Hush Bistro review
Hush makes noise.
Marc Anthony Bynum, who has starred at restaurants including Tellers: An American Chophouse in Islip and Prime in Huntington, returns to his hometown with locavore relish and a sharp, fresh sliver of a spot that turns a changing Main Street into a dining destination.
Bynum, twice winner of Food Network's "Chopped" competition, oversees a meticulously designed, almost industrial-style space that fits 26 diners. Reclaimed wood becomes custom-made tops for Singer sewing machine table bases. The host's stand used to be part of a newspaper printing press. A mural evokes Farmingdale past and present. The bar is mahogany and concrete; the plumbing, exposed; the sconces, vintage.
There are 16 seats at the bar, a few little shoulder-to-wall tables for two, and only one for four near the entrance. From all, you'll see Bynum in the compact, open kitchen. But the flavors at Hush Bistro are big.
For dinner, begin with a generous, resonant lobster bisque. Smooth kabocha squash soup nearly rivals it. House-smoked ribs: terrific, with chipotle-driven barbecue sauce and ribbons of pickled watermelon rind. Bynum fashions a daily surf-and-turf appetizer with ingredients that vary. One rich combo includes braised short rib, dayboat scallops and polenta. The opulent foie gras "PB&J" brings together a buttery puck from a torchon, mixed berry preserves, peanut butter mousse, candied kumquat and brioche.
The savory Berkshire pork chop arrives with sweet potato puree, apple chutney and rainbow chard. Pan-roasted, tender, crisp-skinned chicken comes with fingerling potatoes, baby leeks and mushroom pan jus. Slightly chewy Moulard duck breast, fine duck-confit salad, baby onions and carrots benefit from a gooseberry-spiked demi-glace. Herb-and-Gruyère gnocchi have a near-toasted crust, but are buoyed by chanterelles.
At lunch, generally good burgers dominate. The "kimchi" number is a chicken patty with Korean barbecue sauce, and a fried egg, but little heat from the traditionally spicy and sour side. Pulled pork elevates one beef burger; shallot jam and Mecox Bay Dairy Cheddar, another. Be sure to taste Bynum's butter-topped cornbread.
Pick from a wine list that's nearly all from Long Island. And excellent craft beers abound. Hush also sends out snappy cocktails. For dessert, consider olive-oil cake, strawberry-and-goat cheese panna cotta, or a clever "chocolate & chocolate" with dark mousse, dehydrated mousse, peanut brittle and riesling gelée.
The motto at Hush Bistro is "We let the food speak."