Cooler weather doesn’t have to mean the end of outdoor dining — and this season on Long Island, it won’t.
Fans of al fresco dining can stretch the season this year by having a meal in a unique and fun setting — be that a table for two in a romantic, candlelit courtyard or a family fun day on a funky down-on-the-farm setting made for Instagram.
Aside from restaurants with fire pits and igloos, here are some memorable ways you can dine out this season in an open-air atmosphere.
EAT IN A GREENHOUSE OR BUBBLE
Konoba (46 Gerard St., Huntington): Last February, Daniel Pedisich brought a taste of Croatia to downtown Huntington — now he’s serving tent-meets-igloo contraptions set up in front of the restaurant and its neighbors for dinner service Fridays and Saturdays. Each bubble holds six people and has a small heater. Inside, customers can control their bubble’s lighting and music via a Bluetooth speaker. Reservations recommended. Konoba also offers more traditional al fresco dining. More info: 631-824-7712, konobahuntington.com
ITA Kitchen (45 W. Main St., Bay Shore): This Italian restaurant will turn its side and back patios into outdoor dining wonderlands. Starting Nov. 1, patrons can dine within private greenhouses and igloos that can seat six to eight people. for two-hour time slots starting at 5 p.m. Both will feature mini chandeliers, lights, heaters and music that guests can largely control. While there’s no extra cost to eat in them during the week, reservations for two-hour slots cost $125-$150 Fridays-Sundays (includes first round of drinks; some exclusions apply). For reservations: 516-779-4293. More info: 631-267-5916, itakitchenbayshore.com
HAVE A LATE-SEASON LOBSTER PICNIC
Jordan Lobster Farms (1 Pettit Pl, Island Park): Lobster has long been the main attraction at this fish market and restaurant that’s been around for 45 years, but when we aren’t talking food, its outdoor patios steal the show. Overlooking Randall’s Channel, the patios are split into two sections: one with table service, one with self-serve seating. Order classics such as lobster, soups, oysters and lobster rolls to enjoy with a backdrop that includes the original Ferris wheel from Nunley’s Amusement Park in Baldwin. Live music on some nights, too. More info: 516-889-3314, jordanlobsterfarms.com
WINE AND DINE ON THE ROOF
Roslyn Social (1363 Old Northern Blvd., Roslyn): Nick Luisi and Sal Sorrentino have pivoted their original cocktails-first space to serve elevated pub food on a rooftop patio that seats up to 35 people. Offerings include fried Asian calamari, drunken vodka pizza, Champagne mushroom ravioli, lollipop lamb chops and fried chicken sandwiches. Not that you should overlook drinks, which include a spicy pineapple margarita, and fall-ready Bourbon Smash (with muddled berries, lemon juice ginger beer). Standing patio heaters warm the space for now but Luisi said he plans to add a tent and permanent heat by mid-October. Roslyn Social also has an uncovered outdoor area on the ground level that seats up to 20. More info: 516-801-4963, roslynsocial.com
BRING YOUR OWN BLANKET
Prohibition Kitchen (115 Main St., Port Jefferson): Owner Lisa Harris, who creates some of the most Instagram-worthy dishes and desserts seen on Prohibition Kitchen, East Main & Main and Torte Jeff’s social pages, is getting creative with a fall promo, too. Dubbed “Bottles and Blankets,” the promotion gets you $10 off a bottle of wine when you sit outside at one of the six picnic tables. Also part of the promo? You “can’t complain about the cold,” Harris jokes. Prohibition, which opened last year, is now offering outdoor dining for the first time. With that, comes table service. All of Prohibition’s wines are locally sourced and include Wolffer Estate’s Summer in A Bottle, Paumanok’s cabernet sauvignon and Macari’s sauvignon blanc. More info: 631-473-0613, prohibitionpj.com
GRAB A BITE AND A DRINK ON THE FARM
