By Luann & Richard / firstname.lastname@example.org
In Long Islands ever-popular, and ever-changing, restaurant
capital of Huntington, a restaurant has to be pretty special
to stand the test of time. The Clubhouse steakhouse is just
that, with a history few can compete with and a culinary expertise
above and beyond that of a typical steakhouse.
Situated on Jericho Turnpike just west of Route 110, the place
for steak celebrated its 45th anniversary this past
fall. Geraldine Bies and her late husband John established
The Clubhouse in 1962 and it is now managed by their son Jeffrey,
who took over in 1982, and his wife Cassandra. Mama Geraldine,
now 92, still has stake in the restaurant; she keeps the payroll.
The class and quality of The Clubhouse is no secret to longtime
Huntington residents. From the outside, it would be easy to
think that The Clubhouse, renovated four years ago, is just
like any other local steakhouse, with its neon sign and bull
faced logo in front of a simple brown building.
But what awaits you inside is a memorable experience that
combines white linen tablecloths and candle-lit dining with
a warm, cozy and intimate atmosphere where you can order anything
from $36 veal chop to a $14 burger and both will have
your taste buds dancing. The restaurant has even been recognized
for its extensive wine list with awards from both Wine Enthusiast
Magazine and Wine Spectator magazine.
When you are seated at your table, a server takes your drink
order, giving you time to relax and take in the cozy ambiance.
The crème colored walls with dark wood paneling beg
to tell the story of the restaurants history through
vintage black and white photos of classic establishments of
old Huntington. A look around will show you that the dining
area seats about 66 and the mirrored bar area about 10.
You are then given the menu and read the specials, all products
of talented Chef Charlie Labartino, who has been with the
restaurant since 1994. The Culinary Institute of America graduate,
who has polished his craft at restaurants from Nantucket to
Manhattan, shows a tremendous attention to presentation and
even uses ingredients grown from his own garden in the dishes.
We woke our palates with a refreshing appetizer of white asparagus,
crisp and cold, wrapped in prosciutto di parma and roasted
red peppers and topped with grated ricotta salata and a drizzled
balsamic glaze ($10). The garlic bread ($4), toasted semolina
with just the right touch of garlic butter topped with creamy
melted mozzarella cheese, is a crowd pleaser, as is the tender
escargot ($10) in garlic gorgonzola and herb butter.
Seafood appetizers are elegant and impressive. Jumbo sea scallops
wrapped in bacon and glazed with a Grand Marnier molasses
with a polenta medallion ($12) were cooked to perfection and
the sweetness of the glaze and the salty hint of the bacon
complement each other well. The spice to the fresh, seared
sesame and ginger crusted yellowtail tuna ($12) hits you immediately
and is served with a cooling wakame seaweed salad. Jumbo shrimp
($14) are fresh and sizeable, presented in a martini glass.
Tender clams come whole and practically slide right off the
half-shell. The clams casino ($15 for a dozen) come plump
and tender as do clams posillipo, served in a light and sweet
white wine sauce. Be sure to save some bread because youll
want to sop up every last drop.
And when the cold weather really hits, Charlies creamy
and hearty lobster bisque ($9) is sure to warm you right up
and invoke an immediate sense of calm and happiness as only
homemade soup from scratch can do.
Salads are cool and refreshing. Crisp hearts of romaine with
homemade blue cheese dressing and roasted red peppers ($8)
is a good choice, though we also enjoyed the pink peppercorn
vinaigrette of the mescaline salad with candied walnuts and
gorgonzola cheese ($9).
And, of course, steak at the steakhouse is a must. All beef
is cut and aged on premises. We loved the flavorful tang of
a T-bone steak marinated in Charlies special Cowboy
marinade of spicy tequila and lime ($34). The Clubhouses
signature charbroiled filet mignon is so tender and juicy
that no seasoning is even needed, but it comes with an exquisite
and delicate Béarnaise sauce ($36).
The swordfish ($28) is a standout dish. Juicy and ginger crusted,
it is seared to lock in the fresh and dulcet ginger flavor.
The meat of the Maine lobster tails ($48) is sweet and firm,
broiled and served with drawn butter. A roasted half duckling
with wild blueberry glaze ($28) is also an excellent choice.
Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, the meat falls
right off the bone.
Even the side dishes are luscious. The Clubhouses onion
rings are thin, crispy and delicious ($6) and creamed spinach
($6) with a hint of nutmeg and bacon brings smiles to the
table. Served alongside the entrees, the Indian rice blend
with barley is a nice change of pace from typical rice side
Any Clubhouse dessert would make for a heavenly end to an
outrageous meal as almost all are made in-house. The pecan
pie is even made by Mama Geraldine herself.
The Clubhouse is more than just a place for steak. Its
a place for family, a place of excellence and a place rooted
in tradition and community. We hope its around for at
least another 45 wonderful years.
320 West Jericho Turnpike
Steak and seafood specialties
and other continental fare
Atmosphere: Cozy, warm, intimate
Range: Moderate to expensive
Hours: Lunch: Monday-Friday 11:45 a.m.-4
Dinner: Sunday through Thursday 4 p.m.-10 p.m.,
Friday 4 p.m.-11 p.m., Saturday 5 p.m.-11 p.m.