Ristorante Cinque Terre, Jericho Turnpike, Huntington
Worth the 5 minute ride out of the heart of Huntington Village, Cinque Terre is my new favorite in Huntington! This neighborhood gem serves up expertly prepared food in an exquisite atmosphere, for a reasonable price. We went for lunch and were pleasantly surprised at the reasonably priced lunch menu. We were seated in an elegant dining room filled with crystal chandeliers - one of five beautiful dining rooms at Cinque Terre, including a ballroom which can hold up to 150 guests. Perfect for any party, large or small! We started with an appetizer of Fresh Fig and Prosciutto Parma, served with sweet caramelized strawberries and balsamic glaze which left me speechless. The Farm Fresh Mozzarella Burrata appetizer was oozing with creaminess, and topped with a light pesto, served with arugula and tomato. I'd go back just for this! The entreé of Mushroom Risotto was cooked perfectly from the al dente, creamy and tender arborio rice to the spectacular choice of mushrooms. Finally, a pasta dish made with hand crafted pouches of fresh pasta filled with gorgonzola and walnuts in a garlic cream sauce was simply unbelievable. Can't wait to go back for dinner! If you live or work in the neighborhood, put Cinque Terre on your list of favorites - its not only a special occasion destination!!!
Hush Bistro, Main Street, Farmingdale NY
So, there's a new guy in Town of Farmingdale and he's making quite a splash these days!! Chef Marc Anthony Bynum (2x winner of Chopped) has opened his first restaurant in my home town, our own burgeoning food mecca on the South Shore. [After all, Huntington does not have to claim every restaurant on LI!] Hush Bistro boasts an innovative menu highlighting local & organic flavors enhanced by traditional & new cooking techniques. They do not disappoint! I was so excited to get there I couldn't even wait for dinner... I had been hearing about the burgers and I discovered that the lunch menu fulfilled all expectations.
We were warmly welcomed into this cozy bistro decorated with dark woods, tables made from antique sewing machines and a gorgeous expansive bar. I sensed at once we were in for a treat. We splurged for my birthday and ordered the "Spiked Cider," and it was absolutely wonderful. It was made fresh and served steaming hot with a cinnamon stick! This cider goes a step beyond, with flavors of citrus and spices that almost make the spiked irrelevant (almost). It was a perfect accompaniment to the Lobster Bisque which was rich and tantalizing, garnished with evoo and mini toasts. The staff is friendly and accommodating, whatever your question or concern. We were not caused any delay, but were permitted to linger as long as we liked. How delightful!! The widely publicized "Kimchi Burger" was, in fact, as delightful as we hoped. The Kimchi is house made, as is the huge moist chicken burger, slaw and Korean Bbq sauce, all topped with a perfectly cooked sunny egg. This looked as beautiful as it tasted. Spicy, but not overwhelming. Perfect. Of course, I couldn't resist the "Grilled Cheese" which might sound a bit dull at first, but this one was filled with white cheddar, fontina, smoked gouda, braised oxtail and homemade pickled red onion. There are no words....
Finally, one quick note here about the pickles - There were lovely little pickles on our serving blocks (yes, blocks. have to commend the waitstaff for carrying those around) which neither of us had eaten, because we were all absorbed in everything else wonderful and eventually just stuffed. When our waiter (who was quite knowledgeable, helpful and just plain fun) came to clear, he asked why we didn't try the pickle and suggested we do. I thought this a little strange..., just a small pickle. But he truly insisted, saying they were also house-made. Ok, so we each took the pickle and tasted it. OMG...it was the best darn pickle I have ever eaten in my life. Tender, just a touch of sour, flooded with flavor...I was sorry I didn't order a whole plate of pickles (and I don't usually care for them much)! I can't wait to go back for dinner, but I'm gonna call ahead and make sure they save me some pickles!! Good luck Chef Bynum.
