A Telling Visit To Tellers
By Luann & Jennifer
When the Foodies hit the road, its always for a good
reason, and we now know of no better one than Tellers in Islip.
Defined as an American chophouse, Tellers is where
class, elegance and a flare for sophistication meet world-class
dining. Brought to you by the same family that owns Prime
in Huntington and H2O Seafood Grill in Smithtown, Tellers
brings the same exceptional experience local seafood
dishes are fresh and succulent, and the steaks exceptional.
The service is impeccable as well even the care with
which water is poured caught our attention.
And all this is enjoyed in a gorgeous dining room, layered
with shades of neutrals and browns, with romantic lighting,
a high ceiling and 30-foot windows. A curtain drawn on one
side gave us a glimpse of fall foliage outside.
The restaurant opened in 1999 and operates in a renovated
1927 grand stone bank. It was in the dining room that the
bank tellers conducted daily business. Seated at our table,
we had a perfect view of a window high above that overlooked
the room. It made us feel that any minute, a king and queen
would emerge and give a little wave, but General Manager Dion
Raftis explained that, before there were security cameras,
it was through that window that the bank manager would oversee
Across from the dining room and below the window is Tellers
secret treasure under lock and key a legitimate vault,
housing 10,000 bottles of wine and 1,000 labels from all over
the world; you can feel the cooler temperature with a step
inside. There are five wine cellars in the restaurant, showing
you that when it comes to wine, Tellers means business. The
restaurant updates its wine list four or five times a week
and has received Wine Spectators Best of Award
of Excellence time and again.
We started our evening with a glass of chardonnay, handpicked
for us by our waiter Luis. All around us, patrons were savoring
their rib-eye steaks and sharing a plate of thin onion strings
or a bottle of wine. Seated behind us was a man who deals
in Bordeaux, and we were happy to strike up a conversation
with a local wine enthusiast as we waited to see what Tellers
new chef, Marc Anthony Bynum, formerly sous chef at Prime
and former chef at Rookies in Huntington village, would whip
out for us.
Tellers raw bar ranges in price from a half dozen of
oysters on the half shell ($10) to a lobster cocktail ($25),
or, if youre pulling out all the stops, the Tellers
Seafood Tower with oysters, clams, shrimp, crab, tuna, mussels
and king crab ($65). We started with a trio of oysters served
beautifully over a bed of sea salts. One came poached over
delicately creamed spinach, another roasted with rosemary,
and the third cornmeal crusted over broccoli rabe and red
onion all tender and plump, all delicious and fresh,
all of which made us unsure we would ever be able to order
oysters anywhere else but Tellers.
There are a variety of salads, from a hearts of iceberg ($9)
to a playful arugula, feta and grapefruit with champagne vinaigrette
($11). We went with the heirloom tomato salad, with goat cheese,
balsamic reduction, a lemon vinaigrette and fennel. The dish
easily could have been overpowered by the fennel or goat cheese,
but Bynum perfectly balanced all ingredients for a palate
The entrees are a delightful combination of continental choices,
from crispy skin salmon ($22) to striped bass ($32). Steak
from boutique ranches using traditional cattle raising methods
range from $36 to $38, while Tellers classic USDA Prime
21-day dry-aged meats offer other options, like the Tellers
Rib Eye ($49).
We traded in our chardonnay for a glass of J Pinot
Noir to accompany our entrée a mouthwatering
surf and turf of New York dry-aged sirloin and over mashed
potatoes alongside a tender, perfectly cooked scallop wrapped
in a shrimp atop mushrooms au jus. Tender and tasty, the steak
was among the best weve had on Long Island.
For dessert, we sipped on an elegant Barros Colheita port
1950, velvety and rich with a long finish. All desserts are
made in house at Tellers. Classic crème brulée
($8) is perfectly prepared, with just the right thickness
of infused sugar on top. The Molten Chocolate Cake ($8), described
by a patron next to us as off the hook, has a
warm, rich melted chocolate center surrounded by moist chocolate
cake. Pumpkin cheesecake is creamy and festive.
Whether its for a romantic dinner for two, a business
meeting for many or a night at the Gold Bar to
enjoy live jazz on Thursday evenings, Tellers is the place
to be. The combination of old world charm and sleek contemporary
modernism brings an old-fashioned emphasis on quality, class
and service into the modern age.
605 Main St.
Atmosphere: Warm, sleek and sophisticated
Price range: Expensive
Dinner: Mon.-Thurs. 5-10 p.m.,
Fri.-Sat. 5-11 p.m., Sun. 3-9 p.m.
Lunch: Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Sunday brunch: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.