Christopher’s: There’s A Kitchen
By Pete & Rosie/
It may surprise some to learn that not only is there a kitchen
in Christopher’s, there’s a chef back there too.
That’s because Christopher’s is perhaps better
known as a Huntington nightspot, where young crowds make merry
at an expansive wood bar that dominates the room. Indeed,
if you arrive late enough for a meal at Christopher’s,
the noise level gets ratcheted up steadily as the village
eatery makes the transformation from dining spot to hotspot.
But there’s every reason to make sure you time your
meal for the quieter part of the night. Christopher’s
is more than a bar. It’s a classy looking establishment
with French doors that open onto the sidewalk and an all-wood
interior. The restaurant was painstakingly rebuilt by owner
Jack Palladino after fire gutted the building several years
ago. The result – an expanse of honey-colored wood that
gleams under the light that floods through those doors. And
other than the superb woodwork, there’s little in the
way of décor. The atmosphere is supplied by the people
– both friendly wait staff and bartenders – as
well as fellow diners, who populate the room steadily from
There’s a reason. Christopher’s is an institution
in Huntington village with an almost Cheers-like following
where folks head for burgers and a beer, sandwiches or salads,
or more sophisticated fare like steaks, seafood… and
Oh, those ribs.
Palladino used to call them’s Pat’s ribs, in honor
of hockey great Pat LaFontaine, a Christopher’s regular
and perhaps the ribs’ biggest fan. The “Hall of
Fame Ribs” ($20.95) as they’re called today, are
a generous slab of slow-cooked ribs, slathered with the chef’s
tangy sauce and served with corn on the cob and fries or onion
rings. No fork necessary. ’Nuf said.
Big appetites will also get a workout taking on the New York
Shell Steak ($21.95) – grilled with potato and vegetable.
Again, ’nuf said.
Burgers at Christopher’s are a generous helping of ground
sirloin – except for the Turkey, Veggie, Bison or Ostrich
burgers. Billed as a lower-in-fat red meat, the ostrich tops
the burger chart at $12.95, but purports to have 87 percent
less fat than beef. Your choice, but the way we figure it,
by the time you do French Fries, you’re over the limit
anyhow. And they are good fries.
Christopher’s has all the sandwich classics… Roast
Beef au jus ($10.95) is as good as any; Philly Cheese Steak
($9.95) with sautéed onions and several different cheeses,
is not for the cholesterol conscious; and the Crab Cake Sandwich
($10.95) is the real deal. “Only real crabmeat is used
in our crab cake sandwich,” the menu advises. A taste
would have told you that.
Christopher’s wraps range from the simple Tuna Salad
($7.95) and BLT Wrap ($6.95), but like any sandwich, the best
ones are the messy ones. Joey’s Boneless Buffalo Chicken
Wrap ($9.95) tempers a spicy wing sauce with Gorgonzola, celery
sticks and bleu cheese dressing; the Santa Fe wrap ($8.95)
piles on Monterey Jack and Cheddar, salsa, sour cream, olives
Carb watchers have plenty to choose from the salad menu, from
the classic Caesar $6.95) to one of our favorites, Warm Spinach
Salad ($8.95), with its tangy hot vinaigrette; and Grilled
Salmon Salad ($13.95) with diced veggies, Edemame, Alfalfa
Sprouts and creamy dill dressing is an adventuresome departure
from the steak and fries menu. We’re also partial to
the Whim Salad, usually found on the specials board but certainly
available on request. As the name implies, it’s whatever
the chef feels like tossing in there today, and we’ve
never been steered wrong.
Finally, there is the appetizer list. Seems strange to save
it for last, except that it’s perfect for late night
noshing. The expected Jalapeno Poppers ($6), Chicken Tenders
($6), and Mini Chicken Tacos are a great late night snack.
A number of seafood selections, like Mussels Marinara ($9)
and Steamed Little Neck Clams ($11) are unexpected treats.
Pick one of those instead of dessert.
8 Wall Street, Huntington
Atmosphere: Casual Pub Style
Cuisine: Bar basics; burgers and… oh,
Price range: inexpensive
Hours: Lunch, dinner and late night.