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Hush Bistro opens new location in Huntington

Farmingdale's own Marc Anthony Bynum pulled himself out of depression as he discovered culinary arts in his teens. Known for being on Food Network's "Chopped" and for his consulting work around the world, Chef Bynum gave Newsday a behind-the-scenes look over the course of several months, ending July 10, 2015, at the life and struggles of a chef trying to open his first restaurant, Hush Bistro, in his hometown. (Credit: Newsday / Jeffrey Basinger and Chris Ware)

Huntington’s quasi-saturated restaurant scene has a new but experienced face: Chef Marc Anthony Bynum has opened a spur of his now-closed petite Farmingdale restaurant, Hush American Bistro. The new eatery is on Gerard Street in the village, importing a raft of soul-food-inflected plates and a robust cocktail program to the North Shore.

A monthlong metamorphosis has turned the spot where Salumeria Pomodoro used to be into a sleek, dim yet somehow rustic space with 55 indoor and outdoor seats, more than doubling the seats Bynum had in Farmingdale.

While the menu draws on the chef’s signature plates, from Southern-fried chicken with sweet potato puree ($14) to St. Louis-style ribs ($16), it also weaves in a hefty dose of seafood, such as the revolving crudos that appear on a section of the menu called The Naked Truth. (For now, those dishes include a scallop crudo with smoked avocado ($14) and WTF, a plate of diced raw tuna with watermelon, wonton and shaved foie gras dubbed foie gras “snow.”)

The rest of Hush’s menu is not calorie-shy. Pork belly with carrot-coconut puree ($16), tater tots showered with foie gras, and a dry-aged HB burger anointed with tomato jam, pancetta and arugula with truffle fries ($18) all make appearances.

Within a week or two, Hush will also roll out an equally hearty brunch menu — chicken and waffles, lobster eggs Benedict and shrimp and grits, dishes that originated at the three-year-old Farmingdale Hush  — one of Newsday’s Top 100 restaurants for two years in a row. “It’s American soul food, that’s the best way to describe it,” said Jason Machado, a partner at Reststar Hospitality Group, which runs the Gerard Street space.

Hush’s extensive Farmingdale drinks list has also migrated to Huntington, anchored by classics such as the Bee Sting and Painkiller, as well as drinks that incorporate fresh herbs, homemade syrups and artisanal spirits. Bynum asserted that the drinks are essentially culinary. “A mixologist is just a chef behind the bar, and I really wanted to bring that to light,” he said.

Bynum has been a fixture of the Long Island restaurant scene for years, and has gained attention beyond local borders via his wins on the Food Network’s “Chopped.” Though he will oversee the food in Huntington, he said that Pomodoro chef Michael Flowers has stayed on as chef. 

In the meantime, Hush in Farmingdale has been closed for the last few weeks. While Bynumn will still have a presence in his hometown, it will take a different form: Bynum plans to bring weekend tasting menus, private events, cooking classes and a training kitchen to that location. “It’s harder and harder to find help,” Bynum said, and he plans to use the Farmingdale space to train young cooks for careers in his expanding string of popups and eateries.

Hush Bistro in Huntington is open daily from 5 p.m. until close, and will add weekend brunch hours in coming weeks. 

Hush American Bistro, 46G Gerard St., Huntington, 631-824-6350, http://www.reststarinc.com/hush-bistro/

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