Baked Alaska is the star of the dessert menu at...

Baked Alaska is the star of the dessert menu at Arlo in Northport. Credit: Newsday /Andi Berlin

All eyes were on the massive tomahawk steak swinging around the dining room. A server pushed it on a roaming cart decorated with a white tablecloth, its long bone attached to a string on a rack. When the server arrived at the banquet booth, he took the ribeye down and started carving it up for everyone at the table.

At the Art Deco dining hall Arlo Kitchen & Bar, every meal comes with a little dinner theater. This December, restaurateurs Steven Squitiro and Andrew Affa re-imagined the former Crestwood Manor event space as a two-story supper club. Built onto the side of a hill above the winding streets of Northport, the building is stunning, like a glimpse of old New York seen through the eyes of an Instagram savvy millennial. Retro dining carts move past the open kitchen carrying throwback desserts like a baked Alaska, flambéed with a blowtorch and covered with a glass bowl so that the smoke permeates the marshmallowy merengue. A golden-tinged bar area in the back fills up with special occasion revelers drinking from the 200-plus bottle wine list. And a hidden staircase leads up to a jazzy lounge with a grand piano and dramatic views of the forest trees that command the two-acre property. 

The bar area at the two-level supper club Arlo in...

The bar area at the two-level supper club Arlo in Northport. Credit: Newsday /Andi Berlin

"The plan of attack was to create a restaurant where you had a sprawling amount of seats, but every room felt intimate," Affa said. "We wanted to bring back a classical vibe to dining, a little bit of the retro 1920s era." 

The Standard Hospitality Group, which also operates Mission Taco in Huntington, brought in chef Walter Huezos to create the menu, which dances between steakhouse staples like wedge salads and a raw bar to trendier mashups like a fried chicken sandwich with smashed burrata cheese. The appetizers lean toward eclectic, with assertively grilled octopus ($24) placed on a bright romesco sauce with garlic chips and hasselback potatoes. The portion could have been more generous but the octopus itself was flawlessly cooked, with crunchy crust leading to a juicy interior. 

The dish I'd go back for was the duck breast ($38), brimming with a blackberry gastrique and notes of sweet bitterness from a cacao crumble. The creative flavor combo showcased the talent of the chef, but I was blown away by the fantastic flavor of that local duck breast, robust yet subtle. 

Crispy Long Island duck breast with parsnip puree and chocolate...

Crispy Long Island duck breast with parsnip puree and chocolate cookie crumble at Arlo in Northport. Credit: Newsday /Andi Berlin

Make sure you save room for that baked Alaska ($16), a blast from New York's past that's said to be invented at Delmonico's Steakhouse in the financial district. The almost 200-year-old restaurant has remained closed since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, but Arlo brings the storied dessert back in a contemporary way. 

Pastry chef Claudia Ocho layers together chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream that's infused with bourbon soaked cherries, and then covers it all in a puffy white cloud of bourbon meringue. A server wheels over the mound along with a gravy boat of high-proof spirits, which are lit on fire and poured over the top of the cake before covering it with a glass dome. Boom, your spoon dips into the seared edges and in one bite you've got something hot, something cold, something new and something very old.

Arlo Kitchen & Bar is at 1036 Fort Salonga Road, Northport. Open 4-9:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, 4-10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, closed Tuesdays. Saturday lunch and Sunday brunch service coming in mid-January; 631-491-2756, arlokitchenandbar.com.

Top Stories