Table for Two by the Sea, Please
If your meal on the North Fork requires a view of the water, well, we understand. The spirit of the sea is everywhere on the East End. To dine on the water is an unparalleled privilege. Check out these delicious seaside spots, and get yourself a table, post-haste.
In Greenport, Porto Bello offers an outdoor patio overlooking the marina. Sit beside the water and indulge in an appetizer or two that speaks to the environment. The restaurant has an entire category of “seafood starters” that capture the mood, including tuna tartare, midnight clams casino, lobster salad, local oysters on the half shell with a mignonette, clams on the half shell, shrimp cocktail, calamari frito, saffron mussels in broth, coconut curry mussels, and a seafood tower called the seafood oasis. Located within Safe Harbor’s Greenport Marina, Porto Bello is a hidden gem that allows a private view of the water with none of the summer crowds.
Equally under-the-radar is Aquebogue’s On the Docks, a restaurant tucked into Meeting House Road, with its own transient dock (you can pull up by boat, though you’ll need to call ahead for availability). On weekdays between 4 and 7, the restaurant holds a happy hour, but you can get the appetizers, sandwiches and burgers, and larger plates any day of the week. Come for the fried seafood platter — it comes with flounder, shrimp, and scallops — and stay for the view overlooking the Lighthouse Marina and Meetinghouse Creek.
For a farm-to-table experience with a view of the water, head directly to Waypoint Restaurant, in Southold, which faces Mill Creek and the Peconic River. Food is locally grown when possible, and dishes are inspired by Long Island. The restaurant serves both lunch and dinner. A petite raw bar offering local oysters and clams starts things off. Among the standout entrées: the poached local fluke, served with a summer vegetable velouté and parsley cream; a grilled skirt steak, with a Romesco sauce, charred broccolini, and a chimichurri; and a lobster ravioli, with shrimp, scallops, tomatoes, and a Cognac cream sauce.
Right next door, at the Port of Egypt Marina, find another seaside gem: chef-owner Tom Schaudel’s A Lure Chowder House & “Oyster-ia.” Open for dinner, this seafood-centric restaurant with a view offers plenty of options, including a seafood bar to start, with a classic shrimp cocktail, a yellowfin tuna poke, littleneck clams on the half shell, and local oysters with a cucumber verjus mignonette. House specials also include beer-battered cod, littleneck clams with bucatini and a garlic-white wine sauce, macadamia-coconut-crusted flounder, and pan-roasted Scottish salmon with ratatouille.
For a perfect sunset, head directly to The Halyard Restaurant, which faces the Long Island Sound. The restaurant, which is part of the Sound View Hotel, offers a light-filled dining room and a deck overlooking the water, as well as locally sourced fish and produce from the East End’s superlative farmers and fishermen. Start with a tomato and burrata salad, showcasing the North Fork’s own tomatoes, before moving on to a piece of grilled Montauk swordfish, served with olive oil-poached tomato, fennel Castelvetrano olives, and chives. For dessert, take in a sunset that only a view of the water can provide.