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Deco 1600: Out of the starting gate

Southwest salad special at Deco 1600

Southwest salad special at Deco 1600

Is it my imagination, or does there always seem to be a new restaurant downstairs from the Nassau Downs OTB in Plainview? In the space that once housed Maxwell & Dunne's Steakhouse is now Deco 1600, part of the new Carlyle at the Palace complex.

In an attractive Art Deco dining room with a working fireplace, I found the service as warm as the fire's glow. Something of a gamble, though, was a burger that looked well-done on the outside, seemed juicy and rare when first bitten but quickly turned dense and dry. Cohabiting the plate were the kind of fries that work best as a vehicle for ketchup and salt. A friend’s “Southwest” salad special was topped with cold, dry, overcooked “Cajun” chicken and a “peanut” dressing that had virtually no hint of peanut flavor.

A horse of a different color was the restaurant’s well-executed tortellini ala vodka. Since an Italian family style menu prevails at dinner, I’m betting that night time is when chef Will Turcos (formerly of Matteo’s in Roslyn) really gets galloping.

Deco 1600 is at 1600 Round Swamp Rd., Plainview; 516-586-6454, deco1600.com.

Newsday Photo of Southwest salad special/Joan Reminick

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