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Blond Restaurant & Wine Bar

Winning new entry to the Huntington dining scene brings the 'taste' of Manhattan and its ambiance to the village.

Huntington's bustling  social and cultural scene and its abundance of trend-setting restaurants have made the village a Long Island epicenter. Blond Restaurant & Wine Bar, which opened last June, is one of the newest entries in the world of fine dining for which the "little apple" has become known.

Blond's stylish, understated earth-toned décor--- and its new age American cuisine-- will immediately remind you of Manhattan. The glorious silk draperies, sleek banquette seating, and exposed brick wall create a feeling of intimacy and comfort while the fireplace and the glimmer of candlelight add a spark of magic.

I selected from Blond's prix fixe menu, which, for $30, seemed quite reasonable. The soup du jour, carrot ginger, was tantalizingly piquant. Chopped salad is all the rage, and I found Blond's artfully composed  romaine salad, with creamy garlic dressing, to have both complexity and depth, with tiny cubes of crisp pancetta adding a salty tang.

On my next visit I would try a Blond favorite--the frisée salad, accented with smoky bacon, sweet apples, toasted hazelnuts, and apple wood smoked cheddar-- or the roasted beet and goat cheese salad, which received rave reviews from the couple dining next to us.

As connoisseurs of this  humble  deep red  root are well aware, the beet is a vegetable whose time has come.

Executive chef/owner Sam Nelovic discovered the earthy goodness of roasted beets in 1992 and has been a fan ever since.

"They have a natural sweetness and are very healthy," he said.

Other tempting starters include the yellow fin tuna tar-tar paired with crispy wontons, and bathed in a sesame, soy and ginger vinaigrette, and rock shrimp, served buffalo-style.

If you are looking for an intriguing alternative to buffalo wings, this may be it.

Rock shrimp are small and sweet, Nelovic said, adding that, served in a spicy buffalo sauce, these little crustaceans become flavor powerhouses which are fun to enjoy as  a prelude to a meal.

In terms of main courses, the fennel and ginger braised beef short rib served in a barbecue demi glace with potato puree proved a very satisfying choice for a cold winter evening. I also enjoyed perfectly al dente linguini in a tomato and basil cream sauce topped with shrimp, bay scallops and mussels, of which the mussels were particularly enjoyable.

According to Nelovic, many guests gravitate towards the garlic studded halibut, served with herb panko, roasted tomatoes and goat cheese risotto in a citrus reduction, and the blue cheese crusted filet mignon, served in a red wine demi glace with whipped potatoes.

No meal out is complete without its 'sweet ending' and Blond's desserts provide just the right grand finale. Both the Belgium chocolate mousse cake and the New York-style cheese-cake, drizzled with raspberry sauce, were velvety and delightfully decadent.

The chocolate Blond bombshell and the crispy fried Oreo shot are also crowd-pleasers at Blond, Nelovic indicated.

"It's cookies and milk with a twist," Nelovic said, adding that the popular Oreo becomes as a whole new taste sensation when it's coated with funnel cake batter, deep-fried, and served in a shot glass with milk.

In contrast, the bombshell is all about chocolate, with a chocolate biscuit showcasing chocolate mousse, ganache ( a luscious mélange of chocolate and cream) and gelato, finished with, you guessed it, chocolate sauce.

There's another Blond in Miller Place, which  Nelovic opened in the late 1990s. Both establishments take their name from a brand of vodka that used to be served at the bar, Nelovic said, adding that guests can expect many more wines to be introduced as Blond in Huntington continues to evolve.

The prix - dinner menu is available on weekdays and Sundays.

Appetizers, soups and salads from the regular menu range in price from $7 for the soup du jour to $14 for tuna tartare or diver scallops.

Entrées from the regular menu range from $22 for the soul-satisfying cavatelli pasta basking in short rib bolognese to $36 for the blue cheese crusted filet mignon. Desserts range from $2 for each crispy fried Oreo shot to $7 for the chocolate Blond bombshell.

In the winter, Blond is open from 4 pm to 10 pm Monday through Thursday and on Sunday, and until 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. With the advent of spring, Blond opens for lunch at noon.

To preview the menu, visit

www.huntington.blondrestaurant.com

 335 Main Street

Huntington

631-424-6300

 

 

 

 

 

 

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