DINING GUIDE: Beach Casual Dining at the Pines Canteen

By Bruce-Michael Gelbert

ON A RECENT EVENING, my spouse Joe and I, assisted by our comely server David, put together a hearty meal of the chicken BLT wrap, soft shell seared tuna tacos, with a brown rice bowl and arugula salad as sides. We dined outdoors on the deck, a fine perch for Harbor Walk people watching, with the beautiful harbor as a backdrop. Indoor seating is available as well.My sandwich wrap consisted of moist grilled chicken breast, crispy bacon, and fresh vegetables, accompanied by ranch dressing and pickle halves. Joe’s delicate tacos, more fork-and-knife than finger food, boasted bite-sized pink pieces of fish, slices of avocado, arugula, with sour cream, and pico de gallo. Available variations on the latter are hard instead of soft tacos, and chicken, pork, or beef in lieu of tuna. Both our main courses proved to be good, tasty choices.The steamed brown rice bowl came with sautéed vegetables and sweet-and-savory Thai peanut sauce to top it off. Joining the baby arugula in the salad were slices of green apple, walnuts, blue cheese crumbles, and red onion, dressed with tangy honey mustard vinaigrette, another agreeable combination. Each of these healthy selections could itself have constituted a satisfying midday meal. To wash down our dinner, I ordered diet Royal Crown cola and Joe chose Core organic watermelon lemonade that he said was refreshing.
Other possibilities could have been the quarter-pound beef burger on a pretzel roll; the Cubano sandwich of smoked pork, ham, and Swiss cheese; the black bean burger on a pretzel roll; the barbecued pulled pork sandwich; chicken wings, either a half or full dozen; or the chicken quesadilla. Sides of fries, chips and salsa, and apple slaw, or pickles are on the menu as well, as are add-ons to most any meal of bacon and avocado, grilled chicken and seared tuna.From a tempting case of dessert muffins and cookies, we chose two delicious David’s Cookies for the road, chewy oatmeal raisin and crunchy white chocolate macadamia nut.
The Canteen is also open for breakfast and brunch, with hearty choices like the breakfast burrito; farmer’s breakfast of eggs, bacon, or sausage; egg sandwich with either bacon or sausage and cheddar cheese; the Pines Boy omelet of egg whites, turkey, arugula, and salsa; and Swiss oatmeal with walnuts, raisins, brown sugar, and cinnamon.For a beach casual summer or early fall dinner in the Pines, try the Canteen on the Pines Harbor.The Canteen is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. • 631-597-6500Canteen Restaurant, Fire Island Pines