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Lunch at Jewel in Melville

The lunch menu at Jewel in Melville features

The lunch menu at Jewel in Melville features beef tartare (foreground) and tuna tartare. (Dec. 21, 2011) CHECK CAPTION FOR HORIZONTAL CROPS; ONLY ONE TARTAR IS PICTURED /Erica marcus Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Jewel, Tom Schaudel’s lavish new Melville restaurant, is now open for lunch; the place looks just as grand in broad daylight.

Though not a bargain lunch, there are plenty of good-sized starters, salads, sandwiches and pizzas going for $15 and less. Want to spend more? Grilled salmon is $24; spiced tuna, $28; aged steaks from $36 to $100 (for a 12-ounce Waygu strip).

My pal and I had these two tartares (each $15). In the foreground, my steak tartare, a big honking puck of chopped beef topped with cornichons, red onion and a quail egg. If you ignored the house-made potato chips, this would be a perfect Atkins lunch. (I did not ignore the potato chips.) My companion thought the tuna in her tuna tartare was cut too big. I loved how big it was cut. Go know.

A “millionaire’s pizza” with black truffle, mushroom, fontina and a farm egg ($19) was too busy, and slightly greasy of crust. My mushroom salad ($12) just didn’t come together: frisee was slightly browned where it had been cut, the braised pork belly strangely tough.

Much appreciated on the menu were nine vegetable side dishes, each $7. I only picked at the Brussels sprouts with chorizo and red onion, and a Sicilian-style cauliflower (with raisins, pine nuts and bread crumbs). They made for a fine lunch the next day.

Jewel is at 400 Broadhollow Rd., Melville, 631-755-5777.

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