After a year of metamorphosis, 283 Main St. in Farmingdale has reopened as Harley's American Grille, a steakhouse and seafood restaurant with 7-week dry-aged steaks, a bustling bar scene and a female chef at the helm.
The restaurant takes over the former spaces of Sakura and Hush Bistro. Managing partner Benedetto LoManto, who also runs Vespa Italian Kitchen & Bar across the street, told Newsday last year that he wanted to open a steakhouse on Main Street because "downtown Farmingdale is flourishing and coming into its own." LoManto runs both businesses, as well as Spuntino St. James, with his wife, Cynthia, and son, Michael.
Harley's name plays off Vespa (motorbikes, both) but has an airier feel that blends nautical hues with old-school steakhouse touches, plus an ornately tiled floor. In front is a three-sided bar, clubby seating and doors that open to the sidewalk; in back is a more formal dining room, as well as a wine room stocked with cabernets and other steak-friendly wines, plus ample Italian vino.
Chef Allison Fasano comes to Harley's by way of Gato, Bobby Flay's Noho restaurant (where she was sous chef), Lidia and Joe Bastianich's Del Posto and a few other culinary ventures. Fasano studied at the Italian Culinary Institute in Calabria, Italy, but in Farmingdale her menu concentrates on steakhouse classics, from giant porterhouses to chilled seafood platters, with Mediterranean and European touches dotted throughout.
A recent photo on Harley's Facebook feed shows Fasano holding up two enormous, glistening octopuses, and these end up as an appetizer with pureed chickpeas, potato-chorizo hash and gremolata ($21). Other small plates ($12 to $24) evoke all four seasons, from spring (tuna crudo with grapefruit and mint) to summer (burrata with spiced tomato jam) to fall and winter (short ribs with blue cheese and bordelaise sauce).
The prime-cut steaks at Harley's undergo a two-stage, 49-day aging process, according to LoManto: 28 days of wet aging, followed by three weeks of salt-assisted dry aging and then high-heat searing. Among the chops is a 22-ounce bone-in rib-eye for $55 and a 40-ounce porterhouse for two, $95. "Enhancements" range from au poivre and bearnaise sauces to a blue-cheese crust and a lobster tail.
The remaining land and sea options ($29 to $42) bounce from lamb chops and orange-glazed duck breast to a $60 seafood platter. There are also sea scallops over asparagus-crab risotto and Ora king salmon in a tomato-fennel broth with couscous. Sides ($10-$25) are numerous, and grilled fennel with gremolata is among them. Desserts can come in solid or liquid form, such as a bananas Foster martini that offers a glimpse into the cocktail ethos here. Harley's signature gin-based drink, for instance, is tinted aqua with blue curacao.
For now, Harley's is open for dinner each night but Monday, with lunch service to begin in July.
Harley's American Grille, 283 Main St., Farmingdale. 516-586-8000. harleysamericangrille.com