By Jano Tantongco
At Jonathan’s Ristorante in Huntington, exquisite cuisine meets a laid-back atmosphere, offering Italian classics now accented with a cornucopia of new fall items.
Executive Chef Tito Onofre believes in using the freshest building blocks for his cuisine.
“We’re still here after 22 years because… we use the cleanest ingredients, top of the line,” Onofre said.
A rich starter, the Piadina ($12) is a flatbread with prosciutto, ricotta, figs and honey. Best eaten with hands, the appetizer perfectly juxtaposes the smooth prosciutto with the subdued sweetness of the pickled figs. A light layer of ricotta hold the small plate together, adding just a touch of creamy goodness.
The Insalata con Robiola ($14) unifies beets, pomegranate, robiola cheese and walnuts for a uniquely tactile experience. The beets are mild and juicy, complementing the more springy pomegranate seeds. Meanwhile, the robiola cheese adds a bit of tang that’s grounded by the walnuts.
As for the Mista Autunno ($13) salad, the farro gives a hearty grain base for the arugula, grape tomatoes, pistachio, artichokes and pickled figs. The figs and tomatoes stand as complementary pairs, with an almost similar texture. The arugula and artichoke come together for a bold, natural zest.
The assortment of pastas are offered in either appetizer and main portions.
The Tagliatelle ($16/$27) features bay scallops with oyster mushrooms, sweet garlic and baby arugula. The chewy scallops are an out-of-the-sea delight, and paired with the buttery chunks of garlic, offer some powerful flavors balanced by the slightly arugula.
The Agnolotti di Zucca ($14/$23) is a welcome autumnal item that brings together pumpkin ravioli amaretti cookie dust, parmigiano with a butter and sage sauce. The ravioli rests on the cookie dust, which adds a sliver of sweet crunchiness. Mixing in the sage and parmigiano, the herbal and savory undertones blend together to create symphony of unique tastes.
The Linguini Neri ($15/$26) is a medley of shrimp, squid ink linguini, pancetta and red and yellow grape tomatoes. The tomatoes provide a gushing natural sauce with each bite, enhancing both the shrimp and pasta, with the pancetta throwing in bursts of rich salinity.
The Spaghetti ($15/$25) offers bite-sized manila clams with roasted garlic and habanero chili. The clams taste freshly caught and are augmented by a delicious habanero spiciness that’s not overpowering or lingering.
Shifting to entrees, the Pollo al Rosmarino ($26) highlights succulent organic Bell & Evans chicken on the bone, roasted potatoes, brussel sprouts, cipollini, baby carrots and mushrooms.
The chicken carries a rustic flavor with each bite with a lightly crispy skin. Its surrounded by an assortment of sweet carrots and bursting cipollini that brings the garden to the chicken.
The Salmone ($28) is a textured cut with trumpet royale mushrooms, haricot vert, butternut squash, caramelized walnuts and with a drizzle of apple and balsamic reduction. The salmon boasts a deep flavor punctuated by the walnuts and further developed by the mushrooms. The apple and balsamic reduction throw in a tanginess that helps the dish pop.
The Halibut ($34) 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.
Finally, the Chocolate Cannoli ($10) brings together pistachio cream and raspberries for a sweet finish to the meal. Best eaten with hands, this dessert is a chocolate lover’s dream, with a wholesome custard accented by the raspberries.