Tellers overall score: 88
First I’d like to thank Jeff and Elizabeth for the gift card, which totally overcompensated me for the time I spent taking and editing photos of their son Jack. Tellers, formerly a bank, is a unique steakhouse in Islip, Long Island, well known for its quality and ambiance. This marks my second trip to the restaurant. I ate like a ravenous beast this time ’round, and I may fall into a deep food coma at any moment. Must type fast. See below. Third visit remarks in italics.
Tellers is good. I feel like it can be great, however. Although cooked properly in terms of doneness, I think the meat was slightly under seasoned, and the steak was not allowed to rest long enough before serving; the large pool of juices in the plate ruined some of the crisp textural components you like with a steak. For the size steak I had, I can see, however, that it would be difficult to ensure even flavoring throughout the thickness of the meat. The first time I went, I got the delmonico, which is the smaller, boneless ribeye that was included in the restaurant week prix fix (see price section below). The second time I went, I got the dry-aged 39oz bone-in ribeye; a much thicker cut (all bow to my manliness). It had some gristle, but the intra-muscular fat was good quality. I’d definitely eat here again, but this is certainly not the best steak in terms of flavor. I’ve seen average places with average quality cuts of beef do more with less. On a third trip I had the strip steak (16oz, boneless). It was still a bit under seasoned, but the crust was MUCH better, and there was pretty much NO bleed out. I ordered medium rare. it came back a bit over and slightly uneven, but still very tasty, so I didn’t mind so much.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 9
Tellers offers several different cuts and several versions of each cut. There are two sized filets, as well as a Wellington preparation, a bacon wrapped filet, and a bone-in filet. They offer a boneless delmonico ribeye, as well as 21 day dry-aged NY strips (boneless), ribeyes (bone-in) and porterhouses for one or two. Additionally, they have skirt steak and other meats like lamb. On special the second time I went was a Wagyu porterhouse for two. This covers the essential four cuts, and then offers some variation and choice. Nicely done, Tellers, although I got a good look at the porterhouse steak for one, and, to be honest, it looked more like a T-bone since the filet side was quite skimpy. CAREFUL! A carnivore connoisseur like me may have sent that shit back.
Portion Size & Plating: 9
Portion sizes ranged from average to large here. The filets are 8oz (average for smaller cuts), 14oz (larger than average for regular cuts), and 14oz for the bone-in (average, given the weight of the bone included). The delmonico is about 20oz, the strip is about 16oz, and the ribeye… wait for it… is fucking 39oz. Yeah that’s right… And I ate all of that mother fucker. Suck it, you peons.
The first time I went to Tellers they were offering a $50 three course prix fix dinner that included wine pairings with each course; AMAZING DEAL. That was during Long Islands’s restaurant week, but Tellers regularly offers a $45 three course prix fix every Sunday and for early dining during the week (no wine included). These are seriously great deals, since it includes the boneless delmonico (if you choose the steak item). On my second trip, I had a $200 gift card in my pocket thanks to Jeff and Elizabeth. Weighing the option to use it twice on two prix fix dinners versus going all out on the regular menu, I ultimately decided to go all out to get the full experience that Tellers has to offer (since last time I did a prix fix). Our bill came to $185 (scallop app, dozen oysters, creamed spinach, 39oz ribeye, seared tuna, trio of pies, martini, and espresso), so the gift card covered everything, and then we added an additional $15 or so on the table above the $200, for a grand total of $215. As you can see, regular menu prices are a bit steep as compared to the prix fix deals for the increase in quality and portion size (I’d say flavor is about the same between prix fix items and regular menu items). If/when I go back, I will likely stick to the prix fix, since I know now that it offers the most bang for the buck. Take advantage of this expert knowledge, assholes. HEED! Below is the bill for the third visit:
Tellers has a very nice bar and lounge off of the main dining room which you can access from the rear parking lot to bypass the main entryway. The full menu is available here, which is great if you ever try to go and the dining room is all booked up. Teller’s has an extensive wine list, and they make a good martini to boot (though mine was a little warm when it was first served to me). It is a cool place to hang out even if you aren’t eating. The bar itself is nice, and there is a great selection of booze, especially after dinner-type swanky drinks (several types of armagnac, grappa, single malt scotches, madiera, ports, and brandy).
