Interior shot of Vitae Wine Bar & Restaurant at 54...

Interior shot of Vitae Wine Bar & Restaurant at 54 New St. in Huntington . (2011) Photo Credit: Jim Lennon Credit: Jim Lennon/

Vitae Restaurant and Wine Bar transforms the old site of Abel Conklin's, in decor and on the table.

The new eatery looks grand, from the hues of bronze and copper to the  marble-topped bar. More important, the first bites of chef Lawrence Palladino's updated continental cuisine are very good, often better.

Come here for the Northport native's savory short-rib croquettes, baby back ribs, stuffed pork loin, and namesake chicken dish, French-cut breast with sausages, cherry peppers, onions and potatoes. And try his trio of creme brulee; or, if it's a special, the goat-cheese pudding with honey.

Early on, Vitae shows plenty of potential and has started delivering on it. Toast Vitae with one of the 25 wines by the glass.

Vitae Restaurant and Wine Bar,  54 New St., Huntington; 631-385-1919. 

The dining room at Vitae.