Long Island’s steakland reaches from a taste of Olde New York to an outburst of Vegas today. The Butcher’s Bar & Grill is the newest prime cut.
This handsome, 75-seat storefront spot succeeds both as a fine steakhouse and a very good seafood restaurant, combining two of the most popular cuisines between Great Neck and Montauk. It’s surf-and-turf, 2016 edition.
The main focus is red meat, as you’ll see via a display near the kitchen that’s the beefy equivalent of all those finfish and shellfish shows on ice in Nassau and Suffolk. BBG’s dining room includes a steer diagram, in case you need to know what’s coming from where; and a blackboard detailing the raw bar.
Whitewashed wooden tables and benches with brown canvas cushions give the place a bright, clean, modern look, as do the white walls. If the décor reminds you a bit of an upscale Greek establishment, know that the investors include some from Kyma in Roslyn, the local paradigm for Aegean seafood.
Oscar Martinez, formerly the executive chef at the Old Homestead steakhouse in Manhattan, is chef-owner here. He’s a master of the oak-coal grill, which, along with some salt and pepper, imparts pretty much all the prep your steaks will need.
After nibbling on logs of roasted garlic bread set on cheese fondue, start with either the dewy, colossal crabmeat cocktail or the equally generous, well-seasoned crabcake rémoulade.
The colossal shrimp cocktail: excellent. Grilled octopus is just smoky enough, matched with sweet red onion, finished with olive oil and lemon. BBG’s Greek salad is an outstanding alternative, sporting big cubes of savory Arahova feta cheese.
Lesser choices include the timid onion soup and the bland lobster bisque. Zucchini fritters are limp. Cajun-style sirloin steak overdoes the seasoning. But the 48-day, dry-aged long-bone rib eye for two is juicy, tender and recommended. Likewise, the hefty porterhouse steak for two. The best steak: center-cut filet mignon. And there’s real competition from BBG’s burgers. The house’s burger blend is terrific.
Fries, however, are routine, and shoestring potatoes cool quickly. Have the zeppelin-inspired baked spud, and a side of creamed spinach.
An alternative to the beef is the ample Kurobuta pork chop with roasted peppers, potatoes and onions. Seaside, BBG expertly steams a 2 1⁄2-pound lobster and deftly grills swordfish and salmon. The wine list is well-chosen, with a serious by-the-glass repertoire, too.
The mandatory sweet is the chocolate cake “tower,” rising more than a dozen stories. It mirrors the ambitions of BBG.