Wednesday, April 17
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Bring the Garden to Dinner

Dine Alfresco in these Lovely North Fork Restaurants 

Spring is in the air on the North Fork, so make a reservation at any of these delightful dining destinations and enjoy the greenery from your perch at one of Long Island’s best restaurants. There’s no better way to enjoy the green spaces of the island than while dining. Here are some of our favorite picks. 

After a brief closure for winter, the North Fork Table & Inn, in Southold, is open again, and diners can enjoy dinner outside in the restaurant’s petite patio, which is framed by green plantings and florals. Ordering the duck tot and caviar is a must. It’s a play on the traditional tater tot, gussied up with a plentiful quenelle of caviar and presented tableside beneath a cloche of smoke. (The dish comes as a supplement to the four-course menu.) The whole-roasted maitake mushroom, served as a second course, comes with a soft hen egg, cider-braised kale, and a white bean purée, and is a delight for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. Seal the deal with the preserved apricot meringue cake, made with lemon curd and olive oil cake. 

North Fork Table & Inn

La Plage, in Wading River, often referred to as the most romantic restaurant on Long Island, offers outdoor seating beneath the twinkling of strung lights, a reminder of spring’s bounty. Enjoy an artisanal cheese plate, to start, or the Prince Edward Island mussels, served with a creamy basil pesto, polenta, and fresh tomatoes. Then, move on to a confit of duck, alongside a fresh chive risotto made with exotic mushrooms. The raw bar also features local clams and oysters on the half shell, with a Birds of Paradise mignonette, perfect for savoring in the spring breeze. 

At Demarchelier Bistro, guests can sit on the lovely outdoor patio and pretend they’re in Paris, not Greenport. The food is Parisian enough, after all, and so are the environs. The food recalls a little bit of France, from French sandwiches — jamon beurre, pan bagnat, croques monsieur — to onion soup gratinée, helix escargots with garlic butter and herbs, and brandade de morue. Charcuterie lovers can dig into foie gras, pate de Campagne, and duck rillette. All the classics, including a robust list of French wines by the bottle and glass, are right there. Sit outside, grab a glass of rosé, and adore the outdoors. 

Once the Jamesport Manor Inn, the Dimon Estate has been completely refreshed and is now serving bespoke meals both indoor and out (outside, you can relax by the garden in comfy outdoor chairs enjoying an aperitif or two). The fresh scallop ceviche, which comes with sliced jalapeño, jicama, red onion, avocado, corn, and citrus, is a bright and clean appetizer that primes the palate for more. Follow it with the braised short ribs, served over boursin polenta and alongside roasted asparagus, crispy onions, and a rosemary demi-glace. Instead of dessert, finish your meal with a slightly sweet Hudson, a cocktail made with Belvedere lemon basil vodka, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, muddled basil leaves, and a splash of club soda.