By Janee Law
For those looking for a romantic dining experience, there’s no better place than Oheka Bar & Restaurant. With its interior and exterior dining design creating a Tuscany ambiance, the restaurant offers colorful dishes that are sure to make customers come back for more.
Located in the historic estate of Oheka Castle, the bar and restaurant offers a menu made up of American and European cuisine designed and prepared by Executive Chef Frank Monahan, and executive pastry chef, Daniel Andreotti.
“For me, it’s to do a complete mix of all different cultures and foods so when you come here, you’re not just getting American,” Monahan, who’s been with Oheka for five years, said. “We do a mix of Asian and Portuguese, but it depends on what we do for the specials for the week.”
The restaurant prides itself on buying quality food and offering fresh dishes, Monahan said. He added that popular dishes are steaks and seafood, selling between 500-600 lobsters a week.
“The fish that we buy are all Atlantic,” Monahan said. “The swordfish come from Block Island and the lobsters come from either Rhode Island or Canada because they come from colder water so the shells are harder and you get a better quality lobster out of it.”
Located at 135 West Gate Drive in Huntington, the estate was built by Otto Hermann Kahn in 1919 and became the home to several organizations in the decades that followed. Owner Gary Melius purchased Oheka Castle and the remaining 23 acres surrounding the estate in 1984. His mission was to restore the property to its original glory.
Nancy Melius, director of marketing and design, said the Oheka Bar & Restaurant slowly developed throughout the years, and officially opened to the public in 2013.
Offering a lunch and dinner menu, Melius said the restaurant is casual fine dining. Along with dining, the estate and hotel hosts weddings and other celebrations, executive corporate events and mansion tours.
“Customers can come here and feel almost like it’s their local castle, and they come back time and again,” Melius said. “You can’t really disconnect the restaurant from the estate itself and the history because it’s monumental. It’s a place that people really identify with and Long Islanders really connect to it.”
To start, the Crab Cake ($19) is packed with lump Maryland crabmeat and comes with baby greens, sesame seeds, sweet soy and chipotle aioli, offering a spicy kick.
The Mussels and Clams ($16) are sure to get the juices flowing, with fresh PEI mussels and Littleneck clams. The coconut milk in the Thai red curry broth cuts the heat of the Thai curry to make a perfect balance of spicy flavor.
Even anti-fish eaters cannot turn away the Salmon Athena ($36) dish for the main course. The wild caught Scottish salmon is fresh and moist, topped with crunchy pistachio pesto, succulent roasted tomatoes and tzatziki sauce. The dish comes with julienned vegetables, and creamy potato and cauliflower puree.
The mouthwatering prime Filet Mignon ($48) is another must try as a main course. The juicy filet mignon is cooked to perfection, with a moist inside and crunchy outside. The filet mignon is topped with a wild mushroom Ragu and comes with a crunchy but creamy potato and goat cheese rosti and Brussels sprouts.
Don’t miss out on the sinful dessert menu, offering a variety of items, including the light Swedish Profiteroles ($12), which consists of Bavarian cream and crème anglaise; and the rich Cheesecake ($12), complete with fresh strawberries, blueberries and strawberries, berry compote, and crème anglaise.
A recipe by Monahan, the cheesecake is fluffy and creamy, and delivers a cinnamon and lemon zest flavor to brighten the dish.
Monahan said what he loves about his job are the people he works with and the customers.
“The customers are very nice. You come out and talk to them and they’re always happy to see you and happy to tell you about their experience here,” Monahan said. “That’s what it’s all about coming here, it’s for the experience.”
To make a reservation, visit Oheka.com/dining.htm or call 631-659-1350.
Oheka Bar & Restaurant
135 West Gate Drive,
Cuisine: American/European cuisine
Atmosphere: Casual/Fine dining
Price: Apps: $15-$20;
Hours: Lunch: every day, 12 noon- 3 p.m.; Dinner: Sunday-Thursday, 4-9 p.m., Friday-Saturday, 4-10 p.m.; Bar: Sunday-Thursday, 12 noon-9 p.m., Friday-Saturday, 12 noon-10 p.m.