104 Years Of Classic Pub Fare At Finnegan’s

By Jano Tantongco

jtantongco@longislandergroup.com

Finnegan’s Restaurant and Tap Room was established in 1912, serving as not only a source of delicious delights and drinks, but also as a community center for the Town of Huntington

Finnegan’s Restaurant and Tap Room was established in 1912, serving as not only a source of delicious delights and drinks, but also as a community center for the Town of Huntington

Serving the patrons of Huntington for 104 years, Finnegan’s Restaurant and Tap Room serves up classics in an atmosphere that spans the generations.

Manager Tommy Forte has been with Finnegan’s since 1990. As regulars walk in, he greets them with a warm smile.

“This is the Cheers of Huntington,” Forte said. “Finnegan’s just keeps on going.”

Forte, 69, been tending bar for 51 years. He began his career with Finnegan’s as a bartender, making his way up to work hand in hand with each of the pub’s five owners over the years, now in league with the Lessing family. It’s served as a de facto town hall of sorts, a place where power brokers and the common man have gathered since it was first founded in 1912.

Head Chef Anastio Marcia mans the kitchen at 5 Wall St. seven days a week, offering up a wide variety of dishes that keep patrons coming back.

The Grilled Chicken Quesadilla ($10) will almost have you wishing it was your entree. The flakey crust reminds one of a French pastry, but retains all the flavor and characteristics of the time-honored classic. Featuring the staples of guacamole and pico de gallo, it’s also drizzled with a thin sour cream that’s reminiscent of Spanish-style crema, packing each bite with creamy flavor.

The warm and flakey Grilled Chicken Quesadilla at Finnegan’s is a truly mouth-watering, hearty appetizer that begins one’s meal with a blast of savory sensation.

The warm and flakey Grilled Chicken Quesadilla at Finnegan’s is a truly mouth-watering, hearty appetizer that begins one’s meal with a blast of savory sensation.

Burgers must always be a top contender on any pub’s menu. The Finnegan Burger ($14) is certainly that and more. A mix of cheddar and Swiss cheese adorns the Pat LaFrieda premium ground beef, which is enveloped in a warm pretzel bun. The burger is topped with sautéed mushrooms and caramelized onions, grounding its smoky tones. The horseradish mayonnaise is a highlight that adds just enough sharpness to create a truly wide range of taste.

The Finnegan burger takes the pub burger to the next level with a blend of cheeses and a warm pretzel bun.

The Finnegan burger takes the pub burger to the next level with a blend of cheeses and a warm pretzel bun.

For those opting for a sandwich, look no further than the Corned Beef Reuben ($11). It 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.

The Corned Beef Reuben delivers a complex blend of tastes that combine tangy, savory and sweet undertones, wrapped together in a marbled rye

The Corned Beef Reuben delivers a complex blend of tastes that combine tangy, savory and sweet undertones, wrapped together in a marbled rye

To pair with any of the delectable dishes, ask for the Big Cat cocktail ($9), which bursts with pineapple undertones. But take heed, the drink is far stronger than the taste lets on. The drink was once called the “Tommy Special” after the beloved manager. Eventually, it came to be known as the Big Cat, harkening back to Forte’s Blue Devil days at Huntington High School. Despite his sizable frame, he was described as “quick as a cat” by his football coach, eventually coming to known as the Big Cat.

Finnegan’s Manager Tommy Forte prepares his signature cocktail, The Big Cat, which blends together Absolut vodka, Malibu rum, peach schnapps, with a splash of pineapple, orange and cranberry juices.

Finnegan’s Manager Tommy Forte prepares his signature cocktail, The Big Cat, which blends together Absolut vodka, Malibu rum, peach schnapps, with a splash of pineapple, orange and cranberry juices.

Visit Finnegan’s on Tuesdays from 5-10 p.m. for $4 tap beers and $6 appetizers. Or, check them out on Wine Wednesday for half-price wine bottles all day.


Finnegan’s

5 Wall St., Huntington

631-423-9696

Lessings.com

Cuisine: American

Atmosphere: Classic Pub

Price: Moderate

Kitchen Hours: Monday-Sunday 12 noon-10 p.m.

Bar Hours: Sunday-Thursday 12 noon-1 a.m.; Friday-Saturday 12 noon-3 a.m.