Notable Opening: Vitae in Huntington
Out with the old and in with the new. This is a constant theme in life, and especially, the restaurant world. The newest Huntington hotspot is Vitae (pronounced VEE-TAY), located in the famous spot where Abel Conklin’s reigned for many years over the Huntington scene (in a historic building dating back to 1841). The name Vitae means life, and it is with this in mind that Vitae opens its doors to welcome in Spring and the hungry masses coming out of their winter hibernation.
You might not be able to tell from the exterior, which is plain in contrast to the warm and intricately designed interior, but Vitae is actually brimming with life. Our visit to the restaurant during their first week of operation was met with a line at the door for those who didn’t plan ahead with a reservation. There was an excitement in the air and those who were told there would be a wait happily made their way over to the bar to enjoy a few pre-dinner cocktails while General Manager John Estevez kept an eager eye out for them to be led to their table when it opened up.
The food is billed as Continental Cuisine that complements their extensive wine list. Our personal favorites from the meal were the Baked Clams Oregenata appetizer; whole clams perfectly seasoned and covered in baked bread crumbs that could go toe-to-toe with some of our favorites of the past, and the delicious 10oz. Filet Mignon served with sauteed spinach, roasted red potatoes and a red wine demi-glace. The filet was cooked to medium rare, tender and seared with a crust.
Executive Chef Lawrence Palladino, who most recently was a sous chef at Cold Spring Country Club, is striving to create a wine-friendly menu with roughly 20 entrees and a dozen appetizers. We were too stuffed by the time that dessert rolled around, but had we enough room to spare, Stefanie’s Cheesecake was calling our name.
Vitae earns 3 out of 4 “MMMMMS”.
*Header image courtesy of Jim Lennon