VINTAGE BAR & GRILL, Jericho Turnpike, Jericho NY

Bone-in Dry-Aged Rib Eye with Chimmichuri Sauce, and Mixed Sautéed Mushrooms

     So, these steakhouses are popping up all over the place and I can't put every one in "New & Noteworthy" - although this one certainly deserves the Noteworthy distinction.  If you’ve been keeping up you know we were just at The Capital Grille in Roosevelt Field and we were more than pleased. In that same vein, we were just at The Vintage Bar & Grill in Jericho (which I hear took over the space that used to be Fulton & Prime). Now, I have to be honest here, this chef knows how to cook steak.  If I understood correctly, the chef used to be the butcher at one of the other famous few steakhouses, and is now the chef here at Vintage.  I am convinced that this is their secret.  The bone in aged grilled rib-eye was the best I ever tasted, ever.  And I didn’t even order it.  But just looking at it I could tell my husband was in for a treat and I didn't want to miss out.  Why?  It was cut perfectly, there was the perfect amount of marbling, it was trimmed but not mangled, lightly seasoned, cooked to a perfect medium rare and served with the juices sizzling. Chimmichuri Sauce on the side.  OMG, I was sorry I didn’t order it, and I don’t even eat steak.  I had to trade some of my luscious Lobster Mac & Cheese just for a few bites!  But it was worth it.  We sat and tried to figure out whether it was the best steak we’ve had on our tour of Long Island Steakhouse steaks, and we decided it was tied for the top 3 (maybe top 2).
     Ok, lets go back to the beginning.  I love the décor!  Its elegance mixed with cowboy!!  Really, the chairs are covered with a fabric that looks like black and white cow-hide, the walls a a deep forest green with alligator texture, but there are chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. How can you not love that?!?!  The ladies room is simple tiny 1 inch square tiles top to bottom, but the sinks are golden, and the mirrors are etched glass.  You have to appreciate the contrast. You walk in and you are treated with the utmost care and elegance.  You can bring your family and wear jeans and sneakers or take a date and wear your best dress and feel comfortable either way.  They approach your food the same way.  First of all, do not fill up on the bread basket, because it is tempting to do so (that cranberry muffin is delicious).  For appetizers you have choices from oysters on the half shell or shrimp cocktail, to French onion soup; for dinner you can have pasta or a burger also.  I chose the Duck Tacos (next to the steak, the best dish of the evening) and the baby lamb chops (grilled perfectly medium rare over a Greek salad with tzatziki (second best after the steak!)).  I knew this was a big meal so I chose the Lobster Macaroni & Cheese Appetizer for my main course, and I still had some to take home.  Now, going back to that steak, with a side of perfectly sautéed mixed mushrooms.  The picture says a thousand words.  It was, in fact, amazing.
     Now, I was way too full for dessert, but my husband was wise enough to save half his steak (I don’t know how he restrained himself), and we shared Vintage’s new Banana’s Foster w/ Homemade Ice Cream and Banana Bread. OMG, don’t miss that one!  They also have a decent wine list covering most of the globe and we chose a lovely Chateau Michel Riesling that went well with everything.  Thank you to our kind and patient waiter Luiz, and all the staff at Vintage.  We can’t wait to come back, and you will be at the top of our steakhouse list.

