If you’ve been to the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington you’ve likely met Raj Tawney. As the director of publicity, Tawney seems to be everywhere at once. Greeting those that walk in, sitting in the café sharing a bite and conversation or hosting one of the classic film nights. While only 29, Tawney is an old soul, with a passion for bringing people together.
“Food and film have always been my greatest connection to understanding people,” Tawney said.
Luckily for Tawney, the eating options are endless in Huntington. Here he shares five of the Huntington restaurants that make him feel like he’s sitting on the set on of an old movie.
A cheerfully decorated luncheonette with black-and-white checkered floors. It’s a throwback to the soda fountain days. Their West Coast sandwich, full of turkey avocado, will fill you up without the guilt. A complimentary starter of a pickle and (possibly the best ever) coleslaw is always welcomed with salivation. Order an egg cream after your meal and you’ll transport to the drug store counter days of your grandparents. It’s not as heavy as a shake and it’s a timeless drink.
A relaxed, rustic neighborhood bar/restaurant with craft beer on tap and clever cocktail concoctions. One of the waitresses, Kate, makes guests feel like good ol’ friends. I often spend evening hours with my friends, Greg Blank and Finn Miller, in deep discussions; eating their Nacho Libre appetizer and drinking a William Henry Harrison (a delicious gin cocktail).
One of the best parts about my job is taking breaks in our Sky Room Café. I love seeing moviegoers exit our theaters to have lively discussions on their thoughts and feelings in the café. The menu is all vegetarian but I swear once you eat one of the signature veggie burgers or faux chicken sandwiches, you will not miss meat. And if you’re looking to munch on something during a film, our organic popcorn is so good that some stop by just to purchase it and take it home. The café also hosts live music concerts and this year began serving wine and beer.
One would not think Long Island’s best BBQ exists in the middle of a supermarket, but TRUST ME, you will never go anywhere else. From beef brisket to pulled pork, from mac’n’cheese to coleslaw. Everything is made in-house and will trick your taste buds into believing they’re visiting Texas. This isn’t fine-dining whatsoever so take it “to-go” and eat it in your car—there’s no point in waiting.
Golden Dolphin Diner
I wouldn’t be a true New Yorker if I didn’t mention a legacy diner. The Golden Dolphin Diner, opened in 1983, is the best diner in Huntington. The newly renovated atmosphere is tasteful and bright. The staff treats everyone like family. There’s nothing better than two sunny side-up eggs, rye toast, home fries, a side of corned beef hash and a cup of coffee. If you still have room, order the flourless chocolate cake in the sea of behind-the-counter desserts on display. Ask for whipped cream.