Hotel restaurants

Long Island’s Best Hotel Restaurants

If I ever wanted to hide in plain sight, there’s a place few people would think to look. A place where business travelers congregate but locals less so, but where the chef could be a savvy master of scale and presentation.

This place is the hotel bar or restaurant in town, or in the neighboring town, where it sometimes feels like anything can happen or appear – from trysts to lemonade to pea flowers, from suite executives nursing martinis to a surprisingly tasty charred octopus. Heading off to a hotel for dinner, without actually staying there, is a mini-adventure too rarely practiced (although room service is also one of life’s great pleasures).

Here are a handful of hotels dotted across Long Island that are places to hide, listen, daydream, and feast on surf and turf dumplings or shakshouka and a Tito’s Bloody Mary.

This list, ranked in ascending order by experience, is far from exhaustive, but a starting point from which you can create your own getaway, if only for a meal.

5. Hotel Allegria (80 W. Broadway, Long Beach): The dining room at this decade-old hotel is in transition, but the circular L’Onda bar, as always, offers direct views of the boardwalk and a lively cast of characters ( the evening of my visit, a speed dating event was in full swing). Bar food is the appropriate food for this adventure, like the bonito-dusted wings ($16) with kimchi or the commendable Allegria burger slathered in American cheese and shallot jam ($20). (For the pescatarians, there’s a crabcake burger). The pours are heavy, the people watching are (sort of) gratuitous. More info: 516-889-1300, allegriahotelny.com

Wings of Kung Pao at the L’Onda bar of the Allegria hotel in Long Beach.
Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

4. Preston House Hotel and Restaurant (428 Main St., Riverhead): Just weeks ago, chef Dmytro Guydash took over the reins of this beautiful Riverhead hotel whose restaurant is housed in a 117-year-old home once owned by the county’s first sheriff of Suffolk. A cozy, mirrored bar, wraparound porch, and light-filled patio are the setting for hearty, lush bites like charred octopus over new potatoes and roasted tomatoes ($22) with piquillo-pepper sauce, a duck tortelli pesto with a squash and mushroom delicata ragout ($38) or raw tuna with strawberries and a habanero-yuzu emulsion ($22). Cocktails are studies in balance, like the Cherry Blossom, which blends tequila, grapefruit, grenadine and lime in a new take on a drink that has taken many forms over the centuries. More information: 631-775-1550, theprestonhouseandhotel.com

Charred octopus with potato and tomato at The Preston House...

Charred octopus with potatoes and tomatoes at Preston House in Riverhead.
Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

3. Garden City Hotel (45 Seventh St., Garden City): In the 80s, my parents hired a babysitter so they could dance the night away here. Over thirty years later, the legendary nightclub vibe may have mellowed, but the cuisine still peaks with dry-aged chops and an epic weekend brunch that rings in at $110 per nobody. Executive chef David Burke oversees the three venues here, the opulent Red Salt Room and the dim King Bar among them. It’s the Patio Bar, on the hotel’s lawn, that’s a penultimate venue, a golden spot of plush seating, lush surroundings and an offbeat bar menu. Chef Anup Patwal channels his global experience as a chef in India, Italy and New York into dishes such as cumin-flavored crabmeat on crispy semolina puffs ($29), alongside a tomato and fennel gazpacho. There are also arancini, Blue Points “dressed” with pickled stone fruits and shrimp. and summer drinks galore, such as passion fruit mojitos and strawberry lemonade spiked with pea blossom-infused vodka. More info: 877-549-0400, gardencityhotel.com/dining

Crab in shell and pea flower lemonade at Le Patio...

Crab in the shell and pea flower lemonade at the Garden City Hotel’s Patio Bar.
Credit: Linda Rosier

2. Baron’s Cove Restaurant (31 W. Water St., Sag Harbor): Steps from the heart of Sag Harbor, this place feels like its own universe. The doors to the second-floor dining room terrace open onto the sailboats, and during the golden hour, the entire space – from the cobalt-blue water glasses to the ice of your Aperol spritz – seems lit up. inside. Executive Chef Nicholas Vogel has been leading the ship since 2020, and his cuisine relies heavily on local farmers, growers, and fishermen, as well as herbs, vegetables, and edible flowers from the hotel’s garden. Think plates of Peeko oysters, chunky Salad Niçoise made with locally-caught tuna ($38), seared sea scallops drizzled with pistachios, or blackened Montauk swordfish ($46) in a citrus beurre blanc. If a spritz isn’t enough, when dinner is over, there’s probably still an effervescent scene raging in the downstairs bar. More info: 631-725-2100, caperesorts.com/barons-cove/dining

Seared scallops at Baron's Cove in Sag Harbor.

Seared scallops at Baron’s Cove in Sag Harbor.
Credit: Gordon M. Grant

1. The gallery cafe inside the Gallery Hotel (437 Main St., Greenport): This, the smallest spot on the list, is the former home of the KonTiki Lounge (it’s now across the street), but this spring chefs Cheo Avila and Ryan Barth-Dwyer also started cooking for Earl(plus)Bird. Mediterranean and Middle Eastern sensibilities form a sumptuous brunch-breakfast experience that meets everyone wherever they are, from the most health-conscious (overnight oats with dates and major berries, $9 or salmon shawarma, $21) hangover (simmered eggs in yogurt garlic, red peppers and mint yogurt, called Heavenly Egg Nest, $18). If you’ve never had carrot jam, the $35 breakfast is your chance (it comes with a dozen other extras, from labneh to homemade beef sausage). Umbrellas provide shade in the pretty back garden and Tito’s Bloody Maries help with lounging. More information: 631-477-4000, galeriecafeny.com

Island Shawarma, Norwegian salmon, cucumber, parsley, tomato, avocado, red onion,...

Island Shawarma, Norwegian salmon, cucumber, parsley, tomato, avocado, red onion, yogurt and garlic-tahini dressing at Gallery Cafe in Greenport.
Credit: Randee Daddona