Tellers: An American Chophouse

(This article first appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of Luxury Living Magazine- a subdivision of Newsday Media Group)
Attention to Detail
Tellers Chophouse dining room pays homage to the First National Bank, built in 1927, with a captivating entrance of the original 30-foot ceiling windows and carved moldings. The authentic vault, located in the back, is the beating heart of the establishment. As one of two wine cellars, it houses over 10,000 bottles, listing 1,000 labels from across the world.
“[The vault is] the keystone holding this place together,” Manager, James Foglia, announced. “It holds valuables in terms of money but also in terms of clientele.”
Clientele is of the utmost importance and therefor are provided with The Cocktail Club and The Connoisseur Club, both of which can be found on the restaurants website. Combined, the clubs add an essence of grandeur open to all.
Telling the Difference
Frank Ferraro, General Manager of Tellers Chophouse, explained “You want something you can’t make at home…it’s about the experience.” Ferraro hands a young man sitting with his family a gift card. “He’s celebrating a milestone birthday, 18 years. For our patron’s birthdays we provide them with a free dessert and an incentive to come back.”
Having enjoyed many options from the Tellers menu, it’s difficult to write about a select few. For an appetizer, the Black Pepper Bacon. Thickly cut, properly proportioned, the slice resembles pork belly. As the meat falls apart tenderly, black pepper and horseradish glaze are delectable on the palate.
For the main course, Tellers appeals to carnivores with a signature cut, 40oz Tellers Ribeye that is broiled to perfection, marbling the fat in a steak lover’s dream. To the vegans, a large plate of colored veggies; roasted romaine lettuce, spinach, grilled asparagus, cherry tomatoes and sauteed mushrooms.
Noted side dishes are the roasted Brussel sprouts with pancetta; homemade Tater Tots (closely resembling potato croquets) filled with Gruyere cheese, covered in panko breadcrumbs with a horseradish crème fraiche dipping sauce; the Lobster Mac & Cheese is a melting pot of flavors as five cheeses slide over the Cavatappi pasta with poached lobster chucks in a creamy, bechamel sauce.
The finale. Vanilla Crème Brûlée and homemade Cheesecake with liquid ice cream. However, the sorbet trio with fig, coconut and pineapple flavorings was a sweet ending
(Additional, unpublished in the original)

A Smoked Manhattan, poured tableside, uses a food grade smoker with hickory wood chips. Sipping on the classic cocktail, the smell and taste of hickory hits you in a subtle, not remotely overdone, aroma.
My bartender, Stephanie Diaz, described the creation process as entertainment. “[People ask] ‘What is that? I want it.’ The whole bar crowds around the smoker and people don’t realize it takes the same amount of time to make as other drinks.”
On the lighter side, guests may opt for the Rose Collins. Initially reluctant by the sweetness a rose embodies, the Collins was light and crisp.

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