One of Long Island’s most well-known chefs is returning to his longtime bailiwick — local seafood dishes — as the executive chef of a reinvented Huntington restaurant.
On April 22, the po’boys of Cajun-themed Storyville American Table will be replaced by ceviche, crabcakes and lobster rolls as the restaurant becomes Finley’s Seafood. Behind the food operation will be chef Michael Meehan, whose culinary life has been closely aligned with fins, shells and gills.
“I wouldn’t want to do this with anyone but Michael Meehan,” said Sandra Finley, who owns both Storyville and the adjacent Finley’s of Green Street.
Finley was motivated to create Finley’s Seafood, she said, because of the lack of restaurants in the area devoted wholly to seafood. “And I’ve noticed that the seafood restaurants on the North Shore are more and more Mediterranean-styled. We’ll serve more old-fashioned, New England-style seafood.”
Meehan, who will remain as chef-partner at both Huntington’s Vauxhall and Radio Radio, has helmed several seafood-centric restaurants during his decades-long career, including Smithtown’s H20 Seafood Grill and Massapequa’s Clearwater.
At Finley’s Seafood, he’ll reprise those roles with of-the-moment dishes like poke, shrimp ceviche and local seafood entrees with seasonal touches. “This is really a platform for sustainable, finned fish,” said Meehan. “There won’t be farm-raised salmon or Chilean sea bass,” he added, but there will be a raw bar.
A truncated version of the full menu will debut on the first day of Long Island Restaurant Week, which runs from April 22 to 29, with a full menu to follow in May.
Storyville’s decor will change gradually from its current New Orleans theme to a more nautical vibe, said Finley. And programming live music at the side-by-side businesses is longtime promoter and Finley’s general manager Scotto Savitt, who promises pop-up performances at Finley’s Seafood during Restaurant Week.
Storyville American Table opened in 2013 as the adjacent fine-dining arm of Finley’s of Green Street, but Sandra Finley conceded the twin businesses, with 220 or so seats and various bars between them, were sometimes confusing to guests. “We have always served everything everywhere,” she said, meaning that the full menu was available in both the pub and the restaurant, a practice that will not shift with the changeover. Storyville’s popular Sunday brunch will stay in place, she said.
As for taking on a third restaurant, Meehan sounded as cool as a cucumber. “They’re a block away from each other,” said the chef — so maybe look for the chef strolling up and down Clinton Avenue and Green Street in coming months.
Finley’s Seafood, 43 Green St., Huntington, 631-351-3440