Union Prime Steak & Sushi heightens Northern Boulevard's status as the hardest artery in Nassau.
The remodeled and brightened protein palace, the former Burton & Doyle, intensifies the HDL-LDL competition along Great Neck's high-end steak house row, and does it with lustrous uncooked fish to go along with the dry-aged beef.
Accordingly, Union Prime is Long Island's newest update on the familiar theme of surf and turf. In the new pairing, raw fish has replaced that too-broiled lobster tail; skillfully seared steak, the invariably gray filet mignon. Equally welcome at Union is the cooked seafood.
It's all served with flair in a dining room that sports brilliant red columns, vaulted ceilings, and enough crystal to ensure a glittery bar area. Union is owned by Joseph Zangri and Bert Brodsky, who also operate buoyant, bustling City Cellar in Westbury.
From many tables, you'll have a view of the open kitchen and executive chef Christopher Hamaty at work. Hamaty, who has cooked at Blackstone Steakhouse in Melville and the now-closed J. Michaels Tuscan Steakhouse in Northport, also was the last chef at Burton & Doyle.
Recommended as a starter is nigirizushi, the traditional style. Try tuna, fatty tuna, fluke, yellowtail. One of the specials recently: a delightful tuna "wonton," with raw tuna fashioned into a purse shape and filled with crab. The colorful sushi rolls are satisfying, but you're better off limiting the gilding. The "triple spicy" roll, for example, includes fine fish, but no kick.
You'll enjoy the ample shellfish cocktails, especially crab and shrimp; and may expand the budget to take in a shellfish plateau. Hamaty prepares savory grilled octopus, sparked with capers, red onion, and basil-infused olive oil, paired with hummus; and a generous crabcake, with Sriracha aioli and mango slaw. They're preferable to the lobster sliders, which need more seasoning.
But the house's steamed lobster is moist and sweet. And a special of pan-seared halibut with lobster hash and tomato jam stands out, too. The whole roasted branzino in lemon-butter sauce benefits from cipollini onions and capers.
The juicy Kansas City stripsteak and the bone-in rib-eye are excellent choices. The repertoire includes filet mignon, porterhouse and sirloin steaks. Sample the creamy mashed potatoes, hash browns with bacon, sauteed onions, and crisp onion rings.
Union also sends out an epic, warm cinnamon bun with vanilla cream cheese frosting; soothing banana cream pie; and a suitably over-the-top "brownie sundae sensation."
Of course, even with whipped cream, the mixed berries will be good for you.