New Honu Makes A Dazzling Debut
By Leah & Alesa/
A new Honu has made it’s debut. After
a three-week, mid-summer hiatus, the restaurant/nightclub
formerly known as Blue Honu has reopened with a new menu,
new décor and a new attitude. They even have a new
name – sort of. It’s now just Honu, Kitchen and
It’s just more than five years since brothers John and
David Tunney and partner John Reiger put themselves on the
map with the opening of Blue Honu in a cavernous, brickwalled
space on New York Avenue in Huntington village. An immediate
hit, the restaurant’s success carried well into the
night and Honu became the anchor of the village’s thriving
night scene, and the centerpiece of a restaurant empire that
includes Besitos in Huntington and Roslyn, American Burger
Company locations in Huntington, Hicksville and Smithtown.
How do you top that kind of success? They’re giving
it their best shot with the just-opened Honu Kitchen and Cocktails,
with a sophisticated new look, and a complete menu makeover.
Early indications are the new Honu is as big a hit as its
predecessor. Dining there on Honu’s second day, there
wasn’t an empty table and it was business as usual at
The first sign of change at Honu is the most obvious –
the new décor in browns and black. Lighting is softer,
but eye catching, cast from elegant bronze and leaded glass
chandeliers. The row of banquettes that line the dining room
have been reupholstered elegantly in a black velvet on creamy
white fabric, and bold graphic paintings – by third
Tunney brother, Peter, a New York City artist – hang
on the exposed brick walls.
While the basic structure remains unchanged, giving a very
familiar feel to the room, nothing was untouched, said John
Tunney. The waiting area near the bar – previously with
a nautical theme – is now the front porch. The bar’s
soaring shelves – previously stocked only with clear
bottles – now features a multi-colored array of backlit
bottles that cast jewel tones. And the fireplace has been
replaced with a unit that creates more mood and less heat
so that diners seated closest are as comfortable as the rest
of the room.
There are big changes in the menu as well. Honu has embraced
a “small plate” concept that encourages diners
to share, and to try more menu items. “They’re
bigger than an appetizer, but smaller than an entrée,”
David Tunney explained. Plates are placed at the center of
the table, not in front of any one diner, and the typical
two- to three-plate order is paced so that the surprises keep
on coming. Appearance is of course a priority, and all that
we tried were creatively presented on rectangular white plates.
The all new menu was secretly developed with executive chef
Paul Miranda utilizing the kitchens at the Roslyn Besito.
Two dozen choices designed to encourage new dining experiences
range from $9 to $16, and depending ion your appetite, two
or three make a meal.
The creative combinations are so tempting as to make choosing
difficult, and during our visit there, one table of four just
went and ordered one of everything.
We were less ambitious, ordering representative beef and seafood
plates. We somehow managed to save the best for first, opening
with the figs, prosciutto, honey and goat cheese ($12). Figs
wrapped in prosciutto and topped with a dollop of warm goat
cheese were an intriguing combination of salt and sweet. Crisped
prosciutto, tender fig and smooth goat cheese made a playful
contrast of textures.
Yellowfin tuna with Asian pear salad ($14) energized our palates
with an acidic brightness. Flavors of soy, rice vinegar and
a pickle-y Bermuda onion were complemented by an orange aioli
and wasabi and ginger sauce.
Skirt steak with Romesco and red onion ($13) was a heavier,
more substantial plate.
Tender skirt steak strips atop an almond and cherry romelade
are a rich combination of flavors.
Our “must try” selection – Lobster with
fire roasted corn ($16) evoked a New England clambake, with
chunks of tender lobster meat on a bed of roasted fresh corn.
The combination warrants little additional flavoring and the
peppery spice on the corn was just right.
On special that night was a seafood plateau for two, combining
oysters, lobster, crab and shrimp. We didn’t go for
it but started to regret that decision when we saw the lavish
iced platter headed to a table nearby. As it is, we’ll
have to head back to try the rest of the menu, particularly
the Quail with leeks and cauliflower puree ($13); Mahi with
shaved fennel and salsa verde ($12); Beef tenderloin wth maytag
potato puree ($14); and Head-on shrimp with garlic and chile.
Several side dishes ($5), also suitable for sharing, include
fries with sea salt and herbs; garlic edamame; artichokes
with mint, chilled asparagus and asiago, and spatzle with
Desserts should similarly be shared. We followed suggestions
and tried a tummy warming peach and berry cobbler topped with
cream, and a rich and dense, rich Chocolate and hazelnut cake…
The new Honu – like its predecessor – was packed
on a Thursday night, but service was attentive without being
inobtrusive. We’ll head back soon in the hopes of making
it through the rest of the menu before the next dramatic makeover.
Kitchen and Coktails
363 New York Avenue
Sophisticated Huntington nightspot
Creative international small plates encourage sharing
Moderate to expensive,
depending on appetite
Monday – Thursday 5-11
Friday and Saturday 5-12