Little Red, 76-C Jobs Lane, Southampton NY
Although advertised as "casually upscale, classic café style dining," Little Red in Southampton Village offers a definite upscale cuisine, at upscale prices. Nevertheless, on our visit the food was excellent and worth the cost...and the crowd. We visited after the summer rush in the Hampton, yet we luckily nabbed a table at 7pm since the restaurant was quite packed, both inside and outside on their lovely covered terrace.
Starting with the wine list, you could choose from a nice variety of white, red or rosé wines, 'though most were domestic. The bar was jumping, and the beer-on-tap appeared quite popular. Given the heat, I opted out of the wine, but both the red and white enjoyed by the glass by my generous dining companions for the evening got rave reviews. I started with the Tuna Tartar w/ Cucumber Relish & Ginger-Lime Vinaigrette. I ate every single bite! The tuna was fresh and firm, perfectly diced (not smashed), and sprinkled with similarly diced cucumbers, onions, and other fresh veggies. The dressing was light and tasty, but did not overwhelm the tuna. This was excellent, both visually and tastily! We also ordered the Roasted Beet Salad w/Red & Golden Beets, Roquefort Crusted Goat Cheese & Port Wine Reduction. The chef was kind enough to split it for two and, as with the tuna, every ingredient was delicious. (I don't care for beets, but I'm told they were sweet and cooked just right, combining perfectly with the goat cheese and reduction).
On to dinner, we knew the Grilled Salmon had gotten excellent reviews and, true to form it was delicious. It came w/ Warm Summer Vegetable, Farrow & Lentil Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette and every bit of it was gone when we were done! I must note here that Little Red knows how to cook lentils! I ordered one of the daily specials - a Crabmeat Ravioli with a light tomato reduction. The Ravioli was lovely, full of crabmeat, and the tomatoes were local and cooked perfectly, yet the sauce was a bit overwhelming for the delicacy of the crab. Lastly, another special of the night was the Braised Striped Bass w/ a broth enhanced by Little Neck Clams & Chorizo. A classic Spanish-style dish with a local twist - well-prepared.
Little Red has been a welcome addition to the little village of Southampton and, no doubt, we will be back again.
The Good Life, Park Boulevard, Massapequa Park, NY
- Jan. 1, 2015
CHOW DOWN DINER
As you may have heard, Chef Del Lima left the lovely Chow Down Diner to return to Vitae in Huntington, and is spending what spare time he has left at his restaurant consulting business NY Metro Consulting, presently focusing on the opening on the White Oak Oyster Bar in NYC. Meanwhile, Chow Down is under new ownership and a new name. (Haven't been there since)
Chow Down Diner, Hempstead Tpke & Rt. 107 in Bethpage NY
Trento Italian Restaurant and Bar, Rte 110, Farmingdale
I purposely got there early to enjoy a quiet drink, and it was as beautiful visually as it was delicious - Ciroc over a Giant Ice Ball! Great concept, which went perfectly with the fine service, casual but classy decor and the welcoming staff. To start, we had the Kobe Beef Meatball, topped with homemade sauce and creamy ricotta - soooo tender inside. Troffolini: My fav of the night. Freshly made tortollini purses filled with pear and ricotta, with shaved pear and a light cream sauce. I almost ate every one! And, finally, the Margherita Pizza — at Trento Restaurant, perfectly cooked, light and full of flavor, crispy thing crust. I have to admit, there was not a need they didn't anticipate, from fresh ground pepper to grated parmesan. Thanks to Carmen for his constant yet not overwhelming attention, and even the bus staff was attentive but not obtrusive. We were not rushed out, despite our inability to have coffee or dessert. (The truffolini finished me off!) My dining companion Lori took half her pizza home. Overall, it was a perfect dining experience, with the Owner and/or Manager stopping by at the end to ask our opinion and for suggestions. I couldn't think of many. Do be aware that this is not fast food, and they take care to make everything fresh, and the price does reflect it. But I would eat that $19.00 meatball again if it was $50.00, and the Truffolini was a bargain at $19.00, serving more than you could eat. Drink prices are reasonable, and no charge for refills on soda, which was brought before you could even ask. How refreshing! Thank you to the staff at Trento. After a month you have a good thing going here and stick it out a while, give us a chance to get the word out, while you expand your menu a bit. You're in Farmingdale, not Huntington, so add a few less expensive dishes and you will be here for a long time.... Especially if I have anything to say about it! See you there, Deb
Perfect way to start the evening, Ciroc poured over an ice ball, with lime. Loved the concept! Have to get me one of those!!
