By Connor Beach
Huntington is a restaurant town. Every year new restaurants open, and those that cannot keep up with the changing times are forced to close their doors.
However, there’s been consistency at 12 Gerard St., where Mark Gelish has established Mac’s Steakhouse as a landmark of the village restaurant scene that’s not going anywhere.
Gelish said the 7,000 square foot restaurant can seat 220 diners across its two floors.
Mac’s has always been labeled a steakhouse, he said, but these days the menu is more like that of an American grill.
In order to operate a restaurant for over a decade under the same ownership, Gelish said it takes a combination of tradition and a willingness to adapt.
“We’re not afraid to change things as trends change,” Gelish said. “Everything on the menu is from an old fashioned recipe, and everything is a labor of love.
In addition to opening sister restaurant Mac’s on the Meadow earlier this year at Crab Meadow Golf Course in Northport, Mac’s is also stepping up its catering options. Catering Manager Leanne Verity said Mac’s has hosted around 200 cocktail parties and sit down dinners over the last year for family celebrations or private functions.
“We are that staple in the community now, and the staff feel like they are a part of something special,” Verity said.
Gelish added that Mac’s has enjoyed the opportunity to interact with and donate to many Huntington charities and volunteer organizations over the last ten years.
The menu at Mac’s is a combination of classic steakhouse dishes with a variety of other items that are perfect for a more casual meal.
“We want to offer our guests a variety,” Gelish said. “Of course we have beautiful steaks, but we also have other options.”
One of those options is the Sliced Tuna and Avocado ($16), a new bar menu item that features sushi grade tuna and avocado served with wasabi, ginger, seaweed salad and a soy glaze. The dish radiates fresh, Asian flavors that provide a stark contrast to the heavier options that usually dominate the menu at a steakhouse. The texture of the tuna and the avocado match well together, and the salad, ginger and lightly seared tuna are a creative way to deconstruct a traditional sushi roll.
Gelish highlighted Mac’s composed plates that give diners a trio of flavors that are designed to pair well together on the plate.
The Blackened Swordfish ($32) is served over vegetable risotto and Caribbean corn. The swordfish is a good choice to stand up to the creole influenced blackened seasoning without being overpowered. The risotto is a second star of the dish that has a clear vision and comforting unity of flavors.
You can’t visit Mac’s without trying one of the restaurants 30-day dry aged steaks.
The 16-ounce Bone in Ribeye ($46), served alone on the plate in the traditional steakhouse fashion, is accompanied by the Classic Creamed Spinach ($6) and the Garlic Mashed Potatoes ($7). The tender, juicy steak is cooked to a perfect medium rare and simply seasoned to avoid muddling the beef flavor. The creamy sides are both rich and buttery; they are a classic textural complement to the steak.
The Crème Brulee is a sweet finish to a very savory meal. The crisp top of the dish gives way to silky custard underneath with hints of vanilla. The dessert completes a decedent meal that customers have come to expect from a quality steakhouse like Mac’s.
Gelish said that the best part about running a family business in Huntington is the relationships with loyal customers.
He said, “We take our time to try and make everyone feel special… We treat our guests like extended family.”