Looking for comfort food? The new Del Frisco’s Grille at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station is the place to be. The large, open-floor plan restaurant with industrial style décor opened June in the old Legal Seafood location, and business has been booming.
Under the direction of executive chef Seth Barton, Del Frisco’s Grille caters to families, business people, couples on dates and friends looking to get together for a fun evening out. There are plenty of tables and booths which overlook a very large, open industrial kitchen. A large bar, which is towards the front of the restaurant, seats 50 people, and there is an outdoor patio.
Barton, born and raised in Pennsylvania, attended the Florida Culinary School in West Palm Beach, and then went to work at Seasons 52, a Darden Corporation restaurant, for 10 years. He opened several other units for Darden in the northeast, and eventually made his way to New York almost six years ago. When the opportunity presented itself, Barton jumped at the chance for an executive chef position.
“I love being a chef,” says Barton. “I could never imagine doing anything else with my life. Being in New York is definitely a unique experience because you have such a melting pot of people. You really get to experience a diverse culture.”
The staff at Del Frisco’s Grille is friendly and very accommodating. Once I got settled into a roomy booth, I met Barton who was eager to cook for me. When I asked how he would describe the food at Del Frisco’s Grille he replied, “It’s comfort food with a twist.”
I was first served a delicious signature cocktail called The VIP made with Hawaiian gold pineapple and infused Svedka clementine vodka. It was delicate and citrusy with a mild sweet taste from the pineapple. It’s a perfect summer drink, but I was warned that it could pack a pretty big punch, so I had only one. Other popular drinks include Apt. 5D, which is made from Tito’s Handmade Vodka, strawberries, lemon sour, simple syrup and a dash of balsamic. The Adult Milkshake is more of an after dinner cocktail and made with Nocello walnut liqueur, crème de cocoa and vanilla ice cream. They also offer “skinny” cosmos and margaritas as well as a popular white sangria. If you are looking for beer or wine, there are several beers on tap including some local beers from Greenport and Montauk. Their wine list is quite extensive and features bottles from around the world. There are 11 white and 12 red wines by the glass and by the carafe.
The first “comfort food with a twist” I was served was their famous cheesesteak eggrolls. Two eggrolls were cut in half lengthwise and were stuffed with shaved beef, American cheese and sautéed onions. They were hand-rolled in the kitchen and served with a sweet and spicy chili sauce and honey mustard. This dish is great for sharing, as were the ahi tacos, made with super fresh ahi tuna, avocado and a spicy citrus mayonnaise. The tacos were small, crisp, perfect for an appetizer and had just enough spice.
Next I was served an interesting kale and Brussels sprouts salad that had roasted almonds, dried cranberries, orange segments, lots of shaved manchego cheese, and was finished in a delicate mustard vinaigrette. This salad is huge, so it would be good to split or have as your main entrée. Chicken can also be added. The orange segments added a nice sweetness.
For my entrée I was given a delicious prime beef short rib stroganoff that you could pull apart with a fork. It was very tender, and it was served with homemade pappardelle noodles, onions, mushrooms, a touch of sour cream and topped with crispy frizzled onions they call tobacco onions. Next up came a small wood board with a little rectangular cast iron skillet containing a delectable truffle macaroni and cheese. Made with radiatore pasta, it was creamy and toasted on top, and served with some fresh thyme.
Finally, for dessert, a towering, coconut cream pie with a mound of shaved white chocolate, toasted coconut and a vanilla wafer crust. Definitely share this dish. It’s very big.
Del Frisco’s Grille serves other comfort food items such as roast chicken and mesquite smoked pork chop. Another favorite is their signature steak served with a choice of hand-mashed potatoes, frites, jalapeno mashed potatoes or shallot-buttered green beans, or their green chili cheeseburger featuring double patties, jalapeno jack cheese, lettuce, red onion, tomato and a pickle.
Monday through Sunday Del Frisco’s Grille also offers their “Dinner Daily Dish” specials. Monday is shrimp and grits, Tuesday is chicken pot pie, Wednesday is meatloaf, Thursday is baby back ribs, Friday is fish and chips, and Saturday and Sunday is prime rib.
Del Frisco’s Grille has 20 other locations, including one in New York City. It is open daily Monday – Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday brunch is served until 3 p.m. Happy Hour is from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Monday – Friday.