Long Island has always been known for its serene scenery—its surrounding waters make for especially exquisite views, so scenic that even Andy Warhol frequently traveled from New York City to enjoy it, and used it as inspiration for his artwork. Summer on the Island is all about the outdoors and what better way to enjoy a cocktail at the bar than with a beautiful Long Island view? And what better locale to meet for a romantic rendezvous?
“As a native Long Islander I have developed a deep love and appreciation for the beautiful waterfront restaurants this island offers,” says Maureen Tara Nelson, professional matchmaker, single’s advice columnist and dating coach.
Here are a few of the Island’s finest waterfront offerings, guaranteed to dazzle the senses and calm the soul.
117 New York Ave., Huntington
Huntington’s famous Prime first opened in 2006 and has become one of the most popular dockside dining locations on Long Island. Set on Huntington Harbor, the layout puts it in a league of its own—from the upstairs fire pit known as “Fantail Deck” to the dockside dining bar that allows patrons to mingle under the stars or look down at the floating dock and its many million-dollar yachts as they pull up.
“What we want to be able to do at Prime is give everybody an opportunity to enjoy it in their own way,” says Michael Bohlsen, who owns Prime with his brother, Kurt. “You can go to the bar, the dining room or the patio; you can go down by the water and have drinks and enjoy live music on the weekends. It’s like a resort with different venues there to enjoy your experience.”
Drink Of Choice: Margaritaview (Cazadores Blanco, Crème de Banana and strawberry puree)
Port of Egypt Marina
62300 Main Rd., Southold
Located at the landmark Port of Egypt Marina in Long Island’s wine country, A Lure is the North Fork’s newest waterfront stop. The seafood chowder house just opened a few months ago but is already impressing patrons with its killer vistas. View the Southold Bay from the large bay windows and a wrap-around deck. Inside guests will find an 85-seat wood-lined dining room with double-sided fireplace and 30-foot long bar that opens onto a side deck. The bar offers a Long Island-only wine list and beers from Blue Point, Greenport and Fire Island breweries.
Drink Of Choice: La Bandita (Bacardi 8 infused with jalapeno and basil syrup, Combier orange liquor, lemon juice and Aperol, shaken with basil)
TR Restaurant & Bar
78 Foster Ave., Hampton Bays
Travel north of the Ponquogue Bridge to find this brand new seafood restaurant and bar in Hampton Bays. The place was previously occupied by Before The Bridge Restaurant but you’d never guess that—the refurbished space has become a rustic yet clean and streamlined hotspot. Pull-up patrons of TR Restaurant & Bar are able to dock on the two available slips, dine on the fresh local seafood and enjoy a divine view of the Shinnecock Bay.
Drink Of Choice: Caipirinha (Cachaca rum muddled with lime and sugar over rice)
Pop’s Seafood Shack & Grill
15 Railroad Pl., Island Park
Right near the Reynolds Channel, just west of the Long Beach Bridge in Island Park, one will find the new Pop’s Seafood Shack & Grill. The tropical-themed seafood shack offers a distinct waterfront dining experience with plenty of options, ranging from “Pop’s South Beach” private beach featuring cabanas to the waterfront “Pop’s Firepit Lounge.” In addition to boat docking, there are 40 dock slips available.
Drink Of Choice: White Tea Sangria made with an organic loose tea blend, fresh-squeezed juices, white wine, citrus vodka and lemon/lime soda
The Patio at the Freeport
Inn & Marina
445 South Main St., Freeport
The Patio comes as a new signature waterfront restaurant at the revamped Freeport Inn & Marina on Freeport Creek. The retro-style dockside dining destination provides more than 4,000 square feet of dining space with a Miami-style bar and lounge. The outdoor patio overlooks the marina and comes equipped with fire pits and a waterfall. It offers 10 transient slips for boats more than 30 feet in size to dock and dine by reservation only.
Drink Of Choice: Patio Punch (Captain Morgan, Malibu Rum, Pineapple and Cranberry Juice)