Hush Bistro, a “new modern American restaurant” formerly located in Farmingdale, has opened its doors in Huntington Village, where it has brought a whole new vibe to the town’s eclectic restaurant scene.
Under the leadership of Chef Marc Anthony Bynum, a Food Network Chopped Champion, and Jason Machado of Restar Hospitality Group, Hush is American soul food at its finest.
Chef Marc is the real deal when it comes to chefs. He’s been in the industry for over twenty years, and comes to the table with a strong training and background in French technique, as well as winning three out of five Chopped episodes which gave an enormous career boost to this very humble chef.
Meet Chef Marc Anthony Bynum
“Marc has a really strong connection to soul food and he is really well trained,” said Jason Machado. “He was able to combine his French training with classic soul food to create what we call an elevated soul food, or American soul food.”
The transition from the Farmingdale location to Huntington’s larger location six months ago proved to be a wise decision, so was teaming up with the family-run Restar Hospitality Group, who also run other successful restaurants in Huntington including Café Buenos Aires and Bistro Cassis.“We’ve had a lot of experience opening restaurants in the past 30 years,” said Jason. “The whole family is involved in the business, and now teaming up with Marc has been fantastic.”
The music and décor of Hush is very much a reflection of Chef Marc’s background and food. It can be described as industrial sheik with a speakeasy feel, low lightening, comfortable and cool.
Reimagining American Soul Food
The bar is on full display and Hush prides itself on their cocktails which are prepared by trained mixologists, to further enhance the speakeasy feel. The focus at the bar is to create high-end cocktails you can’t just get anywhere. Mixologists dehydrate their own food for garnish, they make their own syrup, and they even make their own sodas.
The menu, which changes seasonally, offers a wide array of dishes and flavors using only the best products which include items from Makinajian Farm in Huntington, produce from Hudson Valley farms and East End farms, D’Artagnan, the Spice House in Hicksville and other local establishments.
“American soul means you can do whatever you want,” said Chef Marc. “We are a melting pot of other countries, so I can go from barbecue to Southern to French to traditional Japanese or Korean. It’s over my career, what I have learned, what I have tasted, what I like to do, that is what I do here. When you come to Hush you can have a nice cocktail and some good music, just a comfortable vibe. It’s not pretentious, not anything over the top, it’s just good, solid food, great flavors, and great service.”
Chef Marc admits that his mom was his inspiration when he was growing up, that “seeing my mom cooking on a Sunday morning just inspired me to want to pick up the pan.” It prompted him to start cooking at an early age, and before long, he was working in a restaurant in Freeport as a line cook at age fifteen.
It is all of these things that make Hush Bistro what it is today, and customers have taken notice. They keep coming back for more.
A Look at the Menu
Some of the most popular dishes are the homemade corn bread and biscuits, the short rib mac and cheese, the duck breast with baby turnip, pearl onion, chanterelle mushroom and baby spinach in a blueberry port reduction, and the ravioli with spinach, short ribs and sweet potato.
Chef Marc started me off with the homemade corn bread and biscuits with maple brown butter and wild berry preserve. Right away it transported me to the south, to southern comfort food. The maple butter with flecks of sea salt flakes was a nice touch and had wonderful flavor. The Scottish salmon with parsnip puree, fall hash, and sauce vierge was perfect in every way. First, it was gorgeously plated and inviting. The salmon was moist and flaky and the skin was deliciously crisp. I loved the Brussel sprouts and the creamy puree with hint of garlic. This dish is definitely one I would get again.
I sipped on a tropical Mai Tai in a tall black tiki glass, garnished with fresh mint and a dehydrated orange slice, as I awaited my next dish – the ever popular mac and cheese. Tender short rib, rich in flavor and texture was served over ditalini pasta enveloped in a creamy, five-cheese sauce with English peas, bacon bits and corn bread crumble. This dish was delightfully delicious. Next up was a side of foie gras “tots” made with foie gras, horseradish and potato. They were served in a fun metal basket and were completely addicting. They were both light and crispy.
Last up was Chef Marc’s famous St. Louis Ribs with chipotle barbecue sauce and pickled watermelon rind. This was a fall-off-the bone, sticky, flavorful rib that had actually graced the pages of O, The Oprah Magazine, not too long ago.
Cooking for 44
Chef Marc has cooked for both Oprah Winfrey and O’s editor, TV personality Gayle King. His best experience, however, was when he had the opportunity to cook for President Barack Obama at the White House.
“To cook for these people has been amazing,” said Chef Marc, “but to be honest, just to have the opportunity to cook for any person that comes into my restaurant and enjoys my food and comes back, that’s awesome to me.”
Hush Bistro is open seven days a week for dinner. Monday – Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m., and Sunday from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Hush is also open for brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.