Do you love to eat?

(Okay, what the heck kind of question is that, Amanda?) I know…keep reading.

Now that the beach days are over and my summer bod has officially gone back into hiding, I’m less conscious about choosing a salad for dinner and am much more inclined to lean towards the comfort food. I mean, life’s about enjoyment!

There’s also something to be said when you’re newly in a relationship for the first time in a while because date nights turn into contests of researching the best food spots in the area. The whole, “Let’s try a million restaurants!” thing suddenly becomes acceptable…right? My boyfriend and I have basically become self-proclaimed critics and food connoisseurs whenever we go out and I thought, why not share some of our finds with you guys! I narrowed down my list of several places to my top few favs! If you’re in the LI/NYC area, stop into these great spots, eat your heart out and let me know what you think!

1. The Good LifeMassapequa, NY 

If you’re a lover of pub-style fare, this place is for you. The Good Life is an English style pub eatery (hence the makeshift telephone booth covering the front entrance) that prides itself on its diverse menu and tap beer selection. I have to say they have one of the most eclectic and unique menus I’ve come across..you won’t find these dishes just anywhere and you’re guaranteed to find something for everyone (health freaks, I’m talking to you, too!). The vibe is casual, yet intimate and you don’t feel like you’re lost in the dark at some old dingy pub. Great place for a fun date night!

Must-tries: 

  • Pesto Spaghetti Squash (with chicken!)
  • Quinoa Salad Wrap 
  • The Mac Attack Burger
  • Mashed Potato Wontons 

2. Snaps American Bistro Wantagh, NY 

My mouth waters just thinking about this place! Snaps is a little on the pricier side but you’re definitely getting what you pay for. They also offer price fix menus on select nights during the week and brunch every Sunday from 12pm-3pm! If you’re looking for an interesting date night menu that will get you talking, you have to stop here. The food is fresh, the options are plenty and the cuisine is different. With a variety of 16 different types of burgers and unique gourmet entree options ranging from short rib Wellington and a lobster crusted fillet, there is no limit for your taste buds. If you have a more generic palate, don’t fear..there are plenty of generic options as well.

Must-tries:

  • Pumpkin Ravioli 
  • Mac Truck Burger
  • Truffle Parm Fries
  • DIY S’mores for dessert! (so cool!)

3. Grand Banks Hudson River ParkNYC

Before I went to Italy, my boyfriend set up a surprise daytime date for us in the city and took me to this gorg restaurant. It’s a great summer spot (I’m pretty certain they’re now closed for the off-season) but jot it down for future reference! A full service oyster bar and top-notch restaurant situated on an wooden Schooner from the 1940’s, Grand Banks makes for a very romantic and picturesque date idea. You’ll enjoy views of the New York Harbor, Hudson River and Freedom tower right from your table. Word of the wise-they are known for their seafood and lobster rolls, so if that’s not your thing..keep this in mind!However, if you’d like to go just for cocktails, you’ll still get the full experience and enjoy an awesome drink selection with an even better atmosphere.

Must-tries: 

  • Lobster Roll
  • French Fries (with spiced ketchup!)
  • Burrata
  • Revolucion Cocktail

4. BobbiquePatchogue, NY

If you know me, you know my allegiance to all things country and southern BBQ. I’ve been to Nashville twice and love a good spare rib 😉 Bobbique brings Tennessee comfort food right to Long Island and I’m so here for it. From their country fried chicken and steaks, to BBQ smothered ribs and baked cornbread, the cuisine is perfect for the times you’re in the mood for something other than just burgers or Italian. I especially like the ambiance…it’s as if you’ve stepped into a southern saloon with its rustic look and meals that are served on metal trays..super cute! Every time I’ve been there, there’s been a live band playing which at times can be a little loud if you’re trying to talk to someone across the table..but nonetheless, the food rises to the occasion and does not disappoint.

Must-tries:

  • St. Louis-style ribs
  • Half BBQ chicken
  • Fried Pickle Chips
  • Collard greens (this was my first time ever having these..amazing!)

5. STKNYC

So you’re feeling fancy, huh? If you’re looking for an actual night out (club/lounge vibes) coupled with an upscale steakhouse, STK is always the answer. (I’m a social butterfly/city-lover so this place is a favorite of mine) There are locations in both Midtown and Downtown, depending on where you feel like hanging out. I’d recommend making reservations beforehand because it does tend to get crowded, especially at night. STK offers the complete NYC nightlife experience and vibe, as well as an intimate setting for a date or couples’ night out. I enjoyed the rooftop view just as much as I enjoyed the food and would always recommend this spot to someone visiting the city from out of town! After dinner, you can hang out and enjoy drinks and music…and maybe dance if you’re like me!

Must-tries: 

  • Creamy Yukon Potatoes
  • NY Strip Steak
  • Shaved Brussels Sprouts
  • #thecloud (if you don’t know this dessert, take a look at my ‘Fun’ highlight on Instagram a few clicks in! Mind-blowing.) 

6. San Marzano’s Brick Oven Pizza – Merrick, NY

It seems they don’t have their own website as of yet..but let me tell you guys, San Marzano’s is not strictly just pizza. As a matter of fact, the restaurant took an extra piece of my heart because it was the most authentic Italian food (since I’ve been in Italy) that I’ve had since being home. The homemade pasta and signature touches on traditional dishes are things I have not commonly found when out to eat. I’d like to think a lot of their inspiration came straight from Italy….right down to the Pesca Te that they import !! If you read my post about my trip to Italy, you know that these novelties are only found across the sea!

Must-tries: 

  • Buffalo Chicken Pizza
  • Fried Calamari
  • Homemade Tagliatelle with Butternut Squash
  • Tiramisu 

I hope you enjoyed my little rendition of a restaurant review & the places I enjoy frequenting! If you stop by any of these spots, please give me a shout out and tell em’ who sent ya!

For even more food-inspired date ideas and awesome LI eats, check out my friends over on @nassau_bites!

With love,

Amanda

xo