By Jano Tantongco
Our Foodies have had the pleasure of sampling cuisine of all kinds in the Town of Huntington this past year. As one of Long Island’s dining meccas, Huntington offers a wealth of restaurants, pubs, cafes and everything in between for a truly multifaceted dining experience. Though we’d like to consider all dishes our favorites, here were some highlights from the past year.
110 Japan: Sayori Sashimi
Executive Chef Chee Meng So’s Sayori Sashimi might seem like an adventurous dish, but it truly shines as a balance between crispy and tender, all with one fish. The body is cut and served with a topping of angel tears, which is imitation caviar flecked with real, edible gold flakes. The dish is not only appealing to the eyes, but the crunchy fried spine makes an excellent texture complement to the soft slices of the fish.
Cafe Buenos Aires: Paella
The Paella is a true representation of the Spanish seafood staple. Featuring fresh shrimp, mussels, octopus and squid, the dish is as close as you’ll get to the shores of the Argentinian coast. The saffron rice carries the fragrant flavor of the alluring spice and serves as an excellent base for the seafood blend.
Christopher’s Pub & Eatery: Fried Coconut Shrimp
Biting into the Fried Coconut Shrimp served with sweet chili dipping sauce, one will experience an extra crispy batter with coconut flakes adding a texture that brings you back to the island life. It’s paired with corn on the cob and thickly sliced sweet potato fries that are just as crunchy as the shrimp, with a fluffy interior.
Crabtrees: Stuffed Avocado
Andrew Crabtree called this dish one of his industry pub’s best sellers, and it’s certainly warranted. The Stuffed Avocado is a helping of fresh tuna poke set into a sliced avocado dressed with mixed greens. Crabtree said he wanted to use heartier chunks of tuna in such a salad to pay homage to the dish’s Hawaiian roots. The tuna is juicy and the sesame soy vinaigrette adds a burst of flavor, with the sesame seeds on top adding a hint of nuttiness.
Finnegan’s Restaurant & Taproom: Corned Beef Reuben
The Corned Beef Reuben, by Head Chef Anastio Marcia, offers a tempting taste, as many Reubens do, but with a buttery, crumbly corned beef that almost melts in your mouth. The contents are saddled in a marbled rye bread that adds just enough tang to bring intrigue to an already complex blend of flavors. Complemented with a robust sauerkraut, savory Swiss cheese and whole grain mustard, the sandwich will definitely please even the most ravenous Reuben consumer.
Jema: Smoked Black Angus Short Rib
Chef Franco Sampogna’s Smoked Black Angus Short Rib is plated with carrots, broccoli and potato gratin. The Angus is remarkably powerful in its flavor, with a deeply savory flavor that makes this entree a must-have. It’s soft and textured, making it a pleasure to slowly chew. The potato gratin is smooth and luxurious, with just enough cheese to give it enough gusto without taking away from the short rib.
Jonathan’s Ristorante: Halibut
The Halibut, brought to you by Chef Tito Onofre, serves up a naturally flavorful, and slightly peppery fish that also features fingerling potatoes, cipollini, asparagus, caramelized radish and cranberry coulis. The asparagus is surprisingly mild, while the caramelized radish adds an complex earthy sweetness that brings out the fish’s innate flavor.
Nisen: 2016 Volcano Roll
The 2016 Volcano Roll is a medley of warm, bold flavors featuring coconut shrimp, mango, molten kani crab, diver sea scallops, mango coulis and wasabi aioli. The coconut flavor is truly enhanced by the mango, erupting with nutty and sweet undertones.
Osteria Da Nino: Italian Mac and Cheese
The Italian Mac and Cheese serves up a three-cheese blend of parmigiana reggiano, gorgonzola and mozzarella, mixed with truffle oil, with ditalini pasta, mushrooms, all topped with an organic fried egg. The truffle oil underscores the dish with earthy undertones that balance the medley of cheeses.
Rust and Gold: Buffalo Soldier Dip
The Buffalo Soldier dip brings together cheese dip, pulled chicken, buffalo sauce, all topped with scallions for a zesty kick. Though you may be courteous, double dipping is excused here, since you’ll want each bite of your tortilla chips covered in this hearty, cheesy blend of ingredients. You’ll find yourself happily digging into your main course, but coming back to this appetizer time and time again.