  • Duck Tacos w/ Kimchi Slaw

  • Baby Lamb & Greek Salad

  • Lobster Mac & Cheese


   I've been wanting to try Tellers for ages, and when we got there this weekend, I was not disappointed. They exceeded my expectations in every way. The space is stunning, set in an old bank building, the windows and ceilings look to be 50' feet high.  You can feel the history in the buiding, but you are not in a stuffy atmosphere.  The service was friendly, accommodating & efficient.  Thanks to Steve for his patience and attentiveness!  The food was cooked to perfection, served hot & on time. They have a special app of Frites cooked in Duck Fat, served with 2 dipping sauces, for $3. Don't skip this one!  And the slab of BBQ Bacon melts in your mouth.  I also loved the lobster wontons, though my husband was not such a fan.   My entree was Shrimp & Sea Scallops w/homemade cavatelli pasta in a light tomato broth. I have never tasted a fresher scallop. My husband had the Delmonico steak topped w/ crispy onions. A nice char on the outside, perfectly pink inside.  Absolutely delicious. We shared a side of Brussles Sprouts cooked with pancetta and they were so good.  But, in the end, do not pass up the nutella hazlenut cheesecake. One bite and you've died and gone to heaven.  They can be a bit pricey, but it depends on what you order.  With all we ordered (3 apps, 2 entrees, 1 dessert, 2 drinks=150) But you can order less or more, so don't skip Tellers based on its expensive reputation.  It ain't so!!  I can't wait to go back.  

  • Teller's appetizers of Slab Bacon, Lobster Wontons and Frites

  • Teller's entree of Scallops & Shrimp over homemade pasta

  • Teller's famous Nutella Hazelnut Cheesecake

PRIME, New York Ave., Huntington, NY (Steak & Seafood)

 I'm not sure how to begin to describe Prime. Would it be odd to start with the restrooms? They are absolutely stunning. They line an outside wall and small lights on the outside tell you when they are occupied or not, and each one is its own little room, complete with a vanity. I have to keep going back just to try each one, which is slightly different from the others.
Ok, enough about that. Opened in 2006, Prime is expensive, dressy and definitely a hot spot. But not too stuffy that you cannot walk in dressed casually neat. And Prime is beautiful, inside, and outside where its set along Huntington Harbor and where you can sit by the water and watch the boats go by (even in the rain, but that's another story).
The food is, simply unbelievable. The lobster bisque was full of lobster, flavor and sensuous. The shrimp and lobster wontons disappeared in a minute and we were fighting over the last one. The sushi rolls are expertly made at their sushi bar. The pan seared salmon with autumn squash, wild rice and cranberry vinaigrette was cooked perfectly rare on the inside. The chilean sea bass in soy-sake marinade, baby bok choy, shitake mushrooms and chile threads was also taste and picture perfect. The last time I was there, I ordered one of the specials and, interestingly, I cannot recall what it was, I think its because it came with this souffle' of wild mushrooms side and all I could think of was that for a week after. In fact, it may have been one of the best things I ever ate, filling my mouth with a soft mousse of mushroomy delisiousness. Dare I go on? My company each time has recommended the steak, especially the teller's rib-eye, and I can tell you personally that the colorado lamb rack is excellent.
But save room for this: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Fondue, served with poundcake, brownies, marshmallow & fruit. There are a number of other desserts, including warm valrhona chocolate cake and graham cracker crusted cheese cake which I also reccommend.
Yes, Prime is quite expensive. But try and find a reason to go once.

Blackstones, Route 110, Mellville, NY (Steak & Seafood)

This is Blackstone's famous Grilled Bone-in Rib-eye Steak, and Baked Potato - which we had last night (11/28/12). Excellent.

This one was a no brainer. Expensive, but worth it. (not as expensive as Prime) The steak was excellent, better than the infamous Peter Luger (which isn't so great after all), and won me over even though I don't eat steak. Its fire grilled, with a lightly seasoned crust on the outside, pink inside, and served with a touch of broiled blue cheese if you like. I'm not really a steak lover, but I would have eaten this steak for dinner.
The sushi appetizer was so fresh, cold and flavorful, you would think you were in Japan. The sushi selection is extensive and you could make a meal from that.
That evening one of the appetizer specials was stone crab claws, flown in from Joe's Crab Shak in Florida. Soooo good, sweet all on there own, but served with this specially made bbq/cocktail sauce that went perfectly with the crab. However, this was when I learned to ask the price of the specials, which I often forget to do. $65? I believe we flew them in first class! (confidentially, they were still worth it).
My fish was cooked perfectly, a macadamia nut crusted halibut with coconut basmati rice, mango buerre blanc & sauteed broccoli rabe. Flaky, moist and tender. Every ingredient melded perfectly.
Don't forget dessert, its a must have here. The Blondie Banana Cream Pie (fresh bananas, banana cream blondie crust, coconut butterscotch chips, topped with caramel pecan popcorn) - there are no words....
The wait staff was lovely, attentive and accommodating. You get 2 waiters or waitresses per table, plus the busing staff. There was even someone in the bathroom to pump the soap for you. Talk about pampered!
The atmosphere is casually elegant. You can go in jeans and not feel uncomfortable, but its also a wonderful choice for a special occasion.
Blackstones is definitely pricey, but worth the money and may have served the best steak I ever had.

