By Jano Tantongco
The motto plastered inside Huntington gastropub True North reads: “In life’s journey we are often uncertain where we stand, where we are going and what is the right path for us personally. Knowing our true north would enable us to follow the right path.”
Brimming with confidence, chef and co-owner of the village eatery, Paul Miranda, employs this philosophy to ensure that his food fully satisfies his diners.
“I want them to have the best experience possible. In order to do that, they need to have certain things exactly the way they’re supposed to be,” he said. “These dishes are written as a whole. I want people to enjoy the food the way it’s meant to be.”
Largely self-taught, Miranda said he previously went to culinary school for a semester, but dropped out. Since then, he has worked all over the country, including as the former executive chef at Swallow restaurant in Huntington.
He emphasized that, if a diner asks for a certain dish to be modified, he will personally visit their table and explain why the dish includes those ingredients. He would prefer his guests experience the meal as is, to fully savor the experience and the thought-out arrangement of its constituent parts.
The buttery, soft Burrata ($13) is a small plate served with compressed cantaloupe, crispy prosciutto and arugula pistachio puree. The mozzarella outer layer gives way to a silky smooth cream that takes on hints of sweetness from the cantaloupe and a savory speckle from the prosciutto.
The Chicken Wings ($14) with Red Dragon sauce was a masterful rendition of the classic bar staple. The crunchy skin gives way to a hearty meat that pulls apart easily, with a secret blend of spices that a saucy punch.
The Olive Oil Braised Pork Belly ($15) features succulent slices of pork complemented by a medley of roasted black mission figs, aged provolone, broccoli rabe and pink peppercorn honey. These elements meld together to balance the savory, sultry taste of the pork with lightly sweet aromatics that make this a truly elegant small plate.
The Ramen ($17), made with pork belly, pork shoulder, soft boiled egg and crispy ginger, is a product of Miranda scouring 15-20 spots in Chinatown for the best ramen over two weeks. He picked the best qualities of the various dishes he sampled, combining them to create a ramen with fresh ingredients steeped in a rich, complex broth.
“When I decided to make this one, I pulled all the things that I loved from all these different ramens and put it into this,” Miranda said.
The Burger & Fries ($21) were no ordinary gastropub burger. Served on a warm brioche bun, the tender beef is served on an under layer of delicately thin serrano ham, topped with arugula that brings the dish a zesty, natural spice. The red onion marmalade brings a mild accent that balances the bolder flavors of the black garlic aioli. The Manchego cheese is well-developed, but not overpowering. Overall, the burger is powerfully artisanal, and, as such, stands as the only burger on the menu.
54 New St., Huntington
Cuisine: New American
Atmosphere: Modern Gastropub
Price: Moderate to Expensive
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 12 noon-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday: 12 noon-11 p.m.; Sunday brunch: 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday dinner: 4 p.m.-9 p.m.