3 Date Night Itineraries to Explore Long Island This Winter

Because all the best love stories include laser light shows set to the music of Queen, craft beer, and raw oysters.

Sunday night is Buck-a-Shuck oysters at The Bell & Anchor in Sag Harbor. • Photo by Lindsay Morris

Not only bears hibernate. I have this realization every year, as soon as February hits and I realize 90% of my weekends have lately been reduced to fleece pajamas and soups cooked in my slow cooker for hours, hours I’ve passed on my couch happily in the grips of whatever show I’m binging that day on Netflix.

Next comes a slight existential panic. Was I really born to wear a fleece onesie during the daytime? Am I officially that person? And then I am forced to admit that, yes, it is daytime; and, yes, I am wearing a fleece onesie; and, yes, if the onesie fits… This is how I know it’s time to plan a Dead of Winter Date Night.

If you find yourself in a similar position, allow me to offer you some advice. Here are three winter date itineraries to help you get out of the house—and actually enjoy it.

Nassau County

But first: Coffee

I once saw an older woman unironically wearing a t-shirt that read, “Life is short. East dessert first.” And while I wouldn’t trust this woman for fashion advice (or would I?), I do believe she’s onto something when it comes to eating.

So today we’re going to begin our date at The Witches Brew in West Hempstead. Go for the excellent lattes and vegan cheesecake, stay for the heavy dollop of nostalgia. Bonus points if you or your date used to spend your Friday and Saturday nights here when you were younger.

Time to dine

Now that dessert is out of the way, it’s time for dinner. Head over to the Roosevelt Field Mall (just a 10 minute drive away) and stop into Tom Colicchio’s new restaurant inside it, Small Batch.

Small Batch offers expertly prepared food, made beautifully with locally sourced ingredients. Don’t leave before trying the Whipped Ricotta Toast, or the Bull Moose cocktail, made with local rye.

Back to the Barn

No one held it against you when you never went to Barclay’s to cheer on the Islanders. Getting there was such a hassle; who could blame you? But now that the Islanders have actually returned to the Island after which they’re named, it’s time to show them some love.

End your winter date night in some orange and blue—and if you have room, enjoy some of the concession offerings the Coliseum has to offer. So many local eateries—from Smokin’ Al’s to Umberto’s—are represented in their concourse. Just don’t forget to wash it all down with a pint of their new Long Island Love lager, made in collaboration with Oyster Bay Brewing.

Suffolk County

Do It for the Gram

Begin your Suffolk County date night at Robke’s Country Inn in Northport, a restaurant recently made Instagram famous after a picture of their fan-favorite Fried Mozzarella Tower went (rightfully) viral.

But Robke’s is so much more than one appetizer. Serving excellent Italian food in a warm, cozy setting, Robke’s offers excellent drinks and plentiful specials. Don’t be afraid to try something new here; I’ve personally been to Robke’s several times and they’ve never let me down.

Here for the Beer

From Robke’s head up into Northport Village for a pint or tasting flight at Sand City Brewing Co. This beloved brewery is renowned for their IPAs, so don’t leave without tasting at least a few of them.

To the Moon and Back

Lend new meaning to the phrase “Love you the moon and back” by ending your night at the Vanderbilt Planetarium in neighboring Centerport. On Friday nights, the planetarium offers three shows: Long Island Skies (at 8:00 p.m.), Incoming! (at 9:00 p.m.), and a laser light show set to Pink Floyd’s The Wall (at 10:00 p.m.).

On Saturdays, there is Night Sky: Live! (at 8:00 p.m.), Incoming (at 9:00 p.m.), and a laser light show set to Queen (at 10:00 p.m.).

Just note: If you choose to attend a laser Queen showing, don’t be surprised if you see a certain Edible editor and her husband playing air guitar at the end of the first row.

East End

Photo by Lindsay Morris

Shuck Yes

Begin your Sunday night in Sag Harbor. There, every Sunday, The Bell & Anchor offers $1 Montauk Pearls from 5:30 p.m. to close. So order as many as you think you and your date can handle, and wash all the aphrodisiacs down with one of the restaurant’s beloved barrel aged cocktails. Just don’t be surprised if you’re inspired to snap a photo of your glass; Bell & Anchor’s boulevardier recently appeared on the cover of our celebration issue.

Out (far) East

Next, head to dinner at Bridgehampton’s Almond Restaurant. This eatery is one of our favorites all year, but we especially love it in the winter.

Don’t leave before trying the Bacon Ramen, Lamb Pho, or a reservation for your return. There’s no way you’ll be able to try everything you want to in just one visit.

Photo by Lindsay Morris

Time for a Night Cap

Not ready for your night to end just yet? Head over to the nearby Bridgehampton Inn for creative, impeccable cocktails. There you’ll find bar manager and master mixologist Kyle Fengler, whom our own Kelly Ann Smith beautifully profiled in our 2017 drinks issue. Tell him what flavors you like and watch on as he mixes up the drink of your dreams. Cheers to a delicious date night—and finally pulling yourself out of hibernation.

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Meghan Harlow

Meghan is the editor of Edible East End and Edible Long Island.