There are so many great things to eat during the summer on Long Island. Here are my top five.
1. Peach Pie from Lenny Bruno Farms in Manorville: On Wading River Road right off the LIE, Lenny Bruno Farms has been making delicious homemade pies for years. I stopped there on my way back from the Long Island Aquarium in the beginning of the summer, and they were still bringing out hot pies at 5 p.m! The smell was heavenly. There were so many different kinds to choose from, but I settled on an amazing peach pie. So delicious, and the crust was perfect.
2. Appetizers at Oheka Castle: Did you know there is a restaurant open to the public at Oheka Castle in Cold Spring Hills? It truly is a hidden gem, and the food and service is excellent. On a budget? Just get appetizers. The portions are very generous, and they’re great for sharing. Friends of mine came in from North Carolina and we wanted to show them Long Island’s Gold Coast. We toured the castle and then had a delicious array of appetizers including a delicate tempura shrimp, crab cakes that were so divine, a creamy mac and cheese, and delicious duck spring rolls. I highly recommend them all.
3. Squash blossom ravioli with zucchini pesto: Fabulous! These homemade ravioli, made by Sal Baldanza of Mr. Sausage in Huntington, are only available for about three weeks when zucchini blossoms are in season. I had them twice in July! The first time I drizzled them with extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil. So good! Since I’ve had an abundance of zucchini this summer, the second time I had the ravioli I made a homemade zucchini pesto. Basically it’s basil pesto with a cup or two of chopped zucchini blended in. You have to try it!
4. Coconut ice cream with hot fudge at Northport Sweet Shop: Tuesdays in August are Family Nights on Main Street, Northport, and my first stop has always been the Northport Sweet Shop, owned by Pete Panarites. All his ice cream is homemade using recipes passed down from his parents. Pete’s father George came from Greece and settled in Northport in 1929 where he opened the shop. Today, this ice cream parlor and luncheonette is as popular as ever. Nothing tastes more like summer than a refreshing scoop of homemade coconut ice cream. If you are in the area, definitely get some.
5. Lobster roll and white sangria at Ocean: On my second trip back to Ocean in Bayville, I ordered the lobster roll and some white sangria. The lobster roll was so fresh and meaty, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a better sangria. It was refreshing and filled with lots of fruit. It was the perfect lunch to have in a magnificent setting overlooking the Long Island Sound.
It just goes to show you that you don’t need to travel far to get great summer food. Everything you could possibly want is right here on Long Island.