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The waterfront views at The Halyard in Greenport are hard to beat elsewhere. (Credit: David Benthal)

The North Fork’s water views, as any local knows, are simply unparalleled. Whether you’re facing the Sound or the bay, the way the sunlight shimmers on the rippling waves makes for a uniquely peaceful and lovely experience.

Sip rosé, savor a lobster roll and spend time with friends and family for the perfect evening dining al fresco. We spoke with five waterfront restaurants about what creates the ideal dining experience.


While not every waterfront restaurant is necessarily seafood-focused, sitting outside by the water seems to draw patrons toward certain items.

The crew at Riverhead’s Turkuaz Grill, a Mediterranean restaurant, certainly feels this way.

“When you’re waterview, you have to have seafood on the menu,” said owner Mustafa Gulsen, who pointed out their branzino as a popular item. “People come to look at the water and the first thing they ask is about the seafood.”

As chef Stephan Bogardus of The Halyard in Greenport puts it, you “don’t want to serve someone a roast chicken” while they’re staring off at the view.

“I want a grilled fish taco,” Bogardus said. “I can’t believe how many people eat clam chowder in July. It’s absolutely baffling! For us it’s also the lobster roll, fish and chips, and that’s just our lunch menu. Then for dinner you’re starting to think about fluke and striped bass and sea scallops.”


Adam Lovett of A Lure Chowder House & Oysteria in Southold notes that you also have to add just the right mix of wine and cocktails to go with that seafood.

“It’s serving fresh fish and a good cocktail while you’re looking at the water,” he said. “Rosé and the water. Frozen drinks and the water. There’s a lot of cuisine that speaks to the water: oysters, clams, mussels, seven different fish, different size lobsters.”


It’s one thing to sit outside by the water, but it’s important that everyone can see it.

“The way the tables are positioned, everyone at the table is looking at the water,” said Lovett, who noted there are only a few exceptions at round tables at A Lure.

On the outside deck at The Halyard, no seats are obstructed, letting everyone take in the views.

Fortino’s Tavern in Greenport features dining on the dock. (Credit: David Benthal)


Let’s face it, the view can be just as important as the food when you’re experiencing dining on the water.

Erin Johnson, director of people and culture at Duryea’s Orient Point, likened the way the food works in concert with a waterfront to “theater.”

“I’m just taking in all these elements — earth, the sea — and it feels like you’re enhancing the dining experience with a beautiful view,” she said. “There’s a serenity to it.”

Bogardus marveled at the golden hour at his spot.

“Almost everything stops,” he said. “The kitchen gets busy, but a server opens the kitchen door and sees the color of the light. Everyone gets up from their table, they go outside, they start taking photos and you get the light of the golden hour. Having that northeastern and northwestern exposure, it’s just … you can’t get away from it.”

Nikki Fortino of Fortino’s Tavern on Preston’s Dock in Greenport Harbor may not have Soundside sunsets to offer, but there’s still something extra special about that location.

“Just being on that dock is magical alone,” she said. “You feel like you’re suspended in air, all while under a sea of stars. And on the hottest day, there will always be a breeze along with the pink sunsets that turn into the moon reflecting on the water. It’s a pretty special feeling.”

A Lure has views of the tip of Southold, the Hamptons and Shelter Island.

“People come from all around and don’t know what they’re looking at, and they love it,” Lovett said. “There used to be this thing about Manhattan: In Manhattan, you can’t see Manhattan. You’d get better views from Water’s Edge or River Cafe in Long Island City or Brooklyn. You can see the skyline as opposed to being ‘in’ it. We’re on the North Fork looking at the Hamptons, looking at Shelter Island, looking at the tip of Southold.”


Duryea’s Orient Point has another perk that adds to the experience: You can dock and dine.

“The ability to dock and dine, you’d think, would be more prevalent here,” Johnson said. “The whole experience of boating to Duryea’s and then getting off and having a meal and going on your merry way adds a unique opportunity to the property. I can’t think of a better way to spend the day, personally.”