  UPDATE:  My last reveiw of Blackstones was over six months ago, based on a dining experience not long after they opened.  As I recall, the food and the service was excellent then and, after being back there last night, they have not lost one bit of they're magic touch!  Beginning with their fantastic sushi selections, and ending with a luscious Banana Cream Pie with a Blondie crust and an accompanying banana creme' brulee, you cannot make a wrong choice here.

  • Starting with a soft & creamy mozzarella burratta & salad of eggplant caponata with toasted bread and olive tapenade. The taste combination was perfect.

  • Then, a light taste of my favorite, Uni. (Sea Urchin, for those of you who wonder) A delicacy difficult to describe, a combination of creamy, sweet and briney.

  • My main course of Quinoa Crusted Seared Ahi Tuna, over creamy Couscous Risotto, and sauteed vegetables. Again, delicious.

RARE 650, Jericho Tpke & Rte 135, Syosset NY

    It took a while to get this review up, since Rare has been around, oh, about 2 years or so now.  This was my second visit, and I was looking forward to a perfect evening of fine dining and fine wine. We did not get perfect, although we did get very good.   We arrived early on a quiet weekday for a birthday dinner, and the wait-staff "team" was 4 per table.  When you spend $200 plus tip on dinner for two, it should be perfect, unfortunately, the flaws were evident.  I was first concerned when I asked for help with the Sake menu, and the gentleman who was taking the drink orders opened the menu for me. This, I was able to do myself!  I asked for a dry sake and I got a blank stare.  I chose my own and, of course, it was the fizzy sweet kind.  I didn’t drink it.  No one asked why.  

     Now, for dinner:  The appetizer salad of Mozzarella Buratta, Arugula and Bacon was excellent, but the Buratta was just not quite creamy enough inside & the pork belly type bacon was a bit underdone. The Uni (sea urchin), was presented beautifully, and was rich & creamy; however it was so cold that the ice crystals had to melt in my mouth before I could taste those previously delicate morsels, depriving them of that briny sea taste they’re known for.  My Stuffed Shrimp were a tiny bit overdone - enough to notice (not enough to send back), but the accompanying Scampi Sauce & the Crab and Lobster Stuffing were outstanding. Thes side order of Truffle Mac/Cheese was delicious, but lacked Truffle. My dining companion said the Scallops w/ Truffle Risotto were very good - no raves here.

     Finally, my dessert of Espresso Gelato was in fact perfect, as was her Ice Cream - and appropriately served with a discreet candle and happy birthday chocolate, no singing!  Thanks to our head waiter, who was charming and spot on the whole night, however the rest of his team were uncoordinated, and simply…aloof.  I’m going back to Blackstones where the food is always perfect, the service is always fun and exciting, and nothing comes out of the kitchen wrong!  These guys should get together and have a business meeting.  

  • Mozzarella Buratta Salad w/ Bacon & Balsamic Glaze

  • Giant Crab Cake w/ Claw (this was perfect)

