Food & Drink: Al Fresco Dining


There’s nothing like summer on Long Island. The weather is supreme, and the ocean is never too far away. When the sun starts shining, the only place I want to be is waterside, with a cold drink in my hand. A few of my local favorites include Rumba, Prime, Bodhi’s Beach Shack, Drift 82, Lakehouse and Salted. on the Harbor. These range in location and price-point, but they all offer al fresco dining and an immaculate vibe.

Rumba is off the beaten path and serves creative Caribbean food. Enjoy their beloved happy hour in a beach-inspired, bright setting, complete with water views (depending on location). Their reserve rum menu is worth checking out, and their seafood dishes and tacos don’t disappoint. My go-to order is the soy and sugar cane salmon – divine.

Prime is treasured by locals for their waterfront views, raw bar offerings and extensive drink menu. I’ve been enjoying Prime for years and am never disappointed with their approachable “power lunch” specials, pitchers of delectable cocktails and desserts (Briermere pie, anyone?). I would recommend making a reservation for this one, and if you can, during sunset hours!

Bodhi’s Beach Shack is everything you’re looking for in a beach bar & restaurant. Their slogan, “blue skies and right vibes” says it all. The menu is simple, and nostalgic: baked clams, coconut shrimp, mussels, fish, and chips and more. The Bodhi Burrito should not be overlooked, especially if you’re opting for fried fish or blackened shrimp.

If you are looking for live music, bookmark Drift 82. Here you can enjoy fresh, daily musicians, serving up tunes from 4-9PM. They offer a competitive happy hour, and reggae on Sundays. While you’re enjoying the live music, I’d recommend snacking on raw bar classics, or the fish tacos.

Lake House in Bay Shore is a great option for dinner with a view. The food is delicious; think tuna tartare, grilled oysters, truffled mushroom risotto, duck confit – the list goes on. They do a stellar job of serving up seasonally inspired entrees and offering picturesque views of the Great South Bay. Their cocktail menu is one of my favorites, and I’ll never leave before having a spicy ginger margarita (seriously, try it immediately).

Salted. On The Harbor catered my wedding at their nearby sister spot, Wine Cellar. Lindsay, the owner, does an incredible job of connecting with the community and serving up the best Mediterranean salmon salad within miles! They offer happy hour 3-6 pm on weekdays (at the bar only on Fridays) and switch out menu offerings to reflect seasonal availability and inspiration. They’re located on the water in Northport Village, with dockside views of the water.