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First bite: The new Blackstone

Inside Blackstone Steakhouse in Melville.

Inside Blackstone Steakhouse in Melville. Photo Credit: Newsday/Bill Davis

Blackstone Steakhouse left a big impression when it debuted in 2005, immediately improving dining out in Melville. It makes a bigger one now.

Chef Richard Lanza, who earned three stars for North Fork Oyster Company. in Greenport during the summer, is fine-tuning a new menu, which is expected to go into effect within the month. But the quality of the restaurant, from food to service, already has improved dramatically.

Whether you're here for steaks or sushi, you  win. The sirloin and the spicy tuna roll stand out. The kitchen also offers a meltingly tender main course of braised, off-the-bone short ribs accompanied by a terrific mushroom risotto. And sweet, pan-seared sea scallops are as delicate as they are plump.

Blackstone, which shares ownership with Rare650 in Syosset,  remains a pricey experience. It easily can top $75 per person. But, unlike so many upscale restaurants, you do get what you pay for, start to finish.

Blackstone Steakhouse, 10 Pinelawn Rd., Melville; 631-271-7780.

At Blackstone.

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