Remember Why You First
Fell In Love With Jonathans
By Pete & Co./email@example.com
favorite restaurant is like a marriage.
First you fall in love. Then you settle into that comfortable
routine. Its great if you want someone to complete your
sentences for the rest of your life. But in a good marriage,
you change things up and throw in a few surprises so things
dont become too routine.
Its the same with your favorite restaurant. As much
as you want it to fit like a comfortable sweater, you dont
necessarily want to wear that same tired cashmere.
In the more than two years since we first reviewed
no, fell in love with Jonathans, weve let
it become like that favorite sweater.
Dont blame owner Roberto Oronato. He and executive chef
Tito Onofre a Florida Culinary Institute graduate and
veteran who has cooked for the jury at James Beard House
have changed and tweaked the menu over the years. Its
our fault for always grabbing that comfortable sweater.
Well, a recent family celebration was like a marriage
encounter session. With eight of us at the table and
a new menu, it was an opportunity to learn again what it is
that makes Jonathans Ristorante one of Huntingtons
As the ristorante in the name implies, Jonathans
menu is rooted in Italian cuisine. Now in his 15th year at
Jonathans, Oronato is in full stride, presiding over
a spacious and elegant space in the heart of Huntingtons
downtown. Renovated several years ago, the space stretching
from Wall Street to the municipal parking lot in back is tastefully
appointed with a 30-foot granite bar, mahogany woodwork throughout,
and large mirrors that make an already spacious area even
A meal starts with a basket of Jonathans signature crusty
bread placed atop the white clothed table with a dish
of olive oil for dipping. We like a dash of salt and pepper
in the plate with the oil and make it disappear while perusing
the menu and Jonathans extensive wine list. (They consistently
earn accolades from Wine Spectator magazine.)
Our large party sampled extensively from the menu, starting
with our must order, Fritto di carciofini
tender baby artichokes sautéed in basil oil. Lightly
battered and fried calamari is a classic, paired with a tomato
sauce and anchovy mayo; and Gorgonzola Festivea is a party
on a plate: grilled asparagus, zucchionibeets and arugula
with generous hunks of Gorgonzola cheese.
Stars among the entrees were the Risotto ai Funghi, a delicate
preparation of Italian Arborio rice balanced with earthy mushrooms
and truffle oil ($21); Salmon con Favetta, a hunk of gamey-tasting
Scottish salmon atop a pile of favetta, escarole and lemon
citronette ($26); and Capesante e Carciofini, a trio of seared
jumbo scallops with those sautéed baby artichokes and
string beans ($29).
Gamberi in Padell alla Puttanesca sautéed Tiger
Shrimp ($24) is a flavorful marriage of salty and sweet
with fresh tomatoes, olives, capers and basil. And from the
specials menu, the Halibut likewise featured a sophisticated
melding of flavors with fresh tomatoes and slightly hot peppers
($26). Since all at the table were family, there was plenty
of plate passing.
No one needed it, but we all pitched in to devour a sampling
of desserts (most $9). The favorite was the pine nut tart
with rosemary topped with vanilla gelato and a drizzle of
herb-infused honey. The always reliable flourless chocolate
cake with hazelnut gelato gives chocolate lovers their fix,
and a poached pear with gelato is elegance in a dish. We enjoyed
all with tiny glasses of Muscatto, a sparkling Italian dessert
wine selected by Oronato that put a crowning, finishing touch
to a memorable meal.
And we all remembered exactly why we first fell in love with
15 Wall St
Huntington, NY 11743
Cuisine: Contemporary Northern Italian
Atmosphere: Comfortable elegance
Price Range: Expensive
Lunch: Monday Saturday 12-3 p.m.
Dinner: Monday Thursday, 5 10 p.m.;
Friday & Saturday, 5 10:30 p.m.,
Sunday, 4 9 p.m.