The soft glow of flames emanates from the stone fireplaces at Grillfire Long Beach, rippling over wall-mounted wine racks and settling upon diners with plates of herb-grilled pork chops and house-made chicken pot pie. Servers suggest wines from the wine list to complement these dishes as well as herb-grilled pork chop entrees, rich portions of macaroni 'n' cheese crowned with a layer of toasted herb bread crumbs, and the customer's iris color. Live music mingles with conversation during live performances on the weekends.
Like chili popsicles and videos of grizzly-bear ballerinas, the simple, authentic Italian food at John's Restaurant & Pizzeria has been enjoyed for nearly 40 years due to its versatility and heartiness. Start with an order of baked clams ($9 for eight), bruschetta ($4.95), or fried zucchini sticks ($7). John's pizza starts with freshly made dough, 100-percent real part-skim mozzarella, and a fresh sauce made from California and Italian tomatoes. Try a pie topped with artichokes and sundried tomatoes ($17) or the sauce-less tomato and basil ($18). Meaty slices include the buffalo chicken ($21) or the chicken parmigiana ($21). Calzones, pastas, and heroes both hot and cold round out the menu.
Chef Marco Barrila knows a thing or two about Italian-style seafood—he grew up in Messina, Sicily. More than 20 years after immigrating to the United States, he decided to open his own eatery in New York's East End, where he felt locals would appreciate the Mediterranean style of cooking he had mastered so many years before. Frutti Di Mare's menu reflects his many cooking styles: grilling, broiling, frying, and roasting. Barrila also whips up party platters of his signature fish for his customers' dinners, graduation parties, or mermaids' graduations from fins to feet.
The brewmaster and chefs at Southampton Publick House pour pints of award-winning hand-crafted microbrews and furnish their varied menu with classic pub grub. Inaugurate your meal without swearing upon a slab of beef by sipping an appetizing cup of new england clam chowder or potato ale soup with bacon and cheddar ($5 each). Heartier appetites can beckon for the brewer's burger and french fries ($9; add cheese, sautéed onions, bacon, or mushrooms for $0.75 each) or the crispy, lager-dipped fish 'n' chips ($14 lunch, $18 for a dinner portion). A side of sweet potato fries ($6) makes for a dashing entourage for a 12-ounce new york sirloin ($25) or a nearby Idahoan congressman.
The close-knit crew at DoLittle’s Restaurant slings out a diverse menu of continental cuisine that runs the gamut from basic burgers and pastas to lobster tails and steak. Patrons seeking homespun fare can dive into Cajun-chicken-club wraps ($14) and baskets of crispy fish 'n' chips ($15) and upscale appetites chow down on 16-ounce New York–sirloin steak ($22) or seafood pasta teeming with mussels, clams, and shrimp ($22). As the fight about the herb-stuffed brie ($12) and its toasted french bread and green-apple slices rages at tables around the room, DoLittle’s Restaurant’s master mixologists are busy behind the bar pouring drams of ale and whipping up cocktails.
Founded by cousins Ruth and Cindy, Water Mill Cupcake Company greets customers with friendly smiles and a menu full of handmade treats. Each day, fresh eggs leap out of their shells into bowls brimming with organic sugar, unbleached flour, and butter straight from cows made of rainbows. Cylinder connoisseurs can acquire a quartet of cupcakes ($3 each), or experiment with more flavors by devouring the mini variety ($2 each). The devil’s food cupcake cuts a fiendish figure, dressed to the nines in gourmet chocolate and a cap of Madagascar–vanilla icing. Red velvet cupcakes laden with cocoa buttermilk give tasters the red carpet treatment, and a host of handmade frostings await spellbound taste buds, ranging from seasonal strawberry to vanilla maple syrup.
Boulder Creek Steakhouse’s dinner menu serves up deluxe cuts of steak with all the trimmings in a casual atmosphere. Starting with grain-fed meat aged a minimum of 28 days, each sirloin ($17.99), filet mignon ($28.99 for 12 oz./$23.99 for 8 oz.), and beyond is grilled to red-hot perfection and seasoned with a double-secret blend of spices. If you already had steak for lunch, breakfast, and your coworker’s office birthday party, savor the chicken parmesan ($15.99) or the jumbo shrimp scampi ($15.99) instead. Vegetarians, meanwhile, can abide by the terms of their uneasy peace treaty with cows by noshing on a garden fresh salad drizzled with homemade dressing ($4.99–$14.99). Keep a couple stomachs open for the brownie sundae ($5.99), the warm apple tart served over ice cream ($5.99), or both stacked on top of each other. Lighter lunchtime appetites will find that the turkey burger ($10.99), pulled-pork sammie ($11.99), and grilled chicken wrap ($10.99) are all created equal and thus enjoy equal rights to a side dish of onion rings or creamed spinach.