By Jano Tantongco
The recently opened Del Frisco’s Grille at the Walt Whitman Shops can best be described as “American comfort food with a twist.”
“If you want to come in and get a burger and a craft beer, you can do that,” said Executive Chef Seth Barton. “Or, you can come in and get a juicy ribeye with a nice glass of wine to pair with that. It caters to all spectrums.”
Barton has been with the Del Frisco’s restaurant group for the past eight months, preparing for his new role by sharpening his skills with its Manhattan location. He originally hails from central Pennsylvania. After high school, he served for four years with the Marine Corps. He then made his way south, receiving his culinary degree at the Florida Culinary Institute in West Palm Beach.
He joined Seasons 52 restaurants as a line cook, eventually working himself up to the position of executive chef, aiding in opening several restaurants along the East coast.
“I can look back as far as the early years of high school working in some mom-and-pop independent restaurants as a dishwasher, prep cook, line cook,” he said. “My passion just grew for it.”
The latest iteration of Del Frisco’s Grille joins 20 other locations throughout the country. It blends timeless American classics with modern infusions ranging the gamut of flavors.
The refreshing Ahi Tacos ($17) feature tuna tartare, guacamole and spicy citrus mayo. The appetizer is sure to start the meal off right with a light, yet rich flavor.
Also to start, the Cheesesteak Eggrolls ($13) are glazed with a sweet and spicy chili sauce, unifying East and West. The honey mustard sauce provides an under layer of savory goodness that’s complemented by a sprinkling of chives.
The Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad ($12) satisfies the palate with earthy tones that come from the roasted almonds, and the springiness that comes with dried cranberries and orange segments. Shaved Manchego cheese tops this salad for a slightly buttery and crisp finish.
With a side as decadent as the Truffled Mac & Cheese ($9.50), you might wonder why it’s not a main dish all of its own. The radiatore noodles may just be the surface-area king of pasta, with each piece bringing a hearty helping of sauce.
Diving into the main course, the Grille Prime Cheeseburger ($15.50) features a double-stack of hearty beef with all the typical fixings, including Del Frisco’s signature Sloppy Sauce, a recipe kept “near and dear.”
Cutting into the Prime Beef Short Rib Stroganoff ($31.50), one experiences a smoothness that could make butter blush. The soft, yet textured short rib is juxtaposed with smoky tobacco onions that brings a dignified taste. Coupled with delightfully doughy pappardelle noodles, the dish makes for a deeply satisfying entree.
Coming up to the desserts, one may already be in a state of bliss, but there’s still more to be enjoyed.
The Coconut Cream Pie ($11.50) is crafted upon a vanilla wafer crust and surrounded by shaved white chocolate shavings. The pie sets the tongue teetering between crispy coconut flakes and the silky whipped cream and custard.
As for the Nutella Bread Pudding ($10) contrasts the cream pie with an almost sultry flavor that provides a warm, chewy experience balanced by coffee ice cream.
Del Frisco’s Grille
160 Walt Whitman Road, Huntington Station
Ambiance: Upscale Casual
Cuisine: American Comfort
Prices: Moderate To Expensive
Hours: Dinner, Monday-Thursday 4 p.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 4 p.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday 3 p.m.-9 p.m. Lunch, Monday-Saturday 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Brunch, Sunday 11 a.m.-3 p.m.