Best restaurants in Huntington: Critics' picks
There's no other dining scene in Suffolk that rivals Huntington's, whose dozens (and dozens) of restaurants draw from points east, south and even west from Nassau County. It's also one of Long Island's most walkable downtowns, so find a parking space (and feed the meter!) and hit the pavement. Here are some of the village's standout spots:
1653 Pizza Co.
80 Gerard St.
There’s a lot going on under the hood of this dashing cubbyhole of a restaurant, one that’s not quite a pizzeria — but serves superlative pie — and not quite a wine bar, but pours some of the most interesting wines (and cocktails) in town. It might start with a sincere greeting, a watermelon Negroni or sparkling Vouvray and plates of blistered, subtly briny artichoke hearts, crispy orbs of cacio e pepe suppli (aka rice balls) or oven-charred prawns that shatter as you eat. Then, segue to supple housemade pasta and the coal-oven maneuverings of pizzaiolo Michael Vigliotti, whose pies bear ample char and are layered with both playfulness and restraint. A clam pizza vibrates with pickled banana peppers and lemon zest; another pie smeared with pistachio pesto, piled with folds of mortadella and dotted with stracciatella cheese; a near perfect Margherita pizza anointed just so with sauce and pools of fior di latte. Friendly but serious, unpretentious but elegant, 1653 sets itself apart with warmth, quiet exuberance. More info: 631-824-6071, 1653pizzaco.com
The Farm Italy
12 Gerard St.
This eatery conveys the elegance and hospitality of a Tuscan fantasy, although its menu roams all over the boot — and into steakhouse territory as well. Starters include an antipasto platter, mussels in Pernod, spicy ’nduja sausage with ricotta and honey on toast, octopus and salmon crudo and beef cappelletti in brodo. Among the pastas are a classic bucatini cacio e pepe, pappardelle Bolognese and malfadine with crabmeat and gremolata butter. In addition to four steaks, mains include branzino fillet, hake with white-bean ragout, grilled spicy shrimp with eggplant and salsa verde, grilled chicken with arugula and tomato, chicken Parmesan and veal Milanese. The décor, in tones of weathered wood, bleached brick and rich leather, read as Italian without veering into theme park. From the outside, the restaurant looks huge but, aside from the imposing foyer, the bar and dining rooms still feel intimate. More info: 631-824-6000, thefarmitaly.com
335 New York Ave.
There is a street-savvy vibe at this bustling ramen counter, where traditional shoyu and tonkotsu broths share the lineup with a Chinese-inflected tan tan ramen (with spicy sesame broth and fried chicken) and a "grilled cheese" bowl whose noodles bathe in a roasted tomato broth with smoked Gouda and garlic croutons. There are a few tables, but the best seats are at the counter, where you can see the chefs in action. More info: 631-923-3176, mbramenshop.com
Honu Kitchen & Cocktails
363 New York Ave.
Big enough to host a small convention, Honu boasts impressive size, eclectic food, and first-class drinks. The downtown mainstay’s bar and the mixologists guarantee imbibing with style via handcrafted cocktails. To satisfy your other appetite: duck spring rolls, tandoori cauliflower steak with mango yogurt, vegetable tacos, blue cheese-crusted strip steak, filet mignon au poivre, swordfish with polenta, and a Cuban sandwich. More info: 631-421-6900, honukitchen.com
371 New York Ave.
A kaleidoscopic mural of La Catrina, the icon of Mexico's Día de Muertos, anchors the dining room at this buzzing spot billing itself as “authentic but not traditional.” Starters include guacamole and quesadillas (steak, veggie), and more upscale choices like grilled octopus with sautéed chorizo. Tacos are the thing, though, with street varieties like carne asada and chicharrón (pork belly) alongside trendy ones like now-ubiquitous birria and a “gringo,” which features a hard corn shell filled with ground beef, lettuce, tomato and cheese. Don’t miss the well-curated agave list for margaritas from spicy to sweet. Three sangrias are on offer, and beer lovers will get excited over their impressive selection from niche breweries. More info: 631-614-8226, missiontacoli.com