Lucharitos (177 Main St., Center Moriches): At Marc LaMaina’s down-on-the-farm incarnation of the mini-chain Lucharitos, there’s just over an acre of fun to be had by children and adults alike. The area consists of fields growing cherry tomatoes, string beans and okra, among other things; a chicken coop; an area for pumpkin picking; a section for kids that includes a playhouse; and a “barn stand cafe” that dishes out quick eats like croissants, muffins, churros and breakfast quesadillas, plus coffee, tea and juice. Two food trucks are on-site, too, as is its 1958 Airstream, available for private parties. For the adults — a bar and cornhole games. Choose your own dining adventure: Within a tented patio that will be enclosed with heat lamps; under a hut; in the field; on a patio under a pergola; or in front of the “barn.” A restaurant on the premises is due to The restaurant, located on premise, is due to open within the next couple of months. More info: 631-400-9625, lucharitos.com
GO ROMANTIC BY THE THEATER
Lola (113a Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck): What used to be a break room and storage area for staff at Lola’s has been transformed into a romantic patio complete with hanging lights and candles tucked into a brick wall. The area, converted for the first time into a patio, was made doable by the closing of Lola’s neighbor, Great Neck Cinemas. It seats up to 16 people so reservations (made at least four days in advance) are recommended. There’s also curbside seating in front of the restaurant for another 16 people. More info: 516-466-5666, restaurantlola.com
STAY TOASTY, EAT STEAK
Blackstone Steakhouse (10 Pinelawn Rd., Melville): Blackstone’s polished dining room extends outdoors to a garden patio that features heated bluestone flooring, a perk the restaurant has had since 2012. Electric fire pits, small patio heaters and a retractable roof (with lights strung from it), plus plenty of greenery give off a warm and cozy feeling. New this season, though, is a tented area that’s an extension of the garden patio. A third outdoor space — formerly the cigar lounge — has 10 tables and is unheated for now. Sister restaurant Rare 650 in Syosset, also has heated floors in its outdoor patio. More info: 631-271-7780, blackstonesteakhouse.com
EAT LIKE YOU’RE CAMPING OUT
Moby’s (341 Pantigo Rd., East Hampton): The restaurant is staying open at least through fall this year and is making the most of its four-acre property. Outdoor dining areas include a 40-seat covered patio with picnic tables, plus a garden area with a heated tent that seats up to 80. Elaborate outdoor lounge areas decked out with string lights, a fire pit, scattered heat lamps and lawn games add more options. Moby’s “Sicilian Room,” an open-air courtyard, is available for private dining for up to 10 guests. More info: 631-604-2227, mobysny.com
EAT WITH AMBIANCE
Amici (304 Route 25A, Mount Sinai): Scoring a table and a parking spot at this 25-year-old restaurant has never been easier. The restaurant’s 800 square-foot patio, which can seat up to 32 people, is now joined by a makeshift 4,000-square-foot outdoor dining area that’s set up with 30 tables. In-between both areas, a live band plays on Fridays and Saturdays from 6 to 9 p.m. Amici plans to add fire pits after every fourth table and more enclosed tents. Its new patio takes over some parking space, but the restaurant still has two parking lots available. More info: 631-473-2400, amicirestaurant.org
GO FOR ATMOSPHERIC PIZZA
Cena 081 (103 Post Ave., Westbury): Its outdoor patio offers an eyeful of attractions, from a moderately-sized waterfall to a wood-burning oven that churns out calzones, focaccia and pizza, including a Buffalo chicken bacon pizza, “Quatto Stagioni,” with capicollo, anchovies, olives and mushrooms, and an artichoke, spinach, Gorgonzola pizza. There are about 20 tables in the space, which has a fire pit in the center for extra warmth, plus an outdoor bar and TVs. A cooler-weather lounge area with about 20 tables features light music and some standing heaters. Another lounge area near the restaurant’s back door will be set up once the weather gets a bit cooler. More info: 516-385-3795.