Dear cozy tables by the fire, we’ve had a good a run. But springtime is here, and that means we’re ready to find a spot where the ratio of sun to refreshing breeze is just right, the food is colorful and fresh, and the cocktails use all the best flavors of the season.
Head to The Halyard for a sunset and snag a table on the deck overlooking the water. You’ll find it hard to tear your eyes from the stunning views to read the menu. That’s OK. Opt for one of the classic American dishes such as The Halyard Burger with special housemade sauce, the clam chowder, or try the — new as of this April — grilled striped bass with a nasturtium butter served with baby golden beets agrodolce, red beet risotto and wilted watercress. They all go great with a glass of local wine, such as the Macari rosé. If it’s a Saturday night, after dinner on the deck stop inside the piano bar for some live entertainment. Evening. Well. Spent.
58775 County Road 48, Greenport
Tucked off East Main Street in Riverhead, Turkuaz Grill may be one of the North Fork’s best-kept secrets. But all it takes is one visit to the Mediterranean eatery for it to become your go-to spot for a laidback meal. The food is always delicious, but if you’re having trouble deciding what to choose, the lamb chops, assorted gyros and Turkish beers are must-haves. As the weather warms up, it’s the ideal place to steal away from the office for a lunch spent sitting outside near the Peconic River.
40 McDermott Ave., Riverhead
First and South
You know those rare occurrences when you actually have a day off? You leave the house with a sense of adventure, but you don’t have quite enough time to leave the state (island?). Those days are meant for First and South.
When you arrive at the Greenport bistro ask for table 702. Trust me. It’s the corner table on the porch right under the South Street cherry blossom tree. It gets the Goldilocks amount of sun all day and a great breeze from the bay. Plus, it’s just outside the heart of the barroom, but not on top of anyone else. Order the North Fork Greens, featuring KK’s The Farm greens, or the black bean burger. Both go great with the 44N Huckleberry Lemonade. And be on the lookout for the new vegan items they’ll be debuting this spring.
100 South St., Greenport
This Greenport restaurant received a makeover this winter. The newly redecorated outdoor patio, with built-in benches, greenery and more, will be one of your go-tos this spring and summer for sitting back and sipping on a glass of rosé.
Speaking of rosé, American Beech spent the past few months working with Macari Vineyards to create the American Beech Rosé, which will debut this spring. Prefer a cocktail with your sunny days? Try the Rhubard Fizz, made with rhubard simple syrup and champagne. It pairs well with the soft shell sandwich, asparagus Caesar salad or chilled spring pea soup.
300 Main St., Greenport
Sunday called. She wants to meet you at Bistro 72. Spend the day at the wineries and then head to the Riverhead spot for live music and no corking fee on local wines. Settle into a seat by the outdoor fireplace and whittle away the evening. Didn’t bring any wine with you? Order a glass of merlot from One Woman Vineyards in Southold to go with the Crescent duck from Long Island’s last remaining duck farm, served with wild mushroom risotto, local vegetables and raspberry demi-glace.
1830 West Main St., Riverhead