Even though Manhattan Digest caters primarily to the best of lifestyle culture in the epicenter of the world, there are times where we take ourselves out of our concrete jungle box and experience what else is out there. As someone who resided in Huntington, Long Island for a good portion of his life, I have become very privy to the ever expanding foodie culture that inhabits the area, in particular Huntington Village. That led me to my most recent culinary adventure when I stopped by Swallow, located right on New York Avenue.
Swallow is a relative newcomer to the Huntington Village scene, which has seen a drastic transformation since I was a kid. It reads similar to the village here in New York City, and is a mainstay for hundreds of people in Long Island due to its array of restaurants, great music scene, movie theaters, book stores and more. Speaking of ever expanding, Swallow is part of a growing trend in the food world that embraces the “small plate” dining atmosphere, and they do it quite well based on the experience that I had this past Friday night.
The location itself sort of reads as two fold, depending on what you want to get out of it. Upon arrival, you will find the first room to be strictly bar culture, which a gorgeous and spacious bar setting taking over this part of Swallow, whereas the second room is restaurant business at its best. The warm brown colors encompass Swallow to a tee, and really works well with the fall season that we are currently in.
Let’s break down the menu at Swallow, which has a great diversity to it in terms of influence of cultures that go onto each small plate. The menu is broken up into four parts- starters, lighter fare for people who are more health conscious, small plates and finally desserts. Here are the highlights from what we experienced that night.
In the snacks category, you really can’t go wrong with a deviled egg, so naturally their Deviled Eggs were no exception. What really made this dish work so well was the sriracha, fried shallots and bacon dust that really gave it a “boom, pow!” taste to it. I am never one to shy away from powerful flavors, and this was a great example of one.
The Small Plates category definitely had some major standouts that we were left incredibly happy with. A common theme that I am noticing on several menus lately is the usage (or over-usage) of Burrata. Swallow’s version of their Burrata has a great supporting cast on its plate to really showcase how delicious and creamy the burrata is itself, especially the cranberry compote, which is a great after-Thanksgiving treat to mix in with the walnuts, winter squash and raisins.
Our favorite dish of the night was their Crispy Calamari and their own version of Mac & Cheese. The Calamari was served in a Chinese take out box, which was visually awesome and very appealing. It came with a sweet & spicy glaze that really enhanced the calamari itself, and made it a dish that I wish didn’t end. On the latter side, the Mac & Cheese was simply delicious and such a great option for the chilly weather that we have been receiving as of late. They use orzo for the pasta, one that I would never think about using, but in this case it works. It comes with bacon, peas and a Asiago Parmesan cream sauce that is out of this world yummy.
If tacos are what you are craving, then I recommend trying their Short Rib Tacos, with red cabbage slaw, pickled carrots, lime zest, cilantro and mayo. I am a sucker for Short Ribs, as they are one of my favorite kinds of meat, and this particular version had a ton of flavor explosion to compliment the taco itself.
For dessert, they had a bunch of great options, but for me, their Flourless Chocolate Cake with chocolate ganasche & peanut butter mousse was a great end to a fabulous meal. The minute our wonderful waiter Juan said “peanut butter mousse”, we were pretty much sold. Decadent and filling indeed.
At the helm of Swallow (both this location and their sister one in Montauk) is Long Island native Chef James Tchinnis who has this to say about his fabulous menu’s inspiration:
“The menu at Swallow is small plates that are meant to be shared and is inspired by the foods I like to eat. I don¹t overthink things and use a “less is more” philosophy. I take a seasonal approach to the menu, finding creative ways to use ingredients to enhance holiday and seasonal dishes, as well as to elevate the familiar classics.”
Swallow is definitely a restaurant I that recommend you trying the next time you find yourself in Long Island or are looking for a break from Manhattan for a night or two. For more information on Swallow, please check out their official site.