Located in the former Ambassador Inn, this elegant French-Med restaurant features the cuisine of owner-chef Christian Mir, once the Executive Sous-chef at Tavern on the Green. Fresh fish and seafood highlight the menu, and each entree is paired with an array of fresh herbs and seasonal vegetables – for example, pan-seared flounder with leeks, asparagus, and lemon beurre blanc or braised Montauk lobster with lemon grass-basil broth. A word to the wise: don't overdo dinner, because homemade desserts are not to be missed. Reservations are suggested, especially on weekends.
It's worth driving to this quiet North Shore village to enjoy a meal at La Plage. Contemporary and unpretentious, the main dining room boasts local artwork, and large windows look out over the sandy, wind-swept shoreline. Entrees like honey and rosemary-glazed rack of lamb, sugar cane-spiked yellow fin tuna with mashed boniatos, cabernet-glazed pork chops, and chicken with feta polenta ensure that this Wading River restaurant won't soon be forgotten. Terrace dining is available. Reservations are encouraged.
Rated among the South Shore's top restaurants, this Bayport bistro specializes in traditional French fare, and its top-notch service and wine list never fail to impress. The dining room has the ambience of a quaint country inn, so diners feel right at home whether they're regulars or first-timers. Be sure to save room for dessert, because the sinful dishes are made from scratch each day and are sure to titillate the taste buds. Le Soir has limited seating, so it's best to arrive early if time is a factor.
One of LI's most highly acclaimed restaurants, Louis XVI boasts a waitstaff dressed to the nines, opulent decor reminiscent of a French palace, and breathtaking views of the Great South Bay. First courses include canape of sautéed duck foie gras and hand-cut yellow fin tartare; main courses range from roasted, farm-raised Moulard duck breast with black truffle mashed potatoes to Wellington of venison with wild mushroom duxelles and morel sauce. A prix fixe Sunday brunch offers an array of tempting delicacies from brioche French toast to braised pulled suckling pig. Reservations are a must.
Mirabelle, near Stony Brook Harbor, features the celebrated cuisine of owner-chef Guy Reuge, who hails from Normandy. Upscale yet unpretentious, the main dining room is simply and unobtrusively decorated, allowing diners to focus on the food rather than the decor. And that's just what patrons have done since the place debuted in the early '80s. Superbly done dishes include pan-fired black sea bass with sautéed squid, caramelized organic salmon with avocado-ramp custard and smoked potato purée, and roast loin of lamb. While prices aren't low, the prix fixe lunch menu allows you to enjoy a 3-course meal and glass of wine for $25. Impressive wine list. Reservations are suggested.
One of Long Island's more renowned restaurants, Barney's firmly stands on two principles: provide guests an elegant setting and serve traditional French fare that's nothing short of sublime. The menu is revised each season, so diners are always treated to meals prepared with the freshest ingredients. Dinner may begin with crab cakes over baby greens or truffle-laced risotto with forestiére mushroom caussolet before shifting to seared breast and confit-style leg of Long Island duckling, black sea bass with baby clams and lemon-roasted garlic broth, or seared Cervana venison with patty pans, pearl onions, and juniper demi-glace. Reservations are strongly encouraged.
A Manhasset stalwart since the Nixon years, La Coquille and its traditional French cuisine always manage to please regional and national critics alike. The dining room, contemporary and elegant, boasts original French Impressionist artwork. The menu features such alluring entrees as escalope of veal with sherry and pomme purée, rack of lamb with mustard crust, and frog legs with garlic and parsley sauce. Reservations strongly recommended.