When it comes to the experience my family had at Insignia Prime Steak & Sushi tonight, one recurring theme comes to my mind: hospitality.
From the moment you arrive at this can’t miss Smithtown destination, you feel like a celebrity.
Park your own car? There’s valet!
And once you’re whisked out of your car, humongous double wood/glass doors enter you into the world that Insignia.
That’s right. It’s like entering a whole other world.
And you can’t miss this restaurant when you drive by on busy route 347.
“Picture a historic Hamptons’ mansion with cedar shakes, copper roofing, quarried stone and a beautiful architectural turret combined with the energy and vibe of a trendy Manhattan restaurant – That’s Insignia.”
And that’s exactly how I could describe Insignia: a Hamptons’ mansion with a cosmopolitan flair.
The host and hostess up front welcomed my family with warm smiles and the hostess brought us right over to our table, taking the time to pull out the chair for my mom and help her get seated.
Instantaneously, a team of waiters flocked to our table. Fresh sliced bread with a spicy tomato sauce to spread came from one of the “team,” another gentleman came over to take our water order (bottled or tap). One of the waiters let us know that all night our team would take care of our every need during our experience.
And boy, were they right.
Allow me to introduce you to a few key members of our team:
Nick, who between confirming our wine choice was a wonderful one (Mastermind’s The Blend: Cabernet based 65% with a balance of Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Merlot and Montepulciano) and continually pouring our wine and finalizing our check at the end, was absolutely amazing:
Giuseppe the manager, not pictured, brought out our Mastermind wine. We all became Mastermind’s after this meal! Giuseppe was very hospitable and poured our wine into the decanter pictured below to let the red wine breathe:
Robert, our main waiter, made the recommendation for my parents to try the 40 day old aged prime Tomahawk rib eye steak, and to me, the black truffle mac and cheese as my side dish. He kept checking in throughout the entire night and even told us at the end of the experience how special we were (we thought he was special to us too!):
Before I gush some more about Nick and Robert, it’s time to get to the main event in this tale of hospitality: the food!
As it has a gorgeous sushi bar in the back with lamps hanging over the bar that look like ice cubes, I knew the sushi would be a hit.
I started with one of my favorite sushi rolls, a spicy tuna roll:
My parents split the Crispy Calamari & Rock Shrimp With Roasted Garlic Jalapeño Sauce:
My sushi roll was steps above all other sushi places I have tried on the Island thus far: from the texture of the rice to the tuna inside it to the fresh ginger and wasabi (which I’m SO glad there’s wasn’t a huge glob of it), every facet of the roll tasted light, airy and fresh.
The same goes for the fried calamari and shrimp: light, crispy, crunchy morsels of fresh fish, seasoned beautifully. The creamy garlic Jalapeño sauce was the perfect pairing! It was so addicting I wish we had more of it. Not overly strong on the garlic, which wasn’t a bad thing. Simply delicious.
After the team of waiters cleared our appetizer plates, Robert came by with a tray of steak knives for us. It was a sign of the epic feast about to happen.
Gabe, pictured here, brought out my parents’ 40 day old aged prime Tomahawk rib eye steak:
The steak came sliced with the HUGE bone on the side.
All of the side dishes pictured on the plates came in family style bowls, such as these Roasted Crimini Mushrooms:
My Black Truffle Macaroni and Cheese:
I ordered a petite filet mignon as my main course:
The other sides pictured here are mashed potatoes and creamed spinach. House made steak sauce was also served on the side.
Here’s what my mom described about her main course:
“My steak had great flavor and melted in my mouth as I chewed. The spinach was delicious, and the Crimini mushrooms had a very nice, woodsy flavor. The mashed potatoes were creamy, and the truffle mac and cheese was elegant and rich.”
My thoughts on my main course:
Epically excellent. My filet mignon while resting cooked to the temperature I desired (medium rare – medium). The flavor of the steak resonated with me; it had a great depth of flavor. It cut like butter. The spinach wasn’t overly creamy which I loved. It had a fresh taste which stood out from other creamed spinaches you get at steakhouses. The mashed potatoes were creamy, as my mom described. The mac and cheese was my favorite side! I love cheese, and this was elegant mac and cheese, as my mom described. The truffle flavor wasn’t overpowering, which was a huge gold star for the dish, along with the creamy cheese sauce, seasoning and pasta all baked together in a cast iron dish. An unforgettable meal.
Don’t worry about not getting your money’s worth, because trust me, you will! I was full after eating a few helpings of my mac and cheese along with all of the other sides and the steak.
I wish we had room for the gorgeous desserts that kept flying out to other tables next to us.
There’s always next time…
But the real question is, how did my dad love his meal?
He was all smiles. To me, that says it all.
We truly had a special experience tonight. Not only for the incredible food and wine, but the service. Hospitality. Pure hospitality. I am beyond grateful to Nick, Gabe, and especially Robert, for making sure we all had the best time. Nick was there every step of the way, especially on our drink order. Robert especially had a huge impact on our meal: from recommending certain dishes and wines to making sure everything was accounted for throughout the meal (including getting my dad whipped butter and olive oil to go with the bread). A wonderful guy who deserves all of the recognition in the world. Robert, cheers to you. (Which coincidentally, is my father’s grandfathers’ name. May Robert Hessman rest in peace and we think of you and my mother’s father, Adrian Still, always.)
As Father’s Day comes to a close, I must give a shoutout to my dad, pictured above. He is one of the most hardworking men I know, along with being a huge gentleman. I love my dad very much, and I’m so glad we all got to spend this day with you at an unforgettable destination.
And on a side note about Insignia, the restaurant also hosts private events such as bar mitzvah’s and weddings! What an incredible place to do it, from the decor to the gorgeous wine cellar which sits above all of the tables in-between the main dining room and bar. Check out its separate events site, here.
If you do head to INSIGNIA, which I truly hope you do after reading this post, I want to point out the Promotions section of its website. There are several days throughout the week where you can score some great deals on food, including a $55 a person 3 course dinner for two with filet mignon AND a lobster.
To sum up tonight: it was epic, the hospitality was on point and the food and wine were outrageously delicious.
Basically, you need to go.
Insignia Prime Steak & Sushi
610 Smithtown Bypass (rt. 347)
Smithtown, NY 11787
Monday – Wednesday 5pm – 9pm
Thursday & Friday 5pm – 10pm
Saturday 5pm – 11pm
Sunday 4pm – 9pm