Rumba and Cowfish: Dinner With Water Views

Cowfish Restaurant in Hampton Bays.
Cowfish Restaurant in Hampton Bays.

I wonder what foodie adventures Columbus Day weekend will bring as I recall Labor Day fondly…

Labor Day presented us with clouds and a chance of rain, but that didn’t stop me from finding the perfect place to enjoy great company, good food and live music. As I sat in Greenport having my lunch at Bruce & Sons, I began planning dinner reservations. I called several restaurants that would offer a memorable experience with my family and friends. To my dismay, several of them canceled their live music—except one!

CowFish, located in Hampton Bays in the Indian Cove Marina delights with its 360° views of blue water and boat crossings, while you enjoy a scrumptious meal. There are several different types of seating available. Downstairs on the lawn are Adirondack chairs facing the water and located on the patio are modern outdoor couches you can sink into. There’s also an outdoor bar with ample seating. If you prefer to sit inside, you have a choice of a dining area on the first floor and a second cozy bar upstairs, where bands play. I chose to sit upstairs, outside on the balcony.

I began by ordering the Hampton Bays #1 Clam Chowder. As I slurped down this marvelous appetizer, I noticed the horizon changing. It appeared as though the sun might peak at us at any moment. For dinner I ordered the Tuna Poke. I couldn’t believe that they had sushi on the menu. It consisted of tuna, strawberries, macadamia nuts, avocado and mango in a sweet chili sauce, topped with pineapple pesto and goodie goodie sauce. While waiting for my dinner, the view over the water had changed to fog, creating a sense of mystery. By the time dinner arrived, the sun had set and I could not see what I was eating, which heightened my experience immensely. Next time you enjoy a meal out, try closing your eyes as you eat.

CowFish doesn’t just stop there! You can take a shuttle boat that offers you a scenic five-minute ride to their sister restaurant, Rumba. The Caribbean décor there makes you feel like you’re on vacation as you sip on their sangria and Rumba Punch. Rumba offers a relaxed environment with a simple menu consisting of seafood, steaks and chicken. The interior is filled with comfortable, picnic-style tables with a small bar right when you walk in. Rumba offers Mojito Mondays, half-priced appetizers every day during happy hour and live music on Thursday nights. Listening to the acoustic reggae music transports you to a faraway land of fun and laughter. When I visit, I always order the three different tacos. The Jerk Chicken Taco is topped with a mango papaya honey salsa. The Calypso Steak Taco is marinated in pineapple and topped with purple onion and cilantro, and the Smothered Pulled Rib Taco is topped with their house BBQ sauce, cilantro and fried onion. I don’t know anywhere else I can go on Long Island that offers such a variety. There’s even a fish taco served with island slaw and rémoulade. Besides offering a dessert of the day, Rumba has key lime pie, my favorite, and of course, a hot fudge sundae garnished with sugar pecans. Rumba offers its island inspired cuisine and its rum bar all year round.

Whether you begin your evening at CowFish with a margarita listening to the blues or at Rumba with a specialty rum punch and the sound of reggae, you will definitely be left with a lasting impression of beautiful, ocean-blue waters, landscaped gardens and satisfying dishes. What’s also great is you can get to both CowFish and Rumba by land or sea. It’s like taking a vacation for a day. I highly recommend it, especially if you’re looking to have a night out with a group of friends or to celebrate an occasion with family.

CowFish Restaurant, 258 East Montauk Hwy, Hampton Bays, 631-594-3868,
Rumba, 43 Canoe Place Road, Hampton Bays, 631-594-3544

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