Broiled, baked, steamed, fried, or stewed. Those are just a few of the ways that the cooks at Long Island Fish & Chips handle their fish, shellfish, and freshly caught seafood. The culinary team also proves that casual comfort foods from the ocean are an international favorite by incorporating spices and flavors from Cajun, southern French, and New England cuisines. Beyond seafood, the menu also features a selection of smokehouse dishes from terra firma, including everything from barbecue platters to burgers.
The maritime theme runs deep, though, spilling over into the restaurant's blue- and gold-hued dining room. Fake fish adorn the sunny walls. Blue lights mark the coastline along an expansive mural of Long Island, and a bubbling aquarium sits near the front entrance. A life preserver even hangs on one wall, doubling as a pillow for patrons who want to nap in between their lunch and dinner orders.
At Parkside Café, the New American menu exhibits multicultural influences and focuses heavily on fresh seafood and sustainable proteins, such as farm-raised tilapia and free-range chicken. The cozy eatery seats 24 diners indoors and 16 diners outdoors, where a waterside patio flaunts scenic views of the ocean paralleled only by sightseeing tours conducted by seagulls. Whether they are inside or out, Parkside Café treats guests to an upscale atmosphere gussied up with crisp, white tablecloths, vibrant floral arrangements, and mood-enhancing candlelight.
To the chefs at Popei's Clam Bar & Seafood Restaurant, there is not one correct way to prepare seafood. That’s why the team of culinary inventors likes to experiment, creating dishes from the more standard blackened Cajun swordfish to the avant-garde buffalo and thai calamari. The nightly all-you-can-eat dinners feature one seafood option per night, and satiate even diners with five stomachs. Beyond seafood dishes—including the house’s fresh little-neck clams and lobster stuffed with shrimp, scallops, crab, and feta cheese—the chefs sizzle up an array of meaty creations. Their half-pound burgers support a variety of hearty toppings, and baby back ribs and veal parmigiana showcase the chefs’ ability to handle meat better than a conflict-resolution expert who specializes in farm-animal relationships.
Not even Hurricane Sandy could stop Rachel?s Waterside Grill from treating its guests to feasts of fresh seafood. One year after the devastating storm, the completely refurbished cafe dishes up sandwiches, salads, and hearty brunches and breakfasts made with locally acquired ingredients, earning praise from regulars and awards from regional chambers of commerce.
The waterfront eatery?voted Best Seafood on Long Island in the Long Island Press's Best of LI in 2011, 2012, and 2013?hooks up its customers with delicious, fresh-from-the-sea catches, like a dating service for mermen. Cooks simmer these seafoods in housemade sauces and speckle them atop veggie-laden plates. An indoor seating area treats guests to a painted seascape, while the expansive, heated seaside deck regales al fresco diners with the real thing.
Since 1988, diners have been struggling to decide whether Nautilus Cafe’s artfully plated dishes or its waterfront views are more pleasing to the eye. Today, Chef Brian Crofton and Chef de Cuisine Edwin Segovia continue the restaurant’s tradition of serving both classic preparations of prime steaks and maine lobsters, and their innovative twists garnered an OpenTable Diner’s Choice win for seafood in 2011. In the kitchen, they swathe tilapia in a macadamia crust and top it with champagne beurre blanc and mango salsa, and they roast long island duckling before serving it with a port-wine raspberry sauce. The chefs host two-for-one Lobsterfest every Monday and Steak Night every Wednesday, where diners pair boneless prime rib or a veal porterhouse chop with Brooklyn beer or a Grey Goose martini. If you look quickly at the dining room, you might be fooled into thinking you’re on a docked ship. Large, square windows tilt slightly to the outside of the restaurant, where Woodcleft Canal’s boats are docked and on display, and wooden booths call to mind a captain’s salon without the usual Popeye calendar. Wooden beams travel the length of the ceiling to the bar, where glasses swell with wines from California, France, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, and Germany.
Five-year-old local favorite Ludlow Bistro cooks up innovative, yet simple cuisine and compliments it with modern décor and a friendly, attentive serving staff that will try to meet any request—except for those beginning with "I dare you to…" Diners can dig their claws into artfully arranged appetizers such as the lump crab cakes, whose citrus-marinated fennel and carrots jam harmoniously with chili aioli ($13). Pastas, such as the fresh buccatini, take tongues on a tour of the Tuscan countryside with a merry band of pan-seared chicken, hand-crushed plum tomatoes, and bruchetta goat cheese ($23), along with a sassy 40-year-old divorcée trying to find herself. Savor a whiskered water dweller with the Cajun seared cat fish, paired with a zesty duo of spicy coleslaw and chili cream-corn beurre blanc ($25). Carnivorous connoisseurs, meanwhile, will want to feast on finless finds such as the rib eye with herb gnocchi, caramelized peppers, and a port-wine reduction ($28) or a grilled pork chop, accompanied by braised red swiss chard, gorgonzola mashed potatoes, and caramelized peaches ($26). Oven originals are also on hand, including freshly baked breads and desserts.