Rookies Sports Club
70 Gerard St. Huntington, NY 631-923-0424
Burgers, wings, loaded potato skins and "Grand Slam" nachos -- the menu alone is a good sign this is a house of sports. Tables have speakers that let patrons choose the audio from any of the bar's 10 televisions.Hours: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.: Sun.-Wed. 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.: Thursdays. 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m.: Fri.-Sat. (Bar open later.) Accessibility: Fully accessible
It's a midweek evening at Rookies Sports Club in Huntington and a football game is in play on the two huge projection screens over the bar. On the eight big TV monitors surrounding the room are hockey, basketball and equestrian events. If that's not enough, a small video screen at every booth allows occupants to select the sports channel of choice, as well as a kiddie video. From the long roster of wings, I tried the "chipotle bbq" variety and found them meaty, imbued with a nice smokiness. It was hard to resist the pigs in blankets, frankfurter slices wrapped in puff pastry and served with chipotle ketchup and mustard. A warm, melty grilled chicken quesadilla with cheese came with a perky, fresh pico de gallo. But an otherwise ideal Saigon salmon salad (a moist, seared spiced slab of salmon over a mix of greens, Napa cabbage, fresh orange sections, edamame, crushed peanuts, red peppers and scallions) was marred by a dressing that tasted of preservatives. Turns out the use of a commercial product was a management decision made with an eye toward consistency. As of this week, I was told, the restaurant would be making its own dressings. I was impressed with a simple entree described as "roasted rotisserie spiced chicken." Actually, the bird is lemon-peppered, pan-seared and then finished in the oven. I found the skin dark and nearly translucent, the meat moist and flavor-infused. Tender slow-cooked baby-back ribs brushed with a not-too-sweet barbecue sauce are plated with buttery "smashed" red skin potatoes and coleslaw. An entree of rare blackened tuna arrived rosy and cool at center, served with a nutty-tasting brown rice pilaf and bright grilled vegetables. Missing from the plate, though, was the promised pico de gallo and chipotle mayonnaise. Even so, the well-seasoned fish steak needed nothing. An "A-1 peppercorn" burger (made with steak sauce, applewood-smoked bacon, melted pepperjack cheese and fried onion straws) was a bit more well cooked than requested, but, nonetheless, hyper-juicy and quite good. Another indulgence was a sandwich of blackened Cajun chicken with sauteed peppers, caramelized onions, melted pepper Jack and Cheddar cheeses, jalapeños and chipotle mayonnaise on a ciabatta roll. A "shaved prime rib" sandwich - thin slices of tender beef with caramelized onions, melted provolone, sauteed mushrooms and horseradish mayo - came with an oniony "jus" on the side, for dipping. Although a finale of Mississippi mud pie wasn't bad, it was from an outside bakery, just the sort of generic stuff you'd expect to find in a sports bar. Reviewed by Joan Reminick, 1/9/08.