Long Island’s Fall Restaurant Guide: Beer Gardens, Al fresco Dining and More

Picking a bushel of apples and hauling pumpkins straight from the field whets the appetite, as does sitting in the car along Suffolk’s notoriously congested roads during the autumn harvest season. You’ll want a place to eat with a menu that everyone can enjoy and that doesn’t require a reservation.

MID SUFFOLK

Sound Bistro (3225 Sound Ave., Riverhead): With its blue awning windows and proud flagpole, the large, rambling Sound Bistro is a must-see when traveling along Sound Avenue. The old Northside Lobster Roll is one of the only places to find that Long Island specialty, fried puffer fish tails. You’ll also find lobster rolls, fried fish baskets, local clams and oysters and, when in season, soft-shell crabs and lobster-stuffed beefsteak tomatoes. The family menu includes roast chicken, seared tuna, linguine and clam sauce, veal Milanese and more. A terraced patio allows for al fresco dining. More information: 631-381-0519, soundbistroriverhead.com

The local Beefstake tomato lobster salad at Sound Avenue Bistro in Riverhead.
Credit: Randee Daddona

broadway market (643 Broadway, Rocky Point): Fuel up for a day in the patch or unwind afterwards at this indoor-outdoor café, which serves brunch in the form of pancakes, loaded flatbreads, salads and burgers. The hearty market sandwich is made with fried eggs, maple bacon, tomatoes and Mornay sauce on a homemade potato bun ($12). The restaurant’s cleverly designed backyard seating area provides space for kids (and adults) to move around and play. The restaurant’s roost is just west of several U-pick farms on Route 27-A in Baiting Hollow and Wading River, making it a good pit stop. More information: 631-849-1729. bmropo.com

Farm Lucha (177 Main St., Moriches Center): Part of Marc LaMaina’s growing Lucharitos restaurant empire, “the farm” spans over an acre of multiple outdoor dining areas. The menu will be familiar to patrons of the original Lucharitos in Greenport and its outposts in Aquebogue, Mattituck and Melville. The exuberant version of Mexican and Mexican American street food – tacos filled with coconut shrimp, quesadillas made with local duck – can be washed down with premium tequilas, beer and Mexican soft drinks. More information: 631-400-9625, lucharitos.com

A small part of the outdoor area of ​​the Lucharitos farmhouse...

A small part of the outdoor area of ​​the Lucharitos farmhouse and restaurant at the Moriches Centre. Credit: Newsday/Joann Vaglica

NORTH FORK

cooperage inn (2218 Sound Ave., Baiting Hollow): This North Fork mainstay is the epitome of a rural restaurant, located across from Fox Hollow Farm and next to the Baiting Hollow Farm vineyard. The decor of the restaurant is in the image of its setting, with a green patio, an old-style refreshment bar, a “harvesting” dining room with a fireplace. The menu mixes American standards (homemade pies, steaks, meatloaf, roast duck) with more contemporary touches and, of course, pasta. The annual Cooperage Inn Fall Festival takes place every weekend through October. It includes make-up workshops, a playground with hay and a petting zoo. Festival menu specialties include roasted corn, pulled pork sandwiches, barbecued ribs and chicken and bratwurst. More information: 631-727-8994, tonnellerieinn.com

Barrow Food House (452 Main Rd., Aquebogue): This is a restaurant of high aspirations and distinction at an affordable price. The setting is spectacular: a reconstructed 1850s farmhouse (owners live upstairs) with a lovely indoor dining area and partially shaded picnic table outside, plus a porch perfect for dining and to drink. All of the dining rooms are quaint and cozy, but no reservations are accepted, so arrive early. More information: 631-779-3379, barrowfoodhouse.com

Guests dine on the outdoor terrace at the Barrow Food House...

Guests dine on the outdoor patio at the Barrow Food House in Aquebogue. Credit: Randee Daddona

Modern snack bar (628 Main Rd., Aquebogue) Aquebogue’s modern snack bar is like a welcoming center on the North Fork, warm and reliable, as it has been since Truman was president. Recommended: fried soft-shell crabs; lobster salad; Chicken nuggets; fried flounder sandwich; fried chicken; pork loin roast with mashed potatoes, sauerkraut and apple compote; roast turkey, with stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce; Meatloaf; New England-style clam chowder; sauerbraten with red cabbage, potato dumplings and ginger sauce; all pies. More information: 631-722-3655, modernsnackbar.com

North Fork Shack (41150 County Rd. 48, Southold): A fascinating little spot whose laid-back vibe belies its culinary ambitions. Follow local clam chowder with a local fish sandwich with tomato, arugula and Old Bay aioli, or a pulled lamb wrap with cucumber yogurt sauce and pickled vegetables. Tacos and tostadas are filled with your choice of pulled chicken, marinated steak, fried fish or Buffalo eggplant. Order at the counter and dine at the picnic tables outside. More information: 631-876-5566, thenorthforkshack.com

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich with Chipotle Ranch, Lettuce, Pickles and...

Buttermilk fried chicken sandwich with chipotle ranch, lettuce, pickles and pepperjack at the North Fork Shack in Southold.
Credit: Randee Daddona

SOUTH FORK

Little seagull coffee (54 N. Phillips Ave., Speonk): At this charmer in a disused train depot, chef-owner Will Pendergast offers homemade breakfasts and lunches made with truly local ingredients. The dining room offers a breathtaking view of the chefs as they bake tender and towering buttermilk cookies, sourdough pancakes, egg sandwiches on thick toast, lobster rolls on homemade bread rolls, bowls of green vegetables and cereals and much more. Don’t leave without dessert, whether it’s a local fruit loop or Pendergast’s Olive Oil and Pistachio Bundt with a chocolate tunnel. More information: 631-801-2176, littlegullcafe.com

The chocolate-pistachio cake from the Little Gull Cafe in Speonk.

The chocolate-pistachio cake from the Little Gull Cafe in Speonk.
Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Shinnecock Lobster Factory (42 Montauk Hwy., Southampton): If you’re heading to the Hamptons, it’s worth turning off Route 27 once you’ve crossed the Shinnecock Canal. Not only will the scenery improve, but you’ll pass Shinnecock Lobster Factory, a collaboration between former Shinnecock tribal leader Lance Gumbs and Sicilian-born chef-deli Marco Barrila. The lobster rolls here are available in guppy, shark and whale sizes and in six varieties, from classic style or BLT to diablo (with spicy tomato sauce) or “Shinnecock” (with extra virgin olive oil and lemon ). There’s also lobster bisque, lobster salad, lobster tacos… you get the idea. Dine on the porch or at picnic tables on the back lawn. More information: 631-259-3334, Shinnecocklobsterfactory.com

TownLine Barbecue (3593 Montauk Hwy., Sagaponack): The roadside barbecue is casual and offers counter service, making it an ideal outing for a quick bite when you’ve had your fill of agri-entertainment at nearby Hank’s Pumpkintown or The Milk Pail. Smoked meats reign, of course, especially the ribs à la Saint-Louis. The sides, cornbread with collard greens, are solid. TownLine is the rare barbecue corner that makes its own (and very good) desserts. More information: 631-537-2271, townlinebbq.com

Ribs served at Townline BBQ in Sagaponack.

Ribs served at Townline BBQ in Sagaponack. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

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