By Jano Tantongco
At Imperial Meat Company in Huntington village, an intimately welcoming environment gives way to a spirited dining experience full of reverie, a sea of dim, neon-colored lights, and of course, meats that are sourced with a level of care only exceeded by the way they’re prepared.
Ricardo Montalbo, general manager, describes IMC as a “different concept than most.”
“This is a complete symphony of everything you want,” he added. “We really take pride in what we do here.”
He described how IMC’s kitchen staff finds ingredients and integrates a refined approach to cuisine. Restaurant owner Igor Chukhriy also owns Imperial Meat Market in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn and deals directly with farmers, so he picks and choose only the best quality.
“We have the direct connection to the producers and the farmers,” Montalbo said. “We can afford low cost and very good prices because there is no middle man.”
And, if in the moment you bite into IMC’s cuisine, and you happen to let out a smile, Montalbo considers it a job well done.
Montalbo added, “That’s my satisfaction. That means I’m doing my job right.”
For a cool, yet hearty salad, the IMC Wedge ($11) serves up iceberg lettuce, double smoked bacon, pickled tomato and homemade bleu cheese dressing. Topped with even more blue cheese, the salad manages to highlight its powerfully flavors while keeping them in check with the tender bacon and juicy tomatoes.
For another starter, the Spicy Tuna ($18) are delicately placed on crispy rice cakes, with a thin jalapeno slice, with a side of sweet soy dipping sauce. The ahi tuna bursts with fresh, savory flavor that melds excellently with the crunchy rice cake.
The braised Short Rib Bites ($14) are slow cooked, barely requiring any chewing from the lucky diner who samples this plate, with a teriyaki glaze seeping into the meat for even more flavor. Topped with fried shallots and fresh scallion, the two work together to add herbal goodness from two fronts.
The Maple Glazed Bacon ($12) brings to the table two slabs of double smoked bacon so thick, Canadian guests may blush just to see them. Drizzled with a barrel-aged maple syrup, this appetizer extracts the best element of breakfast for your enjoyment.
Sampling three varieties of the prized Wagyu steak, the establishment serves them paired with bundles of rosemary and thyme to dip into a side of au jus sauce made from the beef’s own juices. Montalbo said most of IMC’s Wagyu is imported from Australia.
The Wagyu Petite Tender steak ($32), normally served as a 12-ounce portion, featured a rustic flavor that rendered this cut slightly smoky and permeating with a flavor fresh from the farmland.
The Wagyu Hanger steak ($39), typically portioned as 16 ounces, stood out as an exemplary model of marbled succulence. Sometimes called a butcher’s steak, since they would often keep this cut for themselves, the hanger is not only extremely tender, but perfectly absorbs its own juices for a self-enhanced flavor.
The Wagyu Flank Steak is available as part of a prix-fixe menu available Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday all night and Thursday-Saturday, 4-7 p.m. for $29.95 per person. The steak pairs excellently with IMC’s homemade steak sauce, which infuses a mild tangy zest sure to please the most discerning steak enthusiasts.
For dessert, the IMC Donuts ($10) are a masterful take on an everyday classic. They’re filled with a warm dulce de leche, topped with cinnamon sugar, with a side of crème anglaise to dip.
If there was a dessert sent from heaven, the cloud-like Floating Island ($10) would be it. It brings together soft meringue, créme anglaise and almonds for a simple, yet satisfying end to a meal.