By Jano Tantongco
So far, during its busiest Sunday in Huntington village, Old Fields Barbecue dished out 82 racks of ribs, 900 ounces of cooked brisket, 800 ounces of pork, 86 chickens and “40-something sausages.”
At the new barbecue joint, there aren’t combinations or sandwiches. It’s just hearty, tender meats, mainly cooked by smoking and a la carte sides.
“That’s just how they do it down there, and we wanted to bring that authenticity,” partner Rory Van Nostrand said. “It’s about the food. We built the place around the food.”
Old Fields Barbecue, which opened in May at 15 New St., doesn’t just strive to offer quality meat, which is sourced from Main Street Meats in Farmingdale, but it also takes time and care to cook it, Van Nostrand, said.
“Order good product and take good care of how you cook it. You’re smoking the brisket for 14 hours, you want to start with a really good brisket, but what you do in those 14 hours is really important,” Van Nostrand said.
Van Nostrand is partnered up with David Tunney, who was also once a partner for Besito and a founding partner with his brother John of Honu, which they’ve since both sold.
The Old Fields name originally got its start in Greenlawn, where it opened in 1956. Tunney helped to modernize and refresh that location, which is steakhouse, and then repeat the same process with a second location in Port Jefferson.
Old Fields Barbecue is the new heir to the smoky throne.
All the meats are served in portions with a minimum of a half-pound, while chicken is served as a half or whole and sausages are served in wholes. All sides can be purchased a la carte.
There’s also side of standard barbeque sauce, a bourbon-infused barbeque sauce and some vinegar to explore a range of palate enhancers, with more sauces to come.
The House Smoked Brisket ($12/half pound) can only be described as an elegantly rich cut of beef, and is simply a pleasure to chew.
Any establishment that serves barbeque has to have an excellent serving of Baby Back Ribs ($12/half rack). Old Fields goes above and beyond with meal that falls off the bone with just a gentle bite, with a deeply rustic, smoky flavor that permeates taste buds.
The Pulled Pork ($7/half pound) was as tender as could be, with a shredded texture that makes it a delight to munch on through the meal.
The House-made Corn Bread ($4) shined as deeply buttery with a slightly crunchy exterior. Highly munchable, it will be a challenge to avoid filling up on this fluffy treat.
The Half Chicken ($9/half, $18/whole) was tender, avoiding the common pitfall of being too dry, by bringing to the table moist, smoky meat with a slightly seared skin.
The Chorizo ($4/each) sausage was just a bit spicy, adding a welcome heat to the panoply of meats.
The Burnt End Baked Beans ($5) were extraordinarily flavorful, with wonderful chunks of meat that makes this side a must have.
The Mac & Cheese ($6) is perfectly subdued, light on the salt to pair excellently with the rest of the meal.
The Collard Greens ($4) are unlike any other, and powerfully savory and smoky, creating a punchy accent in a smorgasbord of sides.
The Cole Slaw ($3) was light and slightly creamy, adding a refreshing burst of coolness to the heavier elements of a meal.
The Sweet Potato Mashed ($5) tastes straight from the pie. It’s a warm, comforting helping of the sweet tuber, complete with crunchy bits of pecan on top.
To pair with a meal, Old Fields’ creative cocktails will help wash down both troubles and the enormous meal.
Reanimated from the post-prohibition days, the Corpse Reviver II ($12) comes from a lineage of drinks apparently designed to cure hangovers. Tasting like a mythical elixir, it features gin, Lillet Blanc, lemon and a touch of absinthe.
The Orange South Side ($9) brings together vodka, orange simple syrup, mint and club soda. Van Nostrand calls it a “light, killer summer drink.” Living up to that, it tastes like a breeze of citrus, highlighted by an accent of mint. It’s topped with candied orange as a garnish that’s not only colorful, but also tasty.
Old Fields Barbecue
15 New St., Huntington Village
Cuisine: Modern southern barbecue
Atmosphere: Trendy but casual
Hours: Monday, 5-10 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday, 12 noon-10 p.m.; Thursday, 12 noon-11 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 5 p.m.-12 midnight