When it comes to dining by the water, the ocean, straits and bays get all the attention. But while Long Island is hardly known for its inland waterways, we have our share of rivers and creeks — and there’s no better way to enjoy them than by dining on their shores.
Turkuaz Grill (40 McDermott Ave., Riverhead): Originally called River Head, the county seat of Suffolk is located where the Peconic River empties into Peconic Bay. The town has built a lovely promenade along the water and just a stone’s throw away is Turkuaz, a Turkish restaurant with good food, views and even bird watching. Munch on a vibrant shepherd’s salad and an assortment of meze, or small plates, homemade gyro and juicy skewers. The creamy sutlac (rice pudding) provides an optimal conclusion. More information: 631-591-1757, turkuazgrillriverhead.com
Claws Seafood Market (20 Montauk Hwy., West Sayville): The mighty Green Creek stretches nearly two miles from the Great South Bay north to West Sayville and along its western shore is Claws, one of the best fish markets on Long Island. Claws also has an outdoor dining area where you can set up a picnic table or umbrella and order from a menu that includes steamers, mussels, lobsters and hard-shell crabs from Maryland-style. Claws serves Long Island’s largest and most expensive lobster roll — over a pound of meat for $85.95 — as well as two smaller versions. Even if you plan to go home, also buy fresh fish; the staff are happy to pack it with ice to keep it cold in your car. More information: 631-256-5900, clawsseafoodmarket.com
La Buena Vida (714 Montauk Hwy., Moriches): When Tom Freck, owner of Portside Bar & Grill in Port Jefferson, first saw the sprawling property overlooking the Forge River in Moriches, he envisioned a Spanish restaurant specializing in seafood. sea. It has built a series of equally sprawling bridges along the lazy tree-lined shore and here you can enjoy tapas such as seafood-stuffed mushrooms, chorizo sausages sautéed in white wine, ham and potato croquettes and pulpo (octopus) a la Gallega (Galcian style, with paprika and olive oil) and a la plancha (grilled). Main courses include mariscada (seafood stew) and paella. More information: 631-909-1985, labuenavidaspanishrestaurant.com