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Steamboat Landing

A three-way match made in heaven: sunset, shoreline,

A three-way match made in heaven: sunset, shoreline, clams on the half shell, experienced at The Wharf at Steamboat Landing in Glen Cove. (July 16, 2010) Photo Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

The leisurely pace of summer defines Steamboat Landing. By dessert, it could be Labor Day.

This noisy new restaurant automatically enlivens the Glen Cove waterfront. It almost throbs. Decibels rise. Sounds bounce. The parking lot is full. And the staff is besieged.

But opening an attractive waterside eatery, particularly on the North Shore, is a notable event in itself, so Steamboat Landing immediately merits attention, sound and fury aside.

It's at the Glen Cove Marina, where you'll have pleasant eating alfresco as well as indoors, with a view of the boats and the sunset.

On a Saturday night, the establishment appears as popular for dusk and drinks as it is for the food. Order the last two carefully and you'll like all three.

Overall, the fare is good, led by preparations of fish and shellfish. But the service can be slower than a moored steamboat. At times, things just seem to halt, for reasons ranging from computer problems to overwhelmed waitresses.

Perhaps they're understaffed. But recently, you could have taken that steamboat to Connecticut between courses.

Before departing, make that first dish the crisp spring roll with tuna and vegetables, finished with a sweet-sour sauce. It's a savory Asian riff.

The shrimp cocktail is ample and fine, with jumbos that deserve the description. And the whole baked clams are tender and well worth sampling, too.

But the presentation of seasoned Louisiana crawfish is as unappetizing as labor to extract a morsel from their meager little tails. This heap of crawfish must have been on a communal diet. The fried calamari with tomato sauce is routine, chewy stuff.

Crabcakes are plump and flavorful, accented with mango salsa and chipotle-chile-seasoned mayo. Coppery Malpeque oysters are a briny option.

The grilled portobello mushroom starter benefits from its balsamic vinaigrette, as does the combo of tomatoes and mozzarella with greens. The house's Caesar salad is the mild variety.

Pastas are in full orders only, so you may share a flavorful linguine with clam sauce, white or red, as an appetizer. Or try it as your main course. Fusilli with summer vegetables is a modest alternative.

The kitchen sends out an excellent, juicy, thick cut of yellowfin tuna, completed with five-spice seasoning, noodles and a sweetish sauce. It lets you forget about those thin, overcooked anonymities from other joints.

Snowy Chilean sea bass with wild mushrooms and a demi sauce makes you want more. Roasted salmon with a mustard-based sauce and swordfish, grilled or blackened, are among the other regulars. And steamed lobster, weighing in at 11/2 pounds, is moist and sweet. Simplicity counts here.

Steamboat Landing runs aground with several meat dishes. The double-cut pork chops are overdone and tougher than a Timberland special. The grilled porterhouse steak is cooked as ordered, but still short on flavor. Likewise, the shell steak.

Desserts are an improvement. The generous raspberry tart, a variation on the linzer torte, is commendable. The cheesecake with a chocolate top makes a virtue of excess. The pecan pie keeps a rein on sweetness.

Apple crumb tart, chocolate raspberry cake and mud pie are acceptable finales. A scoop or two of ice cream also suits Steamboat Landing. Avoid the ersatz cappuccino and those boozy coffees.

The regular coffee or tea could give you a headstart on breakfast.


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