My Favorite: the homemade Truffolini; tiny purses filled with ricotta & pear, adding just a tiny bit of sweetness to the cheese, in a light cream sauce. Going back for that!
The Margherita Pizza: Fresh, handmade, comes out hot and steamy with a perfect crispy crust.
We're going back.
The Main Event, Rte. 110, (replacing Kodiaks) in Farmingdale, NY
CLOSED -- Hemisphere Lounge & Restaurant
Open since February, and I didn't know? My readers are not keeping me in the loop!! [1/15 - in retrospect, I now see why] Hemisphere is part Lounge (Jazzy & Blues) and part Tapas/Gastro-Pub. Now that's a combination for you and, as it happened to turn out, a combination I loved. The decor is stunning (I tried to get one of the chandeliers, but they were hand-made blown glass, just for the bar), cozy and warm, but bright enough so you know you are in for a special night. You can tell that from the cocktail menu that their mixologist has quite a few tricks up his sleeve. As for the food menu, its a Tapas-lovers delight. These Chefs have got their hand on the button and I'm going to bet that the combination of Chefs Kelly & LeGendre in the kitchen and Hemisphere are about to explode. We've just got to get the word out. His creativity and desire to please is evident in dishes like Diver Scallops w/ Lemon Foam paired with Fried Pork Belly & Polenta Cakes. Fantastic balance. The Fried Crabcakes, formed into balls and served with a mild horseradish cream remained moist inside. The sliders, were surprisingly one of the best dishes on the menu. Despite the fact that everyone is doing it, not everyone does it well. Here, we had three incredibly juicy burgers which were actually still pink inside, topped with caramelized onions and melted gruyere cheese on a perfect warm bun. They were over the top delicious. The Lamb Chops served w/ Eggplant Fries were cooked so perfectly they melted in your mouth (the lamb, not the eggplant). The Eggplant Fries were a delightful surprise and completely over-shadowed the fact that there was little in the way of seasoning in the dish. To take a step back, we were treated to an amuse buche of tiny grilled cheese circles with a tomato creme that leave you wanting more. We started with smaller plates of Rock Shrimp (sweet & mild) and a trio of Oysters, each with a different topping. The Jalapeno Mignonette was excellent, however the citrus sorbet froze the oyster so that the taste was overwhelmed. (Not that I would turn down an oyster covered with anything). Finally, although we were stuffed, we had to try the "Steak Frites," which was a huge Short Rib, perfectly cooked, served with the best potato wedges I've had in ages. Hot & Crispy outside, creamy inside.
I was done, and I was a fan, but The Chocolate Trio was an indescribable end to our evening. A picture does not do it justice. A light chocolate mousse, a chocolate cake, over a white chocolate banana jam (which they should sell by the jar), and a banana creme, all encircled by a fried plantain. It looked as beautiful as it tasted.
Hemisphere presents us with a unique experience here on the Island. Perfectly prepared small portions of food that can be eaten late into the night, while you enjoy the bar, the live music and the summer breeze. Thank you Chefs, and our waiter Joe, for all your help and patience with our crazy questions. We look forward to coming back soon
HAVANA CENTRAL, Roosevelt Field, Garden City NY
What's going on at Roosevelt Field? Its the restaurant mecca of Garden City! I have to start this review with Energy. There are not a lot of Cuban restaurants on Long Island, but with the opening of Havana Central at Roosevelt Field you will find “Classic Cuban food with the energy, excitement, and entertainment of old Havana.” That’s how they advertise it, and that is what you get. As soon as you walk in you know you are in for a party, the décor just what you would expect, with large booths, banquettes and semi-private dining areas partially shaded with drapes; huge ceiling fans, palm-like greenery and authentic party music all make you feel like you are in Cuba – the wait staff is friendly, the tequila and rum is flowing, the margaritas and mojitos are fantastic.
