Great River, at the end of the Southern State Parkway and on the edge of Heckscher State Park, is now a destination for red meat.

George Martin's Strip Steak already is packed on weekends and you can expect the crowd to get bigger on weekdays, too. This is a first-class steak house, with enough high-quality variety of the menu to lure a wide audience.

The latest member of the George Martin Group sends out most of the steakhouse staples, plus winners that range from a maple-brined Berkshire pork chop to pappardelle with shrimp and scallops in lobster-thyme cream sauce. But someone at the table should stick a fork in the dry-aged beef.

George Martin's chef is Michael Bender, who has been working with group corporate chef Frank Greco. They've put together a place with lots of appeal, whether you're in the cozy, smaller room with the fireplace, the larger dining area opposite the busy bar, or the banquette-lined cutout for six or more that offers a bit more privacy and less noise.

The George Martin Group includes George Martin "The Original" in Rockville Centre; George Martin's Grillfire restaurants in Rockville Centre, Merrick and Long Beach; and Nick's Tuscan Grill in Long Beach.

George Martin's Strip Steak, 60 River Rd., Great River; 631-650-6777.

A George Martin experience ...

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