Photo courtesy of Linda Laban
From the point where the waters of Block Island Sound meet Long Island Sound on the Connecticut side, to where Long Island Sound meets the Atlantic Ocean on the New York side, these great eateries are year-round options for varied coastal dining.
Photo courtesy of Read McKendree
The Halyard - Greenport, New York
When it comes to views, The Halyard is hard to beat. Only a sliver of sand separates the waterfront restaurant on Long Island’s North Fork from the water. Tucked inside the Sound View, a boutique hotel dating to the 1930s, The Halyard’s nautical-inspired interior has floor-to-ceiling windows and a cozy fireplace – and leads onto an outdoor deck.
The seasonally changing menu is inspired by fresh produce and seafood from the North Fork and the Atlantic seaboard. The North Fork’s excellent, many sustainable vineyards are featured along with local beers: pair a Paumanok sauvignon blanc with a biodynamic salad of crisp greens, baked aubergine and pickled radish, or a spicy Thai-style sweet potato salad with crunchy peanuts, cilantro and whipped coconut cream.
Photo courtesy of Linda Laban
Mix Rooftop & Bar - Mystic, Connecticut
This second-floor rooftop restaurant and bar from Food Network's "Best Baker in America" winner Adam Young sits atop his extremely popular Sift Bake Shop in Mystic.
What this fun lounge space lacks in water views, it makes up for with a boisterous atmosphere and a delicious tapas style menu. Pair a local mushroom tart – topped with Narragansett ricotta and lavished with truffle oil and caramelized onion – with a cocktail or glass of wine with the optional fresh fruit popsicle add-on. So fun!
Photo courtesy of Conor Harrigan
North Fork Table & Inn - Southold, New York
This fabled foodie haunt set in an old country house swaps water views for the bucolic atmosphere of sleepy (outside of high summer) Southold. Surrounded by farms and wineries, Michelin-starred chef and owner John Fraser’s menu at North Fork Table & Inn is alive with exquisite plant-based dishes, such as tempura corn with nori or grilled maitake with a tomato miso risotto.
Also try chilled North Fork oysters with a wildflower mignonette or fragrant amaranth plancha-cooked Shinnecock scallops with English pea aioli and an anise hyssop syrup.
Photo courtesy of Candace Engdall
Fresh Salt - Old Saybrook, Connecticut
Set on an idyllic marina at the point where the mighty Connecticut River empties into the Long Island Sound, you can eat and drink right by the water at Fresh Salt. And, if you have one, moor your boat on the marina. The restaurant's interior has a natural fieldstone fireplace and French windows with water views. There's also an extensive patio curving around its marina.
The menu includes New England seafood classics and contemporary dishes like a silky, spicy salmon crudo bowl with soft avocado and edamame, or grilled swordfish topped with crab, avocado and cherry tomatoes served over quinoa.
Photo courtesy of Shell & Bones Oyster Bar & Grill/Daniel Kay
Shell & Bones Oyster Bar & Grill - New Haven, Connecticut
As its name so wittily suggests, this stylish waterfront spot in New Haven’s historic City Point area is all about seafood, steak and a raw bar. Shell & Bones features an extensive wine and beer list highlighting local Connecticut vineyards and breweries too.
An indoor fireplace and outdoor fire pits warm up diners during chillier seasons, when a steaming bowl of New England chowder is called for. On those steamy summer days, cool down with the day’s East Coast oysters and Shell and Bones’ rum-forward sangria.
Photo courtesy of Doug Young
La Fin Kitchen & Lounge - Montauk, New York
This beautiful seaside dining destination, offering French-inspired cuisine on the New York shoreline, sits where the Sound mingles with the Atlantic Ocean, right on Montauk Harbor. La Fin, just next to Gosman’s Dock – a little enclave of shops, fish market and veteran diner – brings a splash of South-of-France chic to Long Island’s most eastern part.
Dine on a summer ratatouille made with fresh local tomatoes and laced, unusually, with thyme, or coriander-steamed local fluke scented with ginger, scallion and cilantro with brown rice noodles.
Photo courtesy of Linda Laban
Nana's Bakery and Pizza - Mystic, Connecticut
While in Mystic, you'll be spoilt for dining choices – it’s a foodie haven. And the best pizzas in Mystic, or anywhere for that matter, are found at Nana’s, an unassuming cafe by a saltwater pond, an offshoot from the Sound. Nana’s offers the same farm-to-table freshness found at owners' 85th Day Food Community’s Oyster Club, Engine Room et al.
There are breads, pastries, made-to-order hot doughnuts and sourdough pizzas (like the roasted sweet potato, kale pesto and pine nut), all made with organic northeast grown grain, milled onsite to create the tastiest, most nutritious flour. There’s also house-made kombucha and seriously good coffee to go with those hot-from-the-pan doughnuts.
Photo courtesy of Claudio's on Main Restaurant
Claudio's On Main - Greenport, New York
Claudio’s claims that this restaurant was issued the first liquor license by the State of New York in 1899. Fact or fiction, for over 150 years, Claudio’s has been cooking on the North Fork.
A grand reopening in 2021 revealed the renovated main restaurant and its new veranda, which is part of Claudio’s four-venue complex which also includes a pizza shop. In the main restaurant, amongst the Italian-American classic meat and seafood dishes, a farro risotto with English peas, heirloom carrots and baby zucchini is a vehicle for the innovation of plant-based vegan parmesan made from nutritional yeast.
Photo courtesy of Full House Hospitality Group
OKO - Westport, Connecticut
This sister restaurant to OKO in Rye, New York lies on the Saugatuck River, just before it enters Long Island Sound. At either restaurant, local farm produce and local fish augment international catches and ingredients, blending together to create traditional Japanese cuisine, particularly sushi.
Among the sake choices is New York City-brewed Brooklyn Kura sake on tap. Along with fishy favorites are the beet and citrus salad bathed in a tahini, jalapeño and sake dressing; the crispy potato and mushroom hand roll; and a chef’s selection of sharable, lightly battered tempura veggies.
Photo courtesy of Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik - New Rochelle, New York
Dubrovnik is a rarity anywhere, let alone on the Sound. Located on the Westchester shoreline, a couple of blocks from the water, Dubrovnik, a two-time Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient, offers a taste of the Adriatic Sea and features Croatian cuisine.
Big on game and fish, the menu also includes hearty specialties like pašta fažol (a bean and pasta stew) and varivo od mahuna (a hearty bean soup). It can all be enjoyed indoors or outside on their patio.