Specials and Other Meats: 8
Slim on alternative meats, Tellers offers just the lamb and roasted chicken. No shame in that; the red meat is the reason why you go here. As mentioned earlier, they offered a Wagyu porterhouse for two, which gets good marks in my book as far as specials are concerned. The Wagyu was the only item off menu offered as a special, however.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 9
The duck fat french fries are delicious, and they came FREE as we awaited our appetizers. They’re served with a really nice homemade ketchup and mustard/mayo dipping sauce on the side. Perfectly seasoned and crispy. I ordered a bakers dozen oysters. For a moment I was torn between those and little necks, but I went with the oysters. In hindsight I should have gotten a half-dozen of each to try them all out, but I was extremely pleased with the oysters. Cold, clean, fresh, creamy, smooth, and well-shucked. They shucked the shit out of those things. My wife ordered a seared scallops & mushrooms appetizer; perfectly cooked and buttery sweet. Tellers also offers a “trainwreck” potato dish, which is essentially baked potatos scooped out into a cassarole dish and cooked with several types of fine cheeses, bacon and peppers. That will fill you right up. Speaking of filling, the creamed spinach is huge; it can easily feed four people. It is not super creamy (I don’t like it overly creamy), and it is your basic quality creamed spinach; it gets the job done. For dessert, we had a trio of pies in a jar, which was fun and interesting, though extremely HOT. They were very sweet as well, and could have benefitted from a scoop of vanilla ice cream alongside to cut both the heat and the sweet. Luckily I didn’t burn my mouth this time like I did at Dylan Prime though. On our first visit here, we ordered the calamari, which were nicely breaded and crispy, but lacked seasoning/salt. The fries were also free then as well, and before dessert they brought us a small plate of home made cookies (they didn’t do that on our second visit). On the third visit, we tried the peppered bacon, the crab cakes, the brussels sprouts, and the hazelnut cheesecake. The bacon was thick – almost an inch. It was cooked in a braised fashion, soft and tender, and covered with a horseradishy BBQ type sauce. The crab cakes were a bit on the small side for the price ($17) but they were juicy, lumpy, and crispy without being too bready – and served with a yummy hollandaise sauce. The brussels sprouts were nothing to write home about. I make much better sprouts at home. I like a little crisp to mine, and there was no crisp on these. Also not enough pancetta. The hazelnut cheesecake was rich and tasty, and had a tangy smear of nutty chocolate poo beside it. See pics below:
Seafood Selection: 9
There is a great selection of seafood at Tellers. Crispy skin salmon, swordfish steak, seared tuna, lobster, stuffed flounder with crab, fresh clams and oysters, sashimi, scallops, seafood towers, and shrimp tossed with assorted seafood in pasta. If you can’t take the meat, no need to start bitchin’ – order up some seafood. They do it well here. We really enjoyed the oysters and scallop appetizers, and my wife was happy with her seared tuna. FYI – my wife is not an asshole pussy (asspussy) because she ordered fish at a steakhouse. She recently had her Charles-De-Gallbladder removed and red meats are just not sitting well with her at the moment. On the third visit my wife had the millenium lobster (2lb). It was served with very nice, creamy, super-whipped mashed potatoes. The lobster was de-shelled already when it came to the table, and topped with a spicy butter sauce. See below for the nice presentation:
The service here is impeccable. First, you are greeted with a lovely potato foccacia bread. It is FANTASTIC; buttery, sweet and savory, almost like a corn bread. Our attentive waiter explained and described everything to us; from how things were prepared to what they were cooked with. And I mean everything, including the foccacia, fries, steaks, apetizers – these guys really take pride in what they do, they learn the menu, and they understand the culinary arts (especially meat). The waiters all wear a formal shirt and tie, but there are women as well as men in the waitstaff. Big points on service for Tellers. We never waited on water, the check came promptly, and everything was done at a good, comfortable pace. Tellers will also go out of their way to bring something speial to the table if they know it is your birthday or anniversary. On the third trip we noticed that they no longer bring free french fries and the fresh baked pan bread to the table. That kinda sucks, since those items were almost the best part of the meal. However, we did have a great waiter named Billy, who was helpful, knowledgeable, and genuine. Top notch.
Tellers used to be an old bank, hence the name. The main dining room sports a triple high ceiling with beautiful architecture and long, tall, elegant windows that seem to have been preserved with as much historical accuracy as possible. Seating is also available in the bar/lounge area. The old bank vault, which still has the gate and huge vault door attached, now houses a wine cellar. Bins of wine also adorn the main lobby. Very classy. It is a beautiful restaurant. There is no music in the main dining room, but you can hear it slightly, coming from the bar area. Tables are ALMOST too close, but not uncomfortable. Tellers is not a huge restaurant so they have to do what they can. The corner booths are roomy and spacious, however. Bathrooms are large and clean, and have nice thick disposable paper towels. Once in a while during the meal you might feel a slight breeze gently carry through the dining room since it has a high ceiling and there are large doors near the entryway that let the wind in when both sets of doors are opened at the same time. Two large, fake trees sit in decorative cauldrons in the dining room, giving the room an outdoors feel, especially when you look out the windows to see the uplighting on the real trees outside on the well manicured grounds. Tellers is a very pleasing and unique place to eat.
Just as a post-script, I thought I was eating a lot until I saw the couple at a neighboring table order the trainwreck potato dish, creamed spinach, and the lobster mac & cheese – all this along with their free fries, foccacia bread, porterhouse for one and seared tuna (HOLY FUCKING STARCH BATMAN). I wonder if they finished it all. That is pretty badass if they did.
I came back here for a meal after running in the inaugural Suffolk County Marathon. I burned about 3400 calories in that, my first marathon, so I was ready to pack on some fat. This joint offers a $45 price fix Sunday meal that includes some great shit. For example, my massive slab bacon app as a starter:
Mine was perfect! My mom’s, hover, was very fatty and not as pleasant.
For the main course I had an 18oz delmonico (boneless) rib eye. Mine was cooked somewhere in the range of medium rare to medium (I ordered medium rare). My dad’s was unfortunately overcooked to medium well (he, too, ordered medium rare).
Dessert comes with the meal as well, but before that I should mention the duck fat french fries and burnt broccoli that we shared among the table:
Both had great crisp texture. The fries didn’t taste heavily of duck fat, but they were pretty much perfect french fries. The broccoli was super tasty. They are steamed and then flash fried for that crisp.
For dessert I needed something light. My body was not agreeing with this additional pounding I was putting it through after the race. I went with a trio of sorbets.
I was amazed to see a cigar menu on the dessert menu. Odd, considering that smoking is not allowed in the establishment. However the restaurant has some nice outdoor lounge seating. So on a nice night you can puff away out there:
As for drinks: I recommend the St. Germain and candied hibiscus martini. Really awesome, and you can eat the flower. Yes – this was my wife’s drink… Do I look like a fucking pussy to you?
605 Main St.
Islip, NY 11751