Dock and Dine

The best places to motor for seaside dining, from Hampton Bays to Montauk.
An alfresco meal waterside soothes the spirit.

By Beth Landman

During the pandemic, many people took to the water to seek privacy and dodge the perils of living in close quarters on land. The attraction of seafaring vessels has stayed with us even after restrictions were lifted. One joy of being afloat out East is that there are some excellent dining spots where you can dock nearby and dine, or have a meal delivered right to your craft. Below, some of our favorite waterfront spots from Hampton Bays to Montauk.

RUMBA Island Inspired Cuisine & Rum Bar

Feel like you’ve escaped to an island on your cruiser at this popular Caribbean-inspired spot that plays reggae music and pours colorful handcrafted rum libations. Duck empanadas with spicy queso; chili-rubbed pork tenderloin with apricot-ginger glaze, coconut risotto and plantains; and Jamaican peppercorn-crusted swordfish are among the flavorful dishes. 43 Canoe Place Rd., Hampton Bays;
rumbahamptonbays.com

The Station Bar

The one-time dive bar on Shinnecock Bay where fisherman would gather has become a lively spot with music on weekends and interesting menu options. Sit at an outdoor picnic table and sample adventurous fare like prosciutto-wrapped shrimp with melon and mint relish, red pepper-infused olive oil and balsamic foam; a half avocado stuffed with chicken fajita and peppers, then baked; or a Cajun caramel-blackened mahi Reuben. There are a couple of parking spots for boats, and paddleboard rentals for those who haven’t brought their own seaworthy transport. 22 Shinnecock Rd., Hampton Bays;  thestationbarhamptons.com

Fresh local steamers from Salt in Shelter Island.

Salt 

There is a casual New England feel at this upbeat spot on Shelter Island, which serves beachy favorites from lobster rolls to fish tacos. Sushi rolls, salads and burgers are also on the menu, and in the evening there are larger plates like steak frites and pan-roasted chicken with polenta. 63 S. Menantic Rd., Shelter Island; saltshelterisland.com

Case’s Place 

Picture windows overlook Little Peconic Bay and there are nearly 40 slips for docking at this North Fork fish house. Start with marinated grilled shrimp or mini fish or pork tacos; move on to fried seafood baskets, crab sandwiches or daily fish specials. The cauliflower-crusted seafood pizza is a standout, and burgers range from lamb to veggie. 650 1st St., New Suffolk; casesplace.com

The Restaurant at Baron’s Cove

This hotel in bustling Sag Harbor has a perfect perch from which to view the bay and massive yachts nearby. Executive Chef Nicholas Vogel can prepare a meal—if the restaurant’s not too busy—for you to bring on board if you prefer to dine on deck. Among his menu options are broiled oysters with charred scallion butter and fennel breadcrumbs; vegetarian pasta with local farm ingredients; grilled cauliflower steak with citrus labneh and salsa verde; char-grilled whole catch of the day; and New York strip with Amagansett sea salt. 31 W. Water St., Sag Harbor; caperesorts.com/barons-cove/dining

Bright wicker furniture and tranquil pastels line the deck at Le Bilboquet.

Le Bilboquet 

If the dining room and outdoor veranda of the uber popular French restaurant are too packed, you can always be part of the action from just steps away aboard your craft, where you can still enjoy sea bass with apple-celery puree; gnocchi with morels and asparagus; and chicken paillard with quinoa and kale salad. 1 Long Wharf, Sag Harbor;
lebilboquetsag.com

Lobster rolls and fresh cut fries at Bostwick’s on the Harbor.

Bostwick’s on the Harbor

Back in its original home on Three Mile Harbor, the waterfront location of this longtime favorite seafood spot, which is open Thursdays through Mondays, is next to a marina that serves transient boats from 9 to 5. Apart from steamed lobster and other classics, there are daily fish specials, which are always extremely fresh and expertly prepared. 39 Gann Rd., East Hampton; bostwicksontheharbor.com

Sí Sí

Spectacular sunsets from a craft or the large outdoor deck are a major draw of this waterfront location, which includes an expansive marina. The restaurant opened this season, and large plates such as whole roasted branzino, grilled lobster and tomahawk chop will feed your whole crew on board. The menu is available to those who dock at the marina. Boaters can also order via QR code. 295 Three Mile Harbor Hog Creek Rd., East Hampton; ehpresort.com/sisi

Come ashore to Navy Beach for an eclectic dinner menu.

Navy Beach

If you call to reserve, you can anchor your boat by the beach on Ft. Pond Bay, and the restaurant’s tender will bring you to shore. Try the roasted sea scallops with corn succotash, or a burger with bacon-onion marmalade and cheddar. 16 Navy Rd., Montauk;
navybeach.com

Sip and savor light summer fare on the beach at Duryea’s.

Duryea’s Montauk

An app allows you to order directly to your boat from this legendary restaurant, which offers one of the most spectacular vistas on the East End. Instagram-worthy dishes include lobster Cobb salad, Greek melon salad and whole grilled octopus. 65 Tuthill Rd., Montauk; duryeas.com