Three For Lunch In Huntington Village
By Pete & Mike/
Too often we see the word hectic associated
with the holidays. The Foodies say the season is hectic only
if you let it be. Sure, it’s easy to get caught in the
go-go-go atmosphere of shopping, wrapping, planning meals
and cleaning house. But somehow, the spirit of the season
gets lost in all that activity. How about spending a little
time with family and friends, and enjoying a wonderful meal
in classy surroundings? Does that sound more like it?
Would you like it even more if the price of a top rate meal
came in at close to $20 per person?
Head to downtown Huntington – for lunch!
The Foodies have discovered that lunchtime in the dining capital
of Long Island offers an opportunity to experience what keeps
some of the area’s top restaurants’ tables filled
at the dinner hour, and for not much more than the price of
a diner. The culinary stars that garner rave reviews in the
dinner hour are behind the lunchtime offerings. Lunchtime
entrees tend to be more casual, and often are right from the
dinner menu at a scaled-down price. The atmosphere, the impeccable
service, the overall experience, it’s otherwise all
There’s no better way to spend an hour. With some of
the island’s top dining spots, a trip to Huntington
village will put you in walking distance of some top-rate
We’re always in the mood for Jonathan’s Ristorante
on Wall Street, where owner Roberto Ornato’s recent
remodeling made a good thing even better. An atmosphere that’s
both classy and comfortable, a menu that shows off a lifelong
love of cooking, and a skillfully selected wine list have
consistently earned Jonathan’s accolades, not the least
of which came from the James Beard Foundation.
Ornato brings more than culinary skills to the table. His
restaurant is refined, but not stuffy. There’s a comfort
level learned at tables in his native Italy where food and
family are inseparable. Lunchtime is a great time to celebrate
Regular diners will recognize much of the lunchtime menu.
Roberto’s incomparable Calamari Fritti ($10) needs no
introduction. Fresh Tuna Salad ($15) features seared Yellow
fin tuna and over radicchio, bibb and avocado with a ginger/mango
vinaigrette. Jonathan’s famous Crab Cakes Salad ($14)
is a flavorful garden sampling – mesclun greens with
grilled asparagus, grilled zucchini, Portobello mushroom and
string beans – topped with Maryland Crab Cakes. Shrimp
Kabob ($12) over a corn, radish and avocado salad is a marriage
Tramezzone ($12) is a sophisticated treatment of Italian classic
flavors with grilled organic chicken breast on fresh focaccia,
with a pesto mayo, tomato and mozzarella.
We often opt for the salads. The classic Caesar ($8) is in
capable hands at Jonathan’s.
Insalata Romana ($9) is a celebration of garden flavors –arugula,
tomatoes, fennel, onions and cucumber – topped with
shaved Parmigiano. Make either a meal with the addition of
chicken ($13) or shrimp ($15).
Fresh pasta offerings include the Pumpkin Ravioli ($15) with
butter and sage, Parmigiano and a magical Ameretto cookie
The lunchtime menu is extensive, and Roberto is eager to please,
so don’t be shy.
Jonathan’s Ristorante: 15 Wall Street,
Huntington • 631-549-0055
Lunch: Monday – Saturday, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
When Mac’s put Huntington on the Island’s steakhouse
map, the buzz around town was all about the $21 Kobe Beef
burger. Well here’s a tip: lunchtime at Mac’s
is everything the dinner experience is – world-class
food, impeccable service and elegant surroundings. That Kobe
Beef Chopped Steak ($17) is every bit as good as its dinnertime
counterpart, and that goes for everything.
A destination restaurant, the word for Mac’s is impressive.
It’s high-ceilinged interior is dramatic. On a recent
visit, we were seated in a private glass-enclosed room adjacent
to the restaurant’s well-stocked wine room. Available
by reservation for parties of six or more, it’s worth
scaring up a few friends for the experience.
Lunchtime appetizers include our favorite, Maine Lobster Roll
($16), Baked Clams ($8), the bolder Clams Casino ($9) and
an elegant Shrimp Cocktail ($11).
Salads range from a Chopped Salad ($7) to Mac’s house
salad ($10) with goat cheese and an intriguing hickory smoked
bacon. The Caesar ($9) is with a Parmesan crisp and garlic
croutons. Add chicken ($12) or shrimp ($15) for a meal.
The Sirloin Burger ($13) on a brioche roll is beef in competent
hands, and the same can be said of the Strip Steak Sandwich
($16). Seafood entrees include Prawns ($19) in wine sauce
over risotto; and Grilled Salmon ($19).
Of course, Mac’s is a steakhouse and their prime dry-aged
cuts stand with the best.
Buttery Porterhouse ($37/pp served for 2-4); New York Strip
($38) the Cowboy Cut Ribeye ($44); and the Filet Mignon ($29)
are worth the experience at any price.
Mac’s is one of the restaurants owned and operated by
Reststar Hospitality Group whose eateries include the Bistro
Cassis, Bistro Citron, Pomodoro and Pomodorino restaurants.
Mac’s Steakhouse: 12 Gerard Street,
Huntington • 631-549-5300. Lunch: Monday – Friday,
12 – 3 p.m.
Huntington’s Wild Fin is a secret that shouldn’t
be kept. On the scene for just under a year, Wild Fin’s
Manhattan-style sophistication is from Steven Del Lima, previously
of Bayville’s RSVP. Creative cookery flows from the
open kitchen to tables in a high-ceilinged room warmed by
exposed brick and ochre-washed walls.
Like the jazz music that fills the dining room, the Wild Fin
menu is upbeat and always surprising. Seafood is the specialty
of the house, but literally anything that emerges from the
kitchen is a satisfying arrangement of flavors and presentation.
Recommended appetizers include the Flash Fried Calamari ($8);
Ahi Tuna Tartare ($11) is a sophisticated treatment of the
new classic, with rice vinegar, soy marinated cucumbers, and
Wild Fin’s take on crab cakes, a Pan Crisped North Pacific
Seafood Cake ($10) with jalapeno corn sticks, asparagus-tomato
succotash and an apple-bourbon glace, is heartily flavored.
On the entrée side, the Key West Shrimp P.B.L.T. ($14)
is a star that appears only on the lunch menu. It’s
a tasty sandwich of Hickory-seasoned jumbo shrimp with roasted
Portobello mushroom, apple-wood smoked bacon, lettuce and
tomato on grilled sourdough. Order it for the intriguing bacon.
You’ll also find the bacon on the Grilled Chicken Club
($10); and we’d ask for it on the “Angus”
Burger on fresh Brioche roll with a homemade garlic-dill pickle.
The Caesar Salad Crisp ($8) is a meal on its own, or add grilled
chicken ($3) or Hickory Grilled Jumbo Shrimp ($5).
Our dining experiences at Wild Fin, both lunchtime and dinner,
have been skillfully guided by maitre d’ Jan Janusz,
whose warm manner and attentive service are a part of what
will keep us coming back.
Wild Fin… As they say in the fish business, it’s
Wild Fin: 368 New York Avenue, Huntington
• 631-549-5757. Lunch: Tuesday – Saturday 11:30
a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
So there you have it, fellow Foodies— the inside skinny
on how to enjoy three of Huntington’s hottest destination
restaurants without the weekend wait. Enjoy.