The Stone Turtle in Island Park is now officially in the race.
Chef-owner Gregory Baumel (formerly of The Half King and the bygone-but-legendary Quilted Giraffe in Manhattan) is hoping his new dining spot will be the one with staying power in a space that's hosted Overtime Grill & Ale House, Island Smokehouse and Freedom BBQ, to name its most recent tenants.
Clearly, Baumel has put a lot into his new venture. The interior is done in shades of olive (make that turtle) green, with lots of brick and dark wainscoting. Floor to ceiling windows let in sunlight; an original graffiti mural and a background soundtrack of Sinatra and Motown add to an upbeat ambience.
An eclectic menu emphasizes the organic and (whenever possible) the locally sourced. It features an assortment of dishes that range from a tuna “Tartini” to a paella pot to a South Texas antelope burger. The signature dessert — called the "dirty ashtray" — is an ice cream sundae incorporating a chocolate mold of an ashtray. Still trying to figure out the reasoning behind that one.
The Stone Turtle is at 4160 Austin Blvd., Island Park, 516-431-6570, thestoneturtlerestaurant.com
Tuna "Tartini" at The Stone Turtle in Island Park