Dining in the summer of 2020 may not be exactly as it was in the summer of 2019, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it for what it is. This summer is the summer of outdoor appreciation — of truly seeing the forest (or, as it were, the beach) for the trees. The North Fork is home to some of the most architecturally interesting restaurant interiors on all of Long Island, but eating inside of restaurants is so last year. Still, you don’t have to search the inside to find architectural design that’s worthy of a visit. These four North Fork restaurants prove that landscape architecture is just as important as interior design. Check them out this summer, while the season of outdoor dining is upon us.
A Lure Chowder House & Oyster-ia
With a sprawling patio that backs up to a marina, practically nothing says summer like A Lure Chowder House & Oyster-ia, in Southold. Lauded chef Tom Schaudel is responsible for the smart, seafood-heavy menu here, which features regularly changing selections, like macadamia-coconut crusted flounder, pan-seared yellowfin tuna, and shrimp bucatini with heirloom cherry tomatoes. Online menus change frequently, so make sure to check for updated additions.
This boutique hotel is surrounded by 22 acres of gardens, which guests can enjoy on their visit. During the day, the restaurant is offering seating on its lovely lawn, which offers a picture-perfect view of the farm. By night, guests can dine on the reservations-only patio. The space is evocative of dining in the middle of an old English garden. The fresh, produce-focused menu offers something for everyone: mussels with a lemongrass and coconut broth; grilled branzino with wilted kale and cauliflower rice; a New England-style lobster roll with a tarragon-based aioli; and a roasted half chicken with cipollini onions are just some of the options.
The century-old Claudio’s is now open for the season, serving up seafood and fun in Greenport. The best view, of course, is right on the water. Food is casual (think lobster rolls, steamers, burgers, and fish tacos), and the water is visible from all sides; Claudio’s is basically a peninsula, jutting out on a pier from the Greenport dock. Al fresco dining after a spring without restaurants surely doesn’t get better than this. There is, after all, no finer backdrop than the bright blue horizon, especially at sunset. In this restaurant, there is not a bad seat in the house.
The intimate patio at American Beech, also in Greenport, might make you feel like you’re on Nantucket rather than in Greenport. The décor is all nautical whites and grays, with shiplap and lantern lighting amplified by the natural outdoor elements. The cozy summer environment is not the best part, though; the food is. Fluke crudo, served with cherry puree and pickled fennel, on a recent menu was superlative, but so was the local charred asparagus, bathed in gribiche and made piquant by pickled onion.