A Trip Round The
World At Prime
By Luann & Lou / email@example.com
Driving north on New York Avenue, finally emerging among the
narrow road is Prime a diners haven of sumptuous
food, spectacular views and a SOMETHING. A recent visit had
us feeling like we took a culinary trip around the world with
wines and food from every corner and boy, were we flying
Jazzy music beckons one up the stairs, through the tall glass
doors donning the frosted P emblem. Ahead, a quiet
Huntington Harbor quietly ripples at the restaurants
edge. Opening in November of 2006, Prime is the third restaurant
from the Bohlsen family that brought Long Island Tellers Chophouse
in Islip and H2O Seafood Grill in Smithtown. Having been to
both, we wondered where Prime would fall, and discovered that
it is a hybrid of the two, and quite possibly the best of
Prime sparkles on all fronts. With an interior that feels
like a boathouse turned top restaurant, ivory curtains and
shades of white adorn the dining room. Lights point upward,
softly illuminating the room. On the other side, a lounge
area with a roaring fire, tables and couches welcomes patrons
enjoying a drink, small plates or sushi. A look outside reveals
the outdoor patio, dusted with snow on this visit, but that
comes to life in the warmth of summer sunsets. A wavy bar
is the center of the restaurant, across from an open kitchen,
the source of Executive Chef Gregg Laulettas magic.
Lauletta, a Long Island native, joined Prime in early 2008
from the Fireman Hospitality Group where he was corporate
chef. His resume is meaty, and includes stints at such Manhattan
notables as Olives Restaurant, The Ritz-Carltons Atelier
and Gotham Bar & Grill. At Prime, he works wonders on
every dish he touches, working off a menu that covers everything
from seafood to steak and all that is in between.
The staff at Prime is as refined as the setting. On hand the
evening of our visit was sommelier Paulo Villela. Pairing
each of our courses with different wines from around the world,
his impeccable taste all the more enhanced an exceptional
Each dish that came out was better than the next. We started
with a taste of the Far East sushi is fresh, rolled
to perfection. The Star Roll ($13) comes with salmon, mango,
avocado and is topped with crunchy tempura flakes. The Red
Roof ($15) was a favorite, with shrimp and avocado, topped
with spicy tuna, spicy mayo and eel sauce drizzled over it.
Paulo paired the dish with a 2007 German Riesling (Maria Schneider
Jazz) a sweet complement to the spicy sushi.
Next up was a seasonal favorite, butternut squash soup ($10).
First served is a bowl with only roasted chestnuts and wild
rice; the soup is poured piping hot in front of your eyes.
With a hint of nutmeg, the soup goes down thinner than it
looks, softening the nuts and warming us to the core despite
the snow flurries outside.
A pair of salads followed. For the two of us fig fans, the
Fig Salad ($13) was a delight. Warm figs wrapped in pancetta
come on a skewer, a play on salty and sweet, served over mesclun
greens with fig jam, gorgonzola and a balsamic vinaigrette.
Beet Salad ($10) is a unique mix of red and yellow beets with
walnuts and fresh goat cheese that is plentiful but does not
overwhelm. This time around, Paulo presented a light 2007
Grecian white wine (Emery Rhodes Athiri).
Plates from the sea were fresh and prepared with care. Sea
scallops ($15) are among the best we have had on the Island,
and weve tried a lot of sea scallops. Pan-seared, the
soft fleshy texture is cooked just the right amount, and bacon
on top brings out the delicately mild sweet flavor of the
scallop. Served with light semolina dumplings with port reduction,
the scallops sit on a sautéed onion puree.
Red snapper ($27) is pan-seared and crisp over a basmati rice
patty that is crisp but still light, and topped with a distinctive
tomato-ginger chutney and orange oil, offering a hint of citrus.
Paulo paired these dishes with a 2007 sauvignon blanc from
Washington state (Mercer, Columbia Valley).
A unique take on potato gnocchi ($10), pan-seared in a parmesan-white
truffle sauce, is refreshingly light, and not as heavy and
weighty as some weve tried. In a cheesy and creamy sauce,
the dish was paired with a pinot noir from Patagonia, Argentina
Then it was time to bring on the beef, paired with a Spanish
wine from La Tierra de Castilla (Tempranillo, Pago Florentino).
Beef Wellington ($36) is a filet mignon with mushroom duxelles
encased in a puff pastry on Brie fondue. The filet is tender
and velvety. Veal chop parmesan ($46) was the
pièce de résistance of the evening.
The tender, light meat is juicy and topped with paremesan
and panko breadcrumbs, broiled to a light crisp. Though the
cheese easily could have dominated the dish, it didnt
at Chef Greggs hand.
Desserts did not disappoint. Sweet cream-filled crepes ($12)
topped with candied walnuts and warm berry compote with whole
berries with honey pecan granola is a heavenly end. The chocolate
bomb ($12) is a ball of chocolate mousse with raspberry coulis
and sour cream ice cream, just cold enough that it doesnt
melt. Paulo brought out the Kopke 20 year Tawny Port to finish
a marvelous evening at this prime Huntington hot spot.
117 New York Avenue Huntington
Atmosphere: Sophisticated nautical
with a view of the harbor
Cuisine: New American
Price Range: Expensive
Hours: Lunch Wed-Sat 11:30-3;
Dinner Mon-Thurs 5-10,
Fri-Sat 5-11, Sun 4:30-9;
Brunch Sun 11:30-3