300 New York Ave.
Edoardo’s is a trattoria of a decidedly different stripe. The front room of this bi-level space is a cafe-market-pastry shop where you can start your day with a pastry and an expertly pulled espresso. Or have a seat in the dining room and have a frittata, omelet or uova in purgatorio (eggs poached in tomato sauce). For lunch there are sandwiches on homemade focaccia, among them, the “after hours” with sausage, roast potatoes, caramelized onions, caprino cheese, pesto and arugula and “il gladiatore” with roasted vegetables, spicy zucchini, pecorino and three pestos, and seven pastas including linguine with shrimp and lemon sauce, fettuccine ai funghi (with wild mushrooms, cream and Parmesan) and pappardelle alla Bolognese. All the pastas are made in house and all are for sale in the market. Edoardo’s recently added a dinner menu, the creation of Trieste-born chef Marco Costanzo: seared scallop with cauliflower purée and porcini threads, octopus with potatoes and tomato confit and a big ol’ raviolo stuffed with ricotta and an egg yolk and topped with a little Parmesan hat (frico). BYOB for one of the most elegant meals In Huntington right now. More info: 631-683-4964, edoardostrattoria.com
286 Main St.
In shades of sky blue and egg yolk, Hatch is an all-day brunch destination for all ages. On a typical Saturday morning, the TV is tuned to cartoons and the tables full of egg dishes, including the Benedict Arnold, wherein an American classic collaborates with an English muffin. There are more Benedicts; mascarpone-packed French toast; avocado toast; numerous pancakes, among them pineapple upside-down, cinnamon roll, and blueberry Danish; plus sandwiches from a Reuben to grilled cheese with applewood-smoked bacon, tomato, and Vermont Cheddar. Fine coffee, too. Worth the wait. More info: 631-424-0780, hatchbrunch.com
The Ivy Kitchen & Bar
65 Wall St.
Perhaps the most Instagrammed restaurant in Huntington, The Ivy supplements endless photo-ops with a menu that roves between meatballs, pizzettas and burgers (including a Wagyu version blanketed in raclette cheese) to pastas (such as sweet-potato gnocchi with brown butter, sage and stracciatella cheese), oversized salads (beets with pistachios, orange and spiced yogurt) and entrees that arc from short-rib risotto to chicken scarpariello to scallops with a parsnip-apple purée. More info: 631-900-9489, theivykitchenandbar.com
Prime, An American Kitchen & Bar
117 N. New York Ave.
Perched on the harbor a mile north of the Village, Prime is a restaurant with a view and a viewpoint. The place almost glitters from the Italian sports cars in the parking lot to the fashions of the evening crowd. It’s also a popular destination for brunch, alfresco dining, and the newly installed oyster bar, shucking Blue Points and Kumamotos. But even with none of that, Prime would still be the top table in town for seafood, cooked and uncooked, from steamed lobster to sushi; a very upscale veal Parmesan; and steaks such as the dry-aged rib eye and porterhouse for two. More info: 631-385-1515, restaurantprime.com
57 Wall St.
This patisserie has sweetened downtown since 2006. Baker and co-owner Gerard Fioravanti created the Frenagel in 2015, a whimsical and savory union of bagel and French doughnut, best filled with scallion cream cheese with fleur de sel, that may make you forget the much-publicized Cronut alliance of croissant and doughnut. Fioravanti also makes some of the best croissants, brioche, pastries, scones, biscuits, cakes, tarts, cookies, and quiches in the town and on the Island. His flourless chocolate cake is the peak version. More info: 631-424-0803, fiorellodolce.com
Old Fields Barbecue
15 New St.
It's a little bit Texas and a little bit Brooklyn at Old Fields Barbecue, which opened in 2017. Meats include brisket, St. Louis-style pork ribs, smoked chicken, pulled pork, and housemade sausage. Diners can chose from five sauces as well as a la carte sides that include mac-and-cheese, collard greens, watermelon salad, and mashed sweet potatoes — plus Hawaiian rolls and cornbread for sopping up the juices. Old Fields’ cocktail menu also sticks to the classics, such as a Moscow Mules, a banana-infused Old Fashioned, and a tea-based Dragoon Punch laced with rum and brandy and is based on an 1850s recipe. More info: ofbarbecue.com