  • Seared Sea Scallops over Black Truffle Risotto

Bryant & Cooper, Rosly, Heights, NY

 Now this is a steakhouse with perfect steak. But first, I have to reccommend the Seafood Tower, filled with lobster, lump crab, clams & oysters on the half shell and shrimp cocktail. It is the best around, counting the seafood restaurants! Ice cold and just from the sea fresh, cracked open lobster, a variety of sauces, and an incredible waitstaff to serve it to you if you wish. Expensive? Who cares, its worth it. If that's not for you, do try the Bryant & Cooper salad. It is enough for 2 to share as an appetizer, and its so full of flavor, fresh and succulent, you will love it.
For your main course, do order the steak. The porterhouse, or the prime rib are particularly spectacular and always cooked exactly to order. They come to your table from courteous, polite and friendly waiters - many of whom have been there for years. They treat you kindly and are very helpful. No rushing here. I wouldn't pass on the veal chop either. I thought it was very good. And, yes, the creamed spinach here is also good - enough to make a meal of along with the hash browns!
The Prime steaks, and other meats served in the restaurant are conveniently available at the retail butcher market on the premises.
If you had to choose only one steak house on Long Island... you would have to choose between Bryant & Cooper and Blackstones. I can't do it!!

Palmers, Fulton Street, Farmingdale, NY

We haven't been here in a while, and it was nice to see the upscale but warm atmosphere and courteous staff remain, along with the contemporary spin on a classic american menu. In addition, as the evening wears on, especially in the summer, they have a jumping bar scene and outdoor patio.
We tried the Fried Calamari appetizer with 2 sauces for dipping, and I can't remember when I've had any that were more tender and lightly crusted. Perfect. The appetizer of Baby Artichoke Hearts, baked with fresh herbed bread crumbs, topped with gorgonzola cheese and drizzled with lemon, white wine and butter was good, but would have been better without all the acidity - too much lemon.
The prime aged steaks are reasonably priced and the citrus marinated skirt steak, topped with crispy onions (pictured below)came to us cooked perfectly medium rare and soft as butter. The selection of pasta ranges from Absolute Penne (a la vodka) to the Chef's special of Parpardelle with sauteed medallions of Filet Mignon, porcini mushrooms with a light mushroom cream sauce, not to mention the Lobster Ravioli.
I had the Palmer's Chicken, dipped in batter and layered with prosciutto, spinach and finished with a merlot demi glace. As with the steak, the serving size was substantial and, although it was creative and tasty, I wouldn't order it again. However, I did take the other half of it home. The Fish menu includes Seared Scallops, Grilled Salmon and another specialty of Sesame Encrusted Tuna, pan seared and served with wasabi mayonnaise, among other fish offerings.
There is an extensive menu of desserts, but I couldn't resist the Hazlenut Gelato, and it was as good as it sounds.
Palmer's is definitely a good value for better than average food, excellent service and friendly and accomodating atmosphere.
Check back in the summer for their lobster bake special!

Franks STeaks, Jericho Tpke, Jericho

 Frank's Steaks can boast being Zagat rated for over 22 years. Its been around as long as I know. I can tell you why. The steaks are consistently good, cooked exactly as you order them, tender juicy and flavorful and, as Frank says they "aint just steaks! The food is fine dining, but the atmosphere is comfortable and family friendly. In fact, famous at Franks are their butcher paper covered tables on which you can draw with crayons. The artwork is hung in the restaurant, much of which is quite good, and humorous. Franks doesn't take themselves too seriously. Yet, the steaks are Prime Aged, the seafood fresh and the creamed spinach delicious.
We frequent Frank's fairly often and on our last visit there I had the baked little neck clams, which were amazing. I try not to use that word too often, but the clams were the right size, tender not chewy, and the crumb topping perfectly flavored. (I hate when the clams are chopped or chewy). The Cajun Calamari was also good, but not as good as the clams.
For dinner, I tasted the marinated Roumanian Skirt Steak with Frank's secret sauce, and it was delicious. Personally, I'm not much for steak and I ordered the Salmon with basil and tomato and it was excellent. I know for a fact that Peppercorn Rib-eye is excellent, and when Summer comes and they have their Summer Lobster Feast, do not pass it up. You can't miss this 2lb lobster, with a salad and baked potato for $45.00. Its pricey, but soooo good.
I like Frank's, I like the wait staff, and the comfortable atmosphere, and I keep going back. Don't forget there other location on Lincoln Ave, in Rockville Centre.

