In season, Long Island offers a number of excellent restaurants with outdoor dining, some facing the ocean, a bay, a pond or a picturesque street. Here's a sampling of restaurants that offer indoor as well as outdoor seating.
395 Main Street
This upscale restaurant on Huntington Harbor reminds me of a faraway Caribbean isle in the summer months, with its breezy outdoor levels facing the water. The restaurant offers a wide selection of steaks, seafood, sushi, luscious salads and more. It's a good choice for a romantic dinner. If you're not in the mood for a full meal, you can also order lighter fare, or enjoy the vibrant outdoor bar scene. When the weather turns cold, there's plenty of room indoors in this very elegant restaurant.
If you're in Montauk and in the mood for great food with a waterfront view, Hurricane Alley is a good choice. This casual eatery is located within the Montauk Yacht Club Resort & Marina. With both indoor and outdoor dining, this laid-back restaurant offers delicious food. During warm weather, you can sit out on the deck for expansive views of Montauk Lake. With offerings like savory Gulf Coast Chowder, tempting, hand-made guacamole and lots of excellent fish dishes, this restaurant uses only made-on-premises, fresh ingredients.
This Zagat-rated restaurant in Centerport features great steaks and seafood. When weather permits, you can enjoy dining on the ample outdoor patio, where you can watch swans gently swimming in Mill Pond. During colder months, you can still enjoy views of the pond through large windows in the dining room. The restaurant has a great raw bar and caviar is also served. Their bay scallops and organic salmon filet were a hit with my family.
The Sea Grille at Gurney's Inn Resort, Spa & Conference Center
Gurney's Inn overlooks Montauk's stunning expanse of sprawling beach, and the resort's restaurant, The Sea Grille, faces the Atlantic Ocean. Specializing in seafood, The Sea Grille offers meals created from local shellfish, just-caught fish, local organic produce and other regional specialties including Long Island duck. For a serving of soft sea breezes and refreshing salty air, ask for a table on the outdoor deck and gaze at the breathtaking view of the beach and Atlantic Ocean while you dine on delicious food.
Dockers Waterside features creative American cuisine with a focus on seafood, steaks and lobsters, set against a spectacular backdrop on the water in the Hamptons.
La Bussola Ristorante features classic Italian cuisine. The delicious food, from Lobster alla Fra Diavolo to Chicken Campagnola and Osso Bucco, is served by an attentive staff. During the summer, you can sit outdoors under umbrellas in front of this Zagat-rated restaurant, facing a quiet street in Glen Cove.
Housed in a former bank, Tellers resembles a soaring Greek temple. Inside, 32-foot ceilings and 6-foot sconces frame the subdued tones of the walls. The entire restaurant exudes an air of classic elegance, from its ample main dining room, to its former bank vaults (now safeguarding its wine "treasures") and its expansive copper-covered bar, aptly named the Gold Bar. Families as well as couples can enjoy this upscale eatery. During the warmer months, Tellers offers outdoor dining on its patio.
Besito restaurant in Huntington (there's a sister restaurant in Roslyn) features fresh, delicious Mexican food in an upscale atmosphere. Meals are freshly prepared and the service is top-notch. The atmosphere is more like a lively party than an impersonal restaurant. If you like spicy food, this is a great place to go. During warm weather, the front of the restaurant opens, and you can enjoy your meals at cozy tables on the sidewalk.
Located directly across the street from the Roslyn Clock Tower, Thyme Restaurant & Café Bar serves fresh, delicious food in an elegant atmosphere. The service is impeccable and the prices are reasonable. In warm weather, sit outside on the deck for tranquil views of gentle swans swimming in the tranquil pond just in back of the restaurant.
Limani is an opulent restaurant specializing in fresh Greek seafood against the backdrop of soaring ceilings, marble columns and tasteful decorations inspired by the culture of ancient Greece. During the summer months, you can enjoy their 900-square foot outdoor patio, surrounded by lush greenery and colorful hibiscus vines. The outdoor patio is open for service during brunch, lunch and dinner hours. Note: reservations are not taken for the patio. Dining there is on a first come, first served basis.