Sweet Spots For
By Peter Sloggatt / email@example.com
InValentiness Day. No matter what night of the week
it falls on, for any restaurant, its one of the busiest
nights of the year.
In the Town of Huntington, or as we like to call it, the restaurant
capital of Long Island, theres no shortage of spots
to make Valentines Day special for your sweetheart.
Old favorites like Jonathans and The Clubhouse fit like
a comfortable shoe; while new restaurants offer a new adventure.
Choose Honu or Danu in Huntington village, or Melvilles
Four Food Studio for a hip and sleek dining experience. Prime
(can we still call it a newcomer?) is first-class for food,
for atmosphere and for the breathtakingness of its view.
But then theres that cozy dinner for two in a candlelit
room with quiet places in the corner and a menu made for sharing.
Places where dessert comes with one fork. If romance is on
your mind, heres our pick of some top spots for Valentines
All the makings of a favorite getaway.
Thats how the Foodies described Restaurant Mazzi in
one of our early reviews. This Huntington hideaway with its
cozy rooms and intimate seating at candlelit tables has an
atmosphere perfect for Valentines Day. Small in size
to begin with, caramel-colored walls, deep-toned wood trim
and a dark ceiling make the already intimate space even more
intimate. The yards and yards of deep green and burgundy fabric
that cushion the banquettes and drape the windows make Mazzi
Mazzis friendly bar, where even non-couples feel welcome,
is the place to start. Exotic Martinis have a menu of their
own and the wine list is credible.
Owner Katherine Catanzaro and her chef take their cues from
the restaurants Italian roots, but theyre also
not afraid of adventure. Salads are reliable, from the hearty
Caesar to the Mazzi Pear Salad, which features a voluptuous
poached pear atop a bed of mixed greens with nuts and Gorgonzola
Crab cakes lead the appetizer menu, but weve found anything
seafood to be a good choice. Thats likewise true of
with the entrees, though were continually seduced by
the steak and veal selections. Filet Mignon is a thick, prime
cut, topped with a button mushroom and accompanied by fabulous
mashed potatoes. The Roast Long Island Duckling crispy
skinned and citrus-glazed is a favorite among regulars.
And then theres dessert. Catanzaros a kid at heart
and her desserts reflect a fondness for candy store staples
Heath bars in particular that will bring back
your childhood and have you thinking about anything other
than your waistline. For Valentines Day, Molten Chocolate
Cake brings a warm ending to a memorable meal.
So share a plate, or even a fork. And if youre feeling
really lucky, ask for that super-secret, extra-cozy, table-for-two
in the corner just to the left of the stairs.
Restaurant Mazzi - 493 E. Jericho Turnpike, Huntington. 631-421-3390
OK, not the coziest of places but its plenty comfortable
and the multi-star menu makes this a No. 1 third-date choice.
Which also makes it a perfect place for couples who have long
ago found their comfort zone.
Panama Hatties is comfortable with its place among the top-rated
dining spots in the restaurant capital of Long Island. Matt
Hisiger, owner for the past five years, has put together an
intimate bar, cushioned banquettes and professional wait staff
that make you feel extra special, yet all somehow take a back
seat to a menu that will knock your socks off.
Again, were partial to Diver Scallops for an appetizer,
and Hatties takes an Oriental bent with shitake mushrooms
and hot and sour bullion. A tuna tasting appetizers presents
a trio peppered tuna, bigeye tuna tartare and white
tuna confit that will satisfy the most rabid tuna fans.
The seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras
well, there are not
a lot of restaurants that serve this delicacy, and fewer still
that do it as well as Hatties.
Or go for broke and this is getting deep into third-date
territory with The Grand, a platter of
12 oysters, four prawns and eight crab claws; or the Oestra
Caviar served with warm blinis, sour cream, and egg whites.
And thats just the first course. There are plenty more
ways to impress your sweetheart, if not yourself. Entrees
have you choosing between truffle-stuffed chicken; filet mignon
with a rich Bearnaise sauce; or the roast Long Island duck
breast with sausage, white beans and that rare treat, leg
confit. The house specialty, venison, is a symphony of flavors,
from the molasses marinade to the nutty Brioche and light
fruity relish that accompany it.
Valentines Day calls for indulgence, and we recommend
the dessert tasting for two the chefs selection
of six desserts. Itll put the sweet into your sweetheart.
Panama Hatties - 872 E. Jericho Turnpike, Huntington Station.
Theres a reason theres been a restaurant, inn
or eatery at the southern tip of the Cold Spring Harbor waterfront
for the better part of two centuries. Back then it was the
girls who catered to bawdy whalers; these days its the
view. That the menu lives up to the gorgeous sunsets over
the Cold Spring Harbor waterfront is an added plus.
Owner Tina Nanas has recently orchestrated a menu overhaul
where seafood is the star. Nothing starts a romantic dinner
better than oysters, and few do them better than 105 Harbor.
Seafood dominates the new menu and the adventures include
an Asian influenced Ahi Tuna; a fruity, miso-rubbed Scottish
Salmon; and classic steaks.
For Valentines Day, 105 Harbor has put together a menu
especially for lovers ($60 pp) featuring lobster tail and
filet mignon for two; roast duck with fig reduction and a
leg confit; or Asian stir fry; followed by a choice of desserts
for two. A platter of treats is for chocolate lovers; Passion
fruit crème brulee for sophisticated tastes; and theres
chocolate and Chambord fondue for two for fun lovers. Do your
homework ahead of time and youll be able to regal your
lover with bawdy tales and ghost stories from Cold Spring
Harbors colorful past while you dine.
105 Harbor, 105 Harbor Road (Route 25A), Cold Spring Harbor.
The Blue Room
For intimate setting and sheer hipness, The Blue Room is unbeatable.
The creation of Anastasia Barbatsoulis and Nick Literello,
The Blue Rooms exposed brick walls lit by candles in
sconces lend warmth to an already cozy interior. Jazz, blues
and an occasional accompaniment by Anastasia from the bar
lend musical atmosphere, and signal to lovers of any of these
musical genres that theyve hit the right spot. What
Nick sends out from his tiny kitchen completes the magic.
Nicks menu is most comfortable with what we call comfort foods
but he brings panache to everything on his menu. Our favorites:
popcorn crawfish served in a swirly French Fry holder; Dixie
style fried chicken, with grits, beans and gravy; and Cajun
Catfish served in a skillet.
Dessert is likewise in a comfort zone led by Nicks famous
chocolate cheesecake, and nostalgia favorites like zeppoles
Intimate, cozy and candlelit, The Blue Room hits the right
note for Valentines.
The Blue Room 93 larkfield Road, East Northport. 631-261-5761