THE CAPITAL GRILLE, Roosevelt Field, Garden City, NY
- May. 31, 2013
Upon visiting The Capital Grill a few months later, we were thrilled to see that the quality and service has not wavered, even on a busy night where the restaurant was just about full. We were out for my friend's birthday and after a quick mention of that Rachael & the manager were there with a Champagne Toast, Birthday Confetti and a handwritten Card. Sure made me look good! Their unique spin on fried calamari is hot and spicy, but we managed to finish it; and in my opinion, the lobster & crab cakes w/ corn salsa was fantastic. My dining companion ordered this special double petite filet mignon topped w/ 2 lobster tails. Both the steak and the tails were cooked and seasoned to perfection. As for me, I would go back for the Citrus Glazed Salmon, served with asparagus & caramelized onion was perfect. I have finally found a restaurant that consistently knows what you mean when you say "rare." Thank you to Rachael for the fabulous Happy Birthday dessert, which was delicious and gratis. If you have not been there yet, GO!
Fuego Picante, Hempstead Tpke, East Meadow NY (Mexican/Smokehouse)
Just opened this week in the space that used to house the Kansas City Smokehouse, is a welcome surprise offering from the Singh Hospitality Group, called Fuego Picante. I had a feeling after a few visits to KC Smokehouse that it wouldn't last long, and I was hoping for something to liven up the area. I was not disappointed. The renovations were beautiful, most significantly, the installation of a half wall topped with orangy stained glass panels dividing the bar area from the restaurant. This brightened the restaurant while cutting down the noise from the game crowd - but still allowing you to see the tv's if you wanted to take a peek. Also loved the faux stained glass shades over the windows to match the panels. Beautiful job. Tables were well spaced, but they do have room to expand, and I think they will need it.
But the food was key and there is a craze lately of mixing mexican with bbq that doesn't always work. This one does. The BBQ Grilled Rib-eye that passed my way on its way to someone else's table made me salivate. I could tell it was hot and smoky on the outside and pink and juicy on the outside just by looking at it. But, alas, my husband ordered the ribs. Again, we were not disappointed with a thick juicy rack of ribs that could stand on their rub alone. Thick and meaty, with a bite, yet still coming right off the bone. And you had your choice of 2 sauces, along with the mac n cheese (excellent) and mexican corn/tortilla. We shared an order their specialty nachos as recommended by our waitress and she was right. The warm chips were covered with shredded short ribs braised in root beer, jalapenos, salsa and a number of other tasty sauces to wake up your senses. More than enough to share. I had the Mexi-Shrimp, fire roasted with tomatillo-chile butter sauce, sweet potato masa cake and sautéed spinach. Excellent combination of flavors.
I didn't have room for dessert, but I hear their ice cream is homemade. I'm definitely going back - I intend to order nothing but appetizers because every one looks delicious, and lots of tequila from their 80 tequila menu. The staff was knowledgeable and efficient, friendly and helpful. Although I wish Fuego Picante the best of luck in this venture, I don't think they'll need it. I have a feeling they'll be around long enough to make it into my fav's section. Meanwhile, I can't wait to come back soon. (more photos below)
The Savoy Tavern, Merrick Ave., Merrick NY
Dinner at The Savoy is no longer an old fashioned cliche'. We ventured out in the snow tonight for dinner at the new Savoy Tavern on Merrick Ave, just
near the train station. Don't miss this one, as you will find all your favorites in one place. Everything from appetizers like the fantastic Chicken Croquettes with a melt in your mouth center and Real Meatballs fried the way mom did & served with
a spiced tomato sauce. Continuing on with appetizers, I paired the delicious lump crab cakes with the polenta (as you see in the photo) and created the dinner of my dreams. The crab cakes were packed full of lump crab and the polenta was hot, creamy and simply
a sensual delight. I can remember my mom standing over the stove for an hour to make this, and it wasn't this good! For a main course, you will find everything from the Crispy Batter Dipped Fish & Chips (which we shared and which was cooked
perfectly) to a Burger & Fries, Home Style Roasted Chicken or Lobster Fra Diavolo (Fri. night special).
