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Prime 1024 review: Long-awaited Italian steakhouse dazzles in Roslyn

Erminio Conte, executive chef at Prime 1024, shows us how he makes one of his signature dishes, Oysters Rockefeller.  (Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

Prime 1024

1024 Northern Blvd., Roslyn

516-621-1024, prime1024.com

COST: $$$-$$$$+

SERVICE: Friendly, attentive

AMBIENCE: Opulent mashup

ESSENTIALS: Open Monday to Wednesday 4:30 to 10 p.m., Thursday and Friday to 11 p.m., Saturday to midnight, Sunday 3:00 to 10 p.m. Reservations recommended weekdays, necessary weekends. Major credit cards accepted; wheelchair accessible from east side parking area.

Prime 1024 is the newest and biggest 18-karat setting on the Gold Coast. It dazzles.

This high-ceiling, silver-and-gray-hued extravaganza combines Long Island’s two favorite cuisines, Italian and steakhouse, with flamboyance, stylish appointments and enough glitzy chandeliers to illuminate Northern Boulevard. It’s an opulent mashup, as large as an auto dealership, with a parking area that could double as a show lot for Bentley and Maserati.

Rising at the address where long-planned and short-lived Barto fell, Prime 1024 fits comfortably on a strip of Route 25A where the Black Card competition is intense.

It took about six months to transform the space with grayish half-moon banquettes; tall, ornate mirrors; metallics to spare; and a double-sided contemporary fireplace as a room divider.

There are some sleek, Art Deco touches; a bright, marbleized section for antipasti; a grand, polished wood centerpiece for wine storage; and an oversize image of wine barrels, where you assume very big reds are aging.

Basically, owner Christos Spyropoulous, also a partner in nearby Limani, has gone all in. So has chef Erminio Conte, from the region of Puglia, Italy, and formerly of Barolo in Manhattan.

They oversee the latest Long Island restaurant to offer Italian, Italian-American and steakhouse staples. Last year, Puglia’s Italian Steakhouse in Seaford and Viaggio Italian Chop House in Rockville Centre opened; in 2016, Primi Italian Steakhouse in West Islip appeared.

Starting steakhouse-style at Prime 1024, order a fine cocktail of colossal U-8 shrimp, or a platter of Blue Point and Kumamoto oysters. Try the generous riff on oysters Rockefeller, under a rich mantle of hollandaise sauce. Glistening yellowfin tuna tartare, spurred with candied shallots and jalapeños, deftly balances the flavors. Enjoy the stirring, fortifying, handsomely presented onion soup gratiné.

You can skip the keto-centric slabs of applewood-smoked bacon, drizzled with a syrup more anonymous than spicy, in favor of an Italianate opener of tender, short-rib meatballs, which would star in a hero sandwich. But clams oreganata arrive underseasoned, and the combo of fried calamari and zucchini shows up more limp than crisp. You’re better off sharing the appetizing 12-inch Margherita pizza.

Savory pappardelle, with a ragu made from baby back ribs, makes every day seem like Sunday. Spaghetti alla carbonara delivers a hazy daydream of Rome. But linguine with white clam sauce materializes more than a few degrees harder than al dente.

Conte prepares excellent grilled swordfish, sauced with tomato and a hint of capers and olives. But Dover sole meunière, while meaty, needs more verve from brown butter, lemon juice and capers. The cloudy sauce is pretty dull.

Grilled pork chops, dry; the grilled veal, tender and rosy. Filet mignon stands out, on the bone and off. But the essential cut is the prime tomahawk, a long-bone rib steak for two. This juicy showstopper is, of course, pricey down to that bone. It’s also delicious. An alternative: the 24-ounce, bone-in rib-eye. Conte’s chicken parmigiana, which glides effortlessly onto the menu between the swordfish and veal Milanese, is all you’d expect, right for tonight’s dinner and tomorrow’s lunch.

On the side, the best choices are garlic mashed potatoes, creamed spinach and, carrying a hit of spring, asparagus.

For dessert, the crème brûlée outdoes tiramisu and cheesecake, chocolate lava cake and an apple tart. You may receive a gratis glass of limoncello at meal’s end. It’s house-made, potent, evocative and, appropriately, gilded.

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