In its first Suffolk foray, the George Martin Group has established a prime site.
George Martin's Strip Steak beefs up dining out at the end of the Southern State Parkway and the edge of Heckscher State Park, luring locals, wayfarers and regulars from George Martin, "The Original," in Rockville Centre.
This handsome spot outdoes them, from polished wood to blazing fireplace. And the flavor-packed fare from chef Michael Bender and group chef Frank Greco goes beyond steakhouse staples.
The kitchen could make you rethink the much-abused dish, oysters Rockefeller. Here, they're savory, tender, with a whiff of Pernod. Also first class: the dewy crabmeat cocktail. The sauteed jumbo-lump crab cake arrives meaty and satisfying, with a red-pepper riff on sauce rémoulade. The ample GM chopped salad brings in good taste from "The Original." The juicy porterhouse steak for two and the lush filet mignon lead the steaks. Even the lobster tail, an item that elsewhere carries a warning sign, is worth ordering, paired with a cut of filet mignon. Maple-brined Berkshire pork chop, with roasted pears and a cider reduction, could steer you away from steak. Likewise, merlot-braised beef short ribs with Parmesan-truffle mashed potatoes. Dissenters can go for pappardelle with shrimp and scallops in a creamy sauce that hints of lobster and thyme; and rosy, sesame-crusted tuna. The mandatory sides include sweet potato wedges and creamed spinach. Lively cocktails, respectable wines. Dessert: a duet of chocolate and vanilla crèmes brûlée; cheesecake; and apple crisp.
Satisfactory sweet-spicy chili pop shrimp; unwieldy lobster-crab-fontina fondue; overdone filet-mignon sliders.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Southern State, Exit 46.