Majors Steakhouse (Woodbury Location) Jericho Tpke, NY

Majors has been around as long as I can remember in the Syosset location. It was excellent 25 years ago and it still is. On a recent visit, it was nice to see the decor remain comfortable and welcoming, even after some renovations during those years. The staff is as knowledgable as you could ask for. They know the entire menu, how the food is prepared, and what's in it, specials and all.
They don't have to go back to the kitchen and check (one of my pet peeves) and they will make a recommendation if you ask.

We had a sashimi appetizer - a wasabi spiced fresh tuna dip served with homemade crispy wanton crisps. Super delicious.
The Steak menu is extensive and their specialty, a marinated rib-eye was full of flavor and melt in your mouth tender, and a bargain at only $23.00. Even more surprising is that it came with a side of your choice of potato, mashed, baked, home fries or french fries. You don't see much of that anymore. You can choose your other sides from the varied menu and the creamed spinach was made perfectly, thick and rich, not too drippy and creamy. This is a key test in a steakhouse, and Major's creamed spinach is the best. Of course, you can also find your limited seafood, chicken and other meat entrees. The short ribs were particularly good, as we're the buttery mashed potatoes. They also have a seafood menu, including grilled salmon, lemon sole, and lobster. If that doesn't get you, there is always the pasta side - linguini with clam sauce, spaghetti and meatballs, and more.
Comfortable, accommodating, inviting and experienced. This is where I'd go for my steak (and creamed spinach) on a weekend or a week night, and I know I'll get a great meal and a good value! Its reasonable enough that you can take the family and not spend a week's pay. Its definitely an older traditional choice, but unlike Peter Luger's, its worth going again.
**Note: Majors has one other location in East Meadow. It was ok, but noisy, disorganized and not as good as the Syosset location.

Thom Thom Steak & Sushi, Wantagh NY

Thom Thom Steak & Sushi is a pleasant change from all of the other new steak and seafood restaurants. First, you are greeted warmly by the host/owners, and if possible, given your choice of tables. The waitstaff are friendly and down to earth, knowledgable about the food and wine, and very accommodating.
The food ranges from sushi & sashimi to a selection of delectable steaks. The sushi pizza (pictured below) is my personal favorite - a combination of chopped sashimi over a crispy thin flatbread, and decorated with a spicy sauce. Don't miss that. The Crispy Bang Bang Shrimp, and Kung Pao Calamari are also delicious. Among the list of appetizers is a soup of the day, various soups and salads and of course, the sushi roll selection is extensive.
The main course selections include fresh fish prepared a number of ways - seared, baked or sauteed. The choice of steaks is similarly extensive and reasonably priced, including skirt steak, filet mignon, rib eye, strip, cowboy rib, 24 oz porterhouse and rack of lamb. Each steak can be served with your choice of sauces. You will also find a selection of chef's specials including chicken, osso bucco, paella, duck and pasta (the duck and the ravaioli were both delicious).
We reccommend Thom Thom, but make a reservation on the weekend, as they do get busy!!

Peter Luger, Manhasset Location

Notice - its empty!

 ...and then there is Peter Luger. The only good thing I have to say here is the cut bacon appetizer was delicious. Then again, unless you want tomatoes and onions, that is the only appetizer. The wait staff is gruff, and difficult to get information from. They run around slamming things on your table, never asking how they are.
     I imagine you should go with a crowd, and get steak for 2, or 3 or 4. Clearly they prefer that, since they look disapprovingly at you when you get steak for one. The steak came on a hot plate, slammed down on the table, no seasoning, no garnish, no nothing. It was tough and chewy.
     I ordered the lamb chops, and again a hot plate is slammed down in front of me, so hot you can't even get close to it. The chops were so thick I could barely cut through them, let alone eat them. When I did, they tasted like nothing, not even lamb. I don't know how they did that!
      Ok, one more thing, the creamed spinach and ice cream were good. But not worth going again. If you want a great steak these days, go to Blackstones. If you want a great steak and a good value Ina casual atmosphere, go to Majors.