse sophisticated and alluring sleeper wear and lingerie inspired by France’s Art Nouveau period. The boutique offers personal shopping experiences for the bashful. Phone: 516-802-7717 | Address: 7925 Jericho Turnpike Click to go

Le Soir, Bayport

This gourmet restaurant packs all the charm one would expect from a French hideaway into a small, old-world style cottage. The window-lined space is light and airy yet elegant. Think white tablecloths and small vases on each table. But if you’re hesitant to judge a restaurant by its linens, rest assured, the food is the true standout. The pork tenderloin, wrapped in smoked bacon and stuffed with apple, makes for a perfect fall dinner, and the seafood dishes are as decadent as they are bountiful. And though the French are known to opt for smaller portions than Americans, rest assured Le Soir’s serving sizes are as generous as the warm staff. Phone: 631-472-9090 | Address: 825 Montauk Hwy. Click to go

Kiss My Cake, Huntington

image: facebook.com/kissmycakeny

image: facebook.com/kissmycakeny

This warm bakery and cafe whips up some of the best macarons this side of the South of France. And it doesn’t rest on its raving Yelp reviews. Kiss My Cake is constantly coming up with creative, trendy filling flavors that are totally bold, never bland. This sesame ginger honey in September and gingerbread man, candy cane and egg nog come holiday time. Staples include vanilla, dark chocolate and Rainbow, an Italian twist on the French favorite that includes a ring of almond buttercream, a center of apricot and raspberry jam and a drizzle of rich dark chocolate. Phone: 631-923-3303 | Address: 387 New York Ave. Click to go  

La Plage, Wading River

image: facebook.com/laplage.rive

image: facebook.com/laplage.rive

This restaurant uses small candlelit tables and a cottage setting to create a romantic ambiance perfect for treating that special someone. On a warm evening, consider opting for an outdoor seat, which comes with a side of waterfront views. The eclectic menu includes French-American dishes like duck leg confit and shaved prosciutto and burrata cheese salad. Phone: 631-744-9200 | Address: 131 Creed Rd. Click to go

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.