But if you go for nothing else - go for the homemade Banana Cream Pie. With its thick but flaky crust and fresh whipped cream, you will feel like a kid again. Thanks to Ryan for your patience and help, efficient service and just going that extra mile to make us feel at home. We'll be back soon!
Crab Cakes & Polenta
A dreamy combination of an appetizer and a side, perfect for dinner.
I don't have room here for the pic, but don't leave The Savoy without trying the Homemade Banana Cream Pie. Its indescribable.
This is an Appetizer, there were six before I remembered to take the photo! Excellent, just like mom used to make before the whole calorie thing mattered!!
Chicken Croquettes. When was the last time you had these? They are not Swanson, that's for sure! These homemade delicacies are light and crunchy outside, delicate and creamy inside. Didn't even need the sauce.
SEASONS 52, Garden City at Roosevelt Field (light American fare)
ROOTS BISTRO GOURMAND, 399 Montaulk Hwy,
LISTEN UP Friends!! There is a new restaurant in town and they are hiding a Master chef. If you only have one chance to dine out before the end of the year you need to go to ROOTS, just opened on Montaulk Highway in Bayshore. Chef Philippe's take on French Bistro cuisine is innovative and creative - and they are going to have people begging for reservations very soon! Co-Owners Philippe Corbet and James Orlandi opened Roots less than a month ago with one goal in mind: A restaurant "Rooted in the bistronomic revolution of French cuisine, Roots Bistro Gourmand pays homage to the simplicity of the modest bistro while infusing gastronomic techniques. Our love for cooking is inspired by fresh, close to home ingredients brought to life with global flavors." That's a lot of fancy nouveau cooking words, but we were there last night and we sampled a Chef's Tasting menu, and a few small plates, and I only have one word: INCREDIBLE. Call it what you will, but there is true talent in the kitchen at Roots.
Lets start at the beginning, when we walked into a charming French bistro-like bar/dining area and quickly shown to our table. The staff was efficient and warm, and the atmosphere was casual and comfortable, giving no hint of the elegant and sophisticated food to come. The menu offers everything from the appetizer special of the evening which was escargot (served atop a puff-pastry on a base of red pepper coulis and topped with a creamy beurre blanc) to classic French Frites, Boullibaise, or a Bistro Burger. This is what I can tell you personally about our various samplings. First, the escargot were creamy and tender, simply sensuous. I also had the soup which for that night was a Lobster consomme' with ginger/soy and assorted fresh garden vegetables, frog leg meat and grilled shrimp. Unbelievable. The appetizer salad for the evening was a mixture of fresh thinly slices zucchini, marinated beets, watermelon & micro-greens on a base of drunken goat cheese (and something more which was delicious but I can't remember) all atop that famous puff pastry base. By this point, I knew we were in for a very special night.
You need to take a breath here, because there is so much more. The tasting menu next include a plate of fresh homemade ravioli stuffed with a sweet pea filling, topped with chunks of tender lobster meat and an oh-so-light creamy sauce. This was so fresh and light you could barely believe it was ravioli, and we ended up both trying to eat the last one! **and note from the photos, these were not tiny tasting plates. Next on the tasting menu was Seared Fois Gras with roasted figs and a pear reduction which my husband loved, so I tried it. Many of you know I don't eat liver and I generally don't like Fois Gras despite its fame. Well, OMG, this was absolutely, the best, most silky tender bite of any piece of meat/organ meat I have ever eaten, anywhere. And I have eaten Fois Gras in many a fine restaurant. I was sorry it wasn't my plate. Thank you Chef Philippe for finally making Fois Gras the right way.
