By Danny & Betty
Michael Cassano, owner of Acacia restaurant on New York Avenue in the heart of Huntington village, knows the restaurant’s name is tricky to pronounce. So he included a phonetic spelling of the restaurant’s name on his menus: “ah-kay-shuh”
We suggest another phonetic pronunciation: “ah-may-zing.”
The restaurant has always been a favorite of ours in recent visits over the last 20 months since it opened its doors on Oct. 13, 2013, transforming the former Oak Room at Meehan’s into a cosmopolitan, Manhattan-inspired dining den where, if mussels are king, their Long Island Duck Breast ($34), served medium-rare, plump and juicy with a tart and sweet spiced cherry-orange chutney and blueberry port reduction, is in the royal court.
Duck later makes an appearance on a light pasta dish – the duck confit cavatelli ($14), served in jus with tomatoes and shaved Brussels sprouts. Wild chicken risotto ($14), featured in a rotation of risottos of the day, is another standout selection bursting with nutty and earthy flavors.
Cream of wild mushroom soup ($9) is a graduate from the specials board, and for good reason. It’s creamy, topped with rich shaved pecorino and accented with a pop of truffle oil, but the decadent dressings don’t overwhelm.
Or, turn to a perfect summer salad with the Strawberry Salad ($11), a light and fresh medley of baby spinach, toasted almonds, strawberries, champagne vinaigrette and a creamy touch of goat cheese.
Turf lovers will never go wrong with steak at Acacia, either. The grilled 14 oz. dry-aged sirloin ($36) comes with a mound of crispy Vidalia onions, watercress salad and maitre d’ butter; a more petite 8 oz. filet mignon shines atop garlicky smashed potatoes, caramelized cipollini onions and a rich burgundy sauce. Finish with a fresh, sweet caramel apple tart, paired with unique popcorn gelato ($15 for the tart a la mode; $10 for tart, $6 gelato separately).
Acacia will soon have plenty to offer all day long. Their happy-hour menu, available Tuesday-Friday 5-7 p.m., offers an array of half-off specials on starters, mussel pots, homemade infused liquors, wines by the glass and beers. Late-night dining on Fridays and Saturdays includes cocktail and bottle service.
A new brunch menu offers a wide variety of opulent breakfast selections and $15 bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas. Keep an eye out for new lunch hours at the restaurant, coming soon several days per week.
Which, as far as we’re concerned, is as “ah-may-zing” as the food itself.