If there’s a better season than soup season, I don’t want to know about it. Winter may seem interminable, but I’m here to tell you that it isn’t really that bad. When else can you look forward to a foray into Long Island’s best soups? Whether it’s spicy or simple you like, Long Island has a soup for you. Here are just a few of our favorites.
The French Onion Soup at Rowdy Hall
Here’s a mistake I make every single time I order this soup (which is often): I order it as an appetizer. This soup, however, is not an appetizer. What it is, actually, is a cheesy, melty, gooey, carbohydrate rich meal. Served in a large crock and hot too the touch from the salamander, this perfect soup promises to rip the skin off the roof of your mouth if you fail to give it enough time. You know who you are. There are other onion soups on the Island, sure, but there is no onion soup as superlative as this one.
Rowdy Hall, 10 Main Street, East Hampton, (631) 324.8555, open Sunday through Thursday, 12 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The Roast Duck Noodle Soup at Splendid Noodle
Joe Chi, the Southern Chinese immigrant responsible for Queens’ Lan Zhou Handmade Noodle, is also responsible for this excellent Stony Brook outporst, Splendid Noodle. Delightfully chewy wheat noodles are pulled by hand and served in a hot broth of your liking. Although some may quibble about which soup is the best of the bunch, I’m a hardcore proponent of the roast duck noodle soup, which arrives in a star anise-scented broth and with pink pieces of fanned duck breast on top—but just about any of the, ahem, splendid soups on offer at Splendid Noodle will do in a pinch.
Splendid Noodle, 1320 Stony Brook Road, Stony Brook, (631) 675.6725, open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 12 to 10 p.m.
The Lobster Bisque at Emanuel’s
This new-to-the-scene Northport restaurant is good at a good many things, not the least of which is their lobster bisque. It’s a rich and creamy homage to the sea, topped with a far-more-than-adequate helping of fresh lobster meat, a veritable hockey puck amid a sea of soup. For those wary of bisque, sometimes a cheap way out of serving a luxury item, know that this one is the real deal. Lobster, lobster, and more lobster make this soup the one I want to curl up with, all winter long.
Emanuel’s, 1014 Fort Salonga Road, Northport, (631) 239.2221, open Monday through Thursday, 4 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 4 to 11 p.m., Sunday 4 to 9 p.m.
The Minestrone Soup at Cittanuova
You may not think Cittanuova, in East Hampton, when you think of Long Island’s best soups—but their minestrone is the thing I dream about on cold winter nights. The soup has a host of different vegetables (peas, green beans, zucchini), beans, and pasta, all suspended in a pitch-perfect tomato broth. It’s hearty and filling, but it’s also a healthful option—which isn’t to say that you can’t opt for the fusilloni afterwards (because you totally can).
Cittanuova, 29 Newtown Lane, East Hampton, (631) 324.6300, open Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The Phở Tái Nạm Gầu Gân Sách at Saigon Casa
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No matter what time of day or night, a steaming bowl of pho noodle soup is never hard to find in Vietnam. Pho is Vietnamese unofficial national dish, exported with pride all over the world. Pho consists of flat rice noodles in a light, meat-based broth. The dish is usually accompanied by basil, lime, chili and other extras on the side so that eaters can season the soup to their own taste. #pho #beefnoodlesoup🍲 #vietnamesefood #saigoncasa
First of all, phở is one of the best soups in the world. Second of all, there is no second of all. At Saigon Casa, in Port Jefferson, soup lovers have a wide array of noodley choices at their disposal. As for me, I go for the phở tái nạm gầu gân sách, which is rice vermicelli in a beef broth topped with tripe, rare steak, brisket, flank, and beef tendon. Less adventurous eaters—I know, tripe’s not for everyone—will find less daring options. Still, the phở tái nạm gầu gân sách is as traditional as the Vietnamese soup comes, and it’s also the kind of soul-nurturing food that can raise even the lowest of spirits.
Saigon Casa, 4747 Nesconset Highway, Port Jefferson Station, (631) 509.1000, open Wednesday through Monday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.