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September 4, 2012
Review: George Martin's Strip Steak
By Janene Mascarella
I've always had a tricky relationship with steakhouses. Let's just say, it's complicated. While I do enjoy the experience of an upscale steakhouse, my fellow diners often find it a bit frustrating because, well, I'm not a big steak fan. Typically, the table cringes in unison when I place my order: "Can you make it extra-well done? Like, burn it?" While the server usually looks at me in horror, my husband cowers behind the over-sized leather bound menus. "Sorry Sir, I just met her in the parking lot..." Truth is, if not ordering my meat scalded beyond recognition and beef-jerky style; the other option is simply turning to my good old steakhouse safe word: chicken. But recently on a summer Sunday evening, we met up with some dear friends at George Martin's Strip Steak, near the Great South Bay.
This steakhouse in Great River offers classic fare; dry-aged steaks as well as a full menu of chops, seafood and house specialties is a recent addition to the George Martin Group who owns and operates four restaurants on the south shore of Long Island. Pulling up to Strip Steak (an 1840's house), I have to admit not what I was expecting at all. Once inside, I find it delightully surprising. It's not really dark and conservative like other steakhouses I have visited in the past. I would more describe it as deep and inviting, with plenty to feast your eyes on. The decor boasts rich colors, shiny burgundy leathered walls and a spacious booth. The dining room and adjacent bar is upscale and slightly sultry with a burlesque, almost gentlemen's parlor-like vibe.
I was quickly smitten with the whimsical cocktail menu that truly underscored the atmosphere with fun selections such as; Black Cherry Whiskey, SourBathtub Gin Collins, and the Sugar Daddy Side Car. I went with The Hotsy Totsy Margarita (Sauza Hornitos Plata, agave nectar, fresh lime juice, club soda) and boy did it live up to its name. After downing one of those delicious badboys, I decided to throw caution to the wind and live a little. No chicken, no charred hockey puck. I decided to order my filet mignon 'medium'. "Yep, put me down for medium. And another Hotsy Totsy, please!"
For starters, we enjoyed the Chili Pop Shrimp (sweet and spicy chili sauce, $11), and the Lobster, Fontina & Crab Fondue (with grilled ciabatta bread, $19). All of these appetizers were amazing. The shrimp dish was tangy and sweet and quickly disappeared from the dish. The fondue was filling but fabulous. I walked my talk and ordered the Filet Mignon w/Brie & Leek Ravioli "medium".
The dinner ($26) is served with caramelized onions, English peas, pecorino cream, red wine reduction. I was disappointed to learn that they were out of the ravioli that night so as a replacement I ordered a side of that Chili Pop Shrimp I couldn't get enough of earlier. Truth is, I loved my steak and nearly finished it. The rest of the table raved about their dinner as well. The "Turf Can Surf" (Paired with Filet Mignon (6 oz.), Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna, cucumber "noodles", wasabi, ginger, soy $32) was, according to a seasoned meat lover cooked perfectly, and he reported the tuna was "probably the best I ever had". So our conversation during dinner was short and sweet. "How's your steak? Amazing. How's yours? Outstanding. And yours, is it too red for you? Nope, it's perfect!"
While I'm no steakhouse connoisseur, I do know that to really make your mark in this category and succeed as a well-regarded steakhouse, stellar sides are a must. And with that, Strip Steak hits the bull's eye. The Pan Toasted Green Beans (bacon, bleu cheese $8) puts a