You don't have to place your order a day in advance at Elsie Lane Wings, new to Huntington, but the wings that eventually make it into your hands began their journey to the fryer at least that long ago.
That's when the wing brining process begins here, overseen by chef Brendan Banks, who ran both United Cheesesteaks and the sandwich shop Rotisserie Banks in this spot until it underwent a rapid transformation into Elsie Lane Wings this fall. After brining, the wings are baked and then fried to order — a process which lends them a deep burnish and a crispness that holds its own under the steamy confines of a takeout carton.
Co-owner Sal Mignano calls Elsie Lane Wings a takeout counter, but it feels distinctly like a bar. Wings (which start at $9 for six) are backed by a supporting cast of 15 different sauces, from a subtly spicy Elsie sauce to mango-habanero, buffalo sauce or Asian garlic. "They are getting pretty well-known," said Mignano of the wings, which debuted in early 2019 at Elsie Lane, the New Hyde Park bar with a focus on burgers, craft beer and cocktails, plus a freewheeling late-night scene, at least before COVID. "We're trying to change the game with wings on Long Island, and take it to the next level."
No burgers are on the menu at Elsie Lane Wings, but there are 13 different buttermilk fried-chicken sandwiches ($13 to $16), from a Nashville hot to versions topped with various combos of caramelized onions, melted cheese, bacon, pickled jalapeños and hot sauce. Also on the menu: Various iterations of mac-and-cheese ($10 to $15) and shareable sides and platters ($9 to $24) such as giant pretzels and buffalo cauliflower bites.
Mignano said there are five partners in Elsie Lane Wings, mirroring the coalitions behind Elsie Lane and Vauxhall and New Wave Burrito Bar in Huntington, where he is also a partner. Mignano also still runs the Leaky Lifeboat bar in Seaford, which is hanging on, he said, despite having its late-night scene kiboshed by COVID.
The counter-slash bar at Elsie Lane Wings has no draft system but a rotating roster of menu of much-sought beers by the bottle and can, such as The Alchemist's Heady Topper and It's Complicated Being a Wizard, an IPA from Burlington Beer Co. (There's Bud and Truly in the fridge, too).
Though Elsie Lane Wings has leaned into takeout, the place looks set to revert to a mellow hangout once life returns to normal: A bank of flat-screen TVs hang above a copper-topped bar, a few high tops and a window counter that looks out on Main Street.
Elsie Lane Wing House, 295 Main St., Huntington, 631-824-6236. elsielanewinghouse.com