When you’re Vauxhall, Huntington’s mobbed-from-the-get-go late-night-hipster gastropub, what do you do for an encore? A Southern bistro-BBQ-roadhouse mashup.
Radio Radio, the long-awaited spot from Vauxhall owners Sal Mignano, Eric Finneran, Dan Valentino and Michael Meehan, officially opens today, complete with a make-your-own julep menu for the Kentucky Derby.
“It just got to the point that we were successful enough here and began talking about doing a Southern concept,” said Meehan, executive chef at both restaurants. “We were influenced by the Nashville food scene, and the Memphis barbecue and music scene.
(When it rains barbecue in Huntington, it pours: Old Fields Barbecue is due to open in the next week or so about three blocks away.)
Radio Radio takes over the space that once housed the Italian-inspired Doppio Artisan Bistro. Doppio’s white stone-topped bar and incandescent lights remain, but the kitchen is now open with a view of the swanky BBQ smoker, while portions of the dark walls have been paved with subway tiles and decorated with license plates.
The menu comprises three sections: “start + snack,” “supper” and “straight up ‘que.” Start with a Mason jar filled with house pimento cheese ($6), Mexican-style grilled chili lime corn on the cob ($8) or angry mussels with rock shrimp, jalapeño and andouille sausage ($12). Suppers include Nashville-style hot fried chicken ($16) and Tupelo rock shrimp hash ($18). The rotating barbecue menu will include brisket, pulled pork and smoked chicken, among others, plus vegan options such as jackfruit “pulled pork” ($15). Meehan said he slices the jackfruit thin, dries it the oven, shreds it like pulled pork and tosses it in spicy BBQ sauce.
As for the name, Radio Radio takes its name from Elvis Costello’s popular 1978 song, as Vauxhall namechecked Morrissey’s 1994 album “Vauxhall and I.” Music plays a key role at both restaurants — all four partners are musicians; Mignano, Finneran and Valentino also own music clubs on the South Shore. At Radio Radio, the music takes its cue from Memphis, pulling heavily from legendary soul music studio Stax Records and rock & roll, rockabilly and country from Sun Studio which made its name producing records for Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash.
On Saturday, the julep festivities kick off at 4 p.m. with a menu that takes liberties with the drink that is traditionally made with bourbon, sugar, water, mint and crushed ice. Here, you choose your booze (vodka, rum, bourbon, rye) and then you flavor (traditional, citrus, berry, apple pie, pecan, or chocolate). All juleps are $10.
Radio Radio, 24 Clinton Ave., Huntington, 631-923-2622