Huntington Social in Huntington
We visited Huntington Social for a late-night cocktail in mid-summer when the restaurant first opened up. We were impressed with the new decor, a vast and classy departure from the dark, dank Chesterfields that previously inhabited the space. Whimsical murals of both regal and naughty monkeys let you know as you walk in that Huntington Social aims to show you a good time. Lush red velvet banquettes and large curved booths lend a feeling of cozy elegance, and the long bar with plenty of seating is classic with low amber lighting, making everyone instantly more attractive. This second time we went with dining in mind, and we’re happy to report that the food was attractive as well.
Tender, juicy hunks of veal were sandwiched in soft sesame-seeded buns, with shredded carrots, cilantro and that citrus aioli giving them a bright kick. These didn’t last long on the plate, and we’d order them again in a heartbeat. 3 people were dining, and we were given 3 sliders. It’s nice when a restaurant helps its patrons avoid awkward food stand-offs.
Oh-so-light meatballs (assuming veal) with a perfect Mama Italiano-style sauce covering them, nestled in a pool of creamy polenta with a cap of shaved parmesan cheese and basil leaf. While one person thought the meatballs lacked spices, the rest of the table found them to be delightful. And again, 3 meatballs meant we each enjoyed one without argument.
Incredibly fresh tuna was made even better by the light touches of coconut, pineapple and curry sauce. If you like tuna, you’re going to enjoy this scrumptious appetizer.
While more of a thick slice of lettuce than an actual wedge, we loved the presentation of this salad along with the taste. Roasting the grape tomatoes gave them a deeper flavor that stood up nicely against the bacon and hunks of bleu cheese in the dressing. A sprinkle of chives and croutons topped it all off. It’s worth noting that this salad was a nice, manageable size, unlike some restaurants’ wedge salads where your appetite is killed off before your main arrives.
Oh my! We could easily eat this for breakfast, lunch or dinner. A thick, slightly sweet slab of bread drizzled with truffle oil coddled a poached egg topped with peppery arugula and sweet-tart pickled onions. Cutting into the center of the egg, we watched as the yolk oozed out and was soaked up by the bread, then promptly put every last bite into our mouths while making happy sounds.
Cutting the crusts off was a cute reference to childhood, but none of us were blown away by this sandwich. There’s something special missing from this dish that would give it the extra “Oomph” that we were experiencing in all of our appetizers and had come to expect from this chef by the time our mains rolled around.
The strip steak was tender, if more Rare than the Medium-Rare that had been ordered. Our waiter happily offered to throw it back on the grill but it already had the sauce on it and we didn’t want the hassle or a longer wait, so we kept it as it was. The meat was tender, and the sauce had a hint of citrus to it that we found refreshingly different. The accompanying side of asparagus was fine, but we would have liked some roasted fingerlings or pureed turnips to go along with it.
Service from start to finish was top notch. If you’re looking for an interesting evening out on the town with some specialty “speak easy” drinks or great happy hour deals ($5 wine, 1/2 price apps), this is a great place to go for a romantic date night or take a group of friends.
Posted by: i speak Foodie