I need to get you the rest of this review before I get in the car and go back there. The tasting menu seemed never ending. There was next a grilled ground veal (or lamb, I can't recall) sausage filled with veggies, over a creamy polenta, smoked and served in a plate with smoke and all -- which was to die for. Then, the piece de resistance, a seared Rib-eye, with a rich crust (they must have wood in that kitchen) and a perfectly red rare inside. Now, are you ready? Served with a delicate black truffle wild mushroom sauce. Who does that? Its genius. The contrast in flavors in this dish, and throughout the meal were perfectly matched and we did not leave a bit of anything. I'm not a meat eater, I'm not a liver eater, I don't eat beets. I am converted. My entree of the appetizer size pressed suckling pig was similarly unbelievable, with a crispy skin that melts in your mouth and meat that was fall-apart tender, not to mention the accompanying perfectly cooked baby vegetables. Oh - and don't forget the risotto balls!!! I thought that was an Italian thing, but I like them in French too.
Last but not least, a very special dessert of Creme Fraiche' Ice Cream (made in-house) over a strawberry sauce of some kind and this unbelievable whipped cream. I was fighting for that. Along with a raspberry napoleon, also baked in-house, which my husband devoured. Even the coffee was excellent. The food at Roots is exciting, ambitious and original. They have, in fact, been able to create a modern twist to elegant French cuisine and serve it in a casual and fun atmosphere. So enjoy my photos, then get in the car and get there fast. Tell them Deb sent you!!!
Salad of Marinated Beets, Zucchini, Watermelon & Micro Greens, atop a bed of Drunken Goat Cheese and assorted other delicacies, over a homemade puff pastry.
Using that puff pastry to showcase succulent escargot & a roasted red pepper and/or tomato coulis, topped with a perfect buerre blanc.
Pan Seared Fois Gras, with roasted fig and pear, and a pear reduction sauce.
- Oct. 3, 2012
On a recent visit to Roots we tried some different dishes: As you can see above, an appetizer Oeuf: poached egg creamy polenta, jambon bayonne, parmesan-mascarpone emulsion & aged gouda, which was indulgent and perfectly prepared; and the Special for the evening, a Oil Poached Sea Bass, w/ Sauteed Broccoli Rabe and Crispy Bacon. Fantastic!!
- Nov. 16, 2012
Thanks to the generosity of Chefs James and Phillipe of Roots Bistro in Bayshore, their extensive $25.00 prix fixe menu was extended until 11/18 to accommodate those affected by the storm and storm damage. As usual, they outdid themselves with specialties like Birkshire Pork Belly and a decadent Cassoulet. It's always a treat to sample theit delights. Oh, and the live band last night was wonderful!
JEWELL, Rte. 110, Melville
JEWEL, The restaurant looks just like its name (and just as pricey). Its absolutely stunning inside, with jewel colored glass balls hanging from the ceiling,
comfortable booths, glass floors in the bar area, and a funky lighting arrangement that you have to see for yourself.
So, you want to know something about the food. Everything we had was cooked perfectly, as is usually true with any Tom Schaudel restaurant. The lobster bisque, poured at the table, was excellent with a hint of sherry in the background. The rib-eye steak (with your choice of steak) was cooked perfectly - crusted over a coal grill and medium rare on the inside. I had the catfish over spinach, over a mountain of hash brown potatoes and bacon, surrounded with a mustard cream sauce (pictured below). Mouth-watering.
Dessert, a mocha cheesecake round, on a coffee bottom with a Kaluah whipped cream, topped with a chocolate covered coffee bean.
This is a beautiful restaurant, the decor is worth seeing once, the bar scene was jumping, and the food was perfect. Oh, and dont forget to check out the bathrooms. The lady's room is elegant, but I hear the men's room is quite a sight. However, in my opinion, it is far too overpriced for what you are getting. Unlike Blackstones, I left feeling that is was not worth the money and I was paying for the beautiful decor. Definitely only a special occasion place for us mortals.