3 Union Pl.
The Baldanza family came from Calabria 35 years ago. Four brothers, Sal, Joe, Rocco, and Alberto oversee this destination for fresh pasta, including scores of ravioli; cavatelli, gnocchi, and lasagna with housemade sauces to go with them. “Sunday sauce” means braciola, meatballs, and yes, sausages. Naturally, the shop is devoted to them, thin and plump, pork and not, spreading along a major meat counter. You may spot a whole provolone being aged for a customer, and definitely will find fresh mozzarella, cured meats, Italian imports and flavor-packed caponata. The market is a popular stop for sandwiches, Italian breads, and a large assortment of prepared foods. More info: 631-271-3836, mrsausagefinefoods.com
26 Clinton Ave.
The competition for best hamburger is intense around here. But Vauxhall bids fair for the title. Stellar chef Michael Meehan, who also directs next door Radio/Radio and nearby Finley’s Seafood, fashions a crowded, buoyant. hipster magnet joint for super burgers, a chalkboard of craft brews, snappy cocktails, and a late-night menu. The half-pounders include the The Kitchen Sink, festooned with bacon, short rib, pepper jack cheese, mac and cheese and crumbled barbecue chips; and Evil Sal, jump-started with ghost-pepper marmalade. Meehan and the owners are musicians and must be fond of Morrissey. More info: 631-425-0222, vauxhallhuntington.com
55 Wall St.
In the decades since this Huntington stalwart opened, Long Island menus have largely turned away from France, setting their sights on Italy. But Bistro Cassis proudly carries on the Gallic tradition with a menu that — burrata and roasted cauliflower aside — has barely changed 2001. So, brace yourself with onion soup gratinée and mussels mariniere, refresh with frisée aux lardons and salade Niçoise, slice into grilled onglet (hanger steak) Bordelaise and strip steak au poivre. Bird lovers can chose among poulet Chardonnay, canard a l'orange or the roast chicken for two accompanied by fries and seasonal vegetables. There’s a plat du jour, including cassoulet on Wednesday, coq au vin on Thursday, bouillabaisse on Friday and blanquette de veau on Sunday. At lunch and brunch: a croque monsieur, chicken and waffles, a lobster club sandwich are among the appealing choices. More info: 631-421-4122, restarinc.com
54 New St.
Dependably satisfying food morning, noon, and night. Or just have breakfast all day. In the a.m., a Belgian waffle, avocado toast, corned beef hash, and brioche French toast are highlights; midday, a grilled chicken club sandwich, a Reuben, or a burger electrified with cherry pepper crisps; later, chicken and waffles or strip steak with chimichurri. Full-flavored cocktails, starting with a serious Bloody Mary. More info: 631-385-7433, intheshed.com
273 Main St.
Seafood shines at Neraki, a refreshing, sleek Greek and Mediterranean grill with a hint of Santorini and a tint of Aegean blue. Fine whole, grilled fish, such as fagri, or Greek snapper; red snapper, orata, black sea bass, and porgy, all simply and perfectly prepared. Monkfish in lemon sauce, center-cut swordfish steak, sushi-grade tuna, and meaty grilled octopus expand the catch. Precede them with a Greek salad, barrel-aged feta cheese, stuffed grapes leaves, and Greek spreads including taramasalata with roe and melitzanosalata with eggplant. Uncork a bottle of Assyrtiko or Moschofilero. More info: 631-385-3474, neraki.com
Cafe Buenos Aires
23 Wall St.
The festive establishment serves excellent food and a good time. Hugo Garcia, the attentive and accommodating overseer of the dining room, ensures both. The bar is spirited (tango dancers have been known to make an appearance there) and the menu features appetizing Argentine tapas, empanadas, tacos, baked oysters, patatas bravas with chorizo, ropa vieja, ceviche, Serrano ham with manchego cheese and olives (in photo) as well as seafood paella, and a knockout mixed grill for two with chicken, short ribs, sausages, smoked bacon, and top sirloin. The selection of Argentine wines is exceptional. Churros with dulce de leche ice cream and flan are the ideal finales. More info: 631-603-3600, cafebuenosaires.net