Jonathan’s Ristorante’s white-table cloth clad dining room, award-winning wine menu and Italian cuisine make it an intimate space for year-round dining. But like Long Island, it shines a bit brighter come summer. The patio opens, adding another layer to the village staple’s charm. Fresh air, combined with aromas of Sunday sauce and vino, are a recipe for a night out that satisfies multiple senses. Regulars like to say one can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but five food and wine pairings epitomize summertime dining.
Soft Shell Crab
This fresh and indulgent meal comes but once a year: during peak crab season in spring and summer. It’s plucked straight from local waters and is lightly fried to give the soft shell crab a crunchy texture. “The tomato and caper vinaigrette gives off a vibrant contrast of freshness,” said owner Roberto Ornato. To make it even fresher and add depth, Chef Tito Onofre finishes the dish with a drizzle of cilantro oil.
Pair with: Sancerre “It cleans the palate at the end of every bite.”
As dining continues to evolve into an experiential activity, shareable plates remain a popular fixture on menus. Jonathan’s paté d’oca is a perfect dish for double-daters and group diners, especially if they’re risk-taking foodies. “It’s such a playful dish as it’s served with many components.” Many is an understatement. The foie gras paté comes with truffled pate, baby carrots, cornichons, pickled cipolli onion, mustard and crostini. “This allows the guest to mix the flavors and experience a new bite every time.” It’s also sure to spark conversations about food, which is probably a welcome break from political discussions.
Pair with: Meiomi Pinot Noir “The softness of the Pinot Noir compliments the earthiness of the paté.”
Diners are in for a treat this summer: Jonathan’s has introduced a lobster roll. The restaurant’s take on the ever-popular dish includes a lobster salad that—mercifully—isn’t smothered in mayo. Customers will be able to taste the fresh celery, carrots, parsley and tangy lemon the staff adds on before sandwiching it between a mini-brioche bun from famed New York City eatery Tom Cat Bakery.
Pair with: Rosé, of course. Jonathan’s has three on hand: Ferrari Carano’s 100% Sangiovese-Made Rosé (Sonoma), La Spinetta’s Il Rosé (Tuscany) and Fleurs de Prairie (Cotes de Provence). Pairing the two summertime classics will be even more appetizing this year. At the bar during happy hour, guests will be able to pair one of Jonathan’s three rosés for $16.
While you’re getting happy: Jonathan’s suggested noshing on other bar bites, including coristinis prepared with ciabatta bread, 18-month aged prosciutto, in-house pickled figs and imported Italian creamery Robiola cheese. In other words, consider happy hour an escape to Italy.
This dish keeps with Tuscan tradition of mare e monti, which involves mixing ingredients from the sea with those from the forest. The tagliatelle comes with oyster mushroom, sweet garlic, baby arugula and bay scallops. “The sweetness and delicacy of the bay scallops are well contrasted with the meatiness of the oyster mushroom…the fresh arugula…brightens every bite.”
Pair with: Le Sughere. Stay in the Tuscan region with this Sangioveto/Cabernet/Merlot blend. “The wine has great body and makes its presence known next to the earthy pasta.” As you’re sipping, swirling and totally savoring, impress friends with this fact: The wine is produced by Rocca di Frassinello. The winery, set in the Hills of Maremma, was designed by Renzo Riano, the same architect behind the Whitney Museum.
Organic Scottish Salmon
One of the staples on Jonathan’s menu, Chef Tito Onofre lightly sears the fish so it’s crispy on the outside but flaky and moist when the diner sticks a fork in it. The true secret to this dish’s taste is in the sauce, but Onofre isn’t spilling the recipe. Let’s just say it’s a creamy horseradish sauce that needs to be tasted to be believed. Predictably, this dish is also known to be the life of the party—people who have hosted private events at Jonathan’s report their guests are still raving about this catering-menu star.
Jonathan’s is located at 15 Wall St., Huntington. Book your table or party at 631-549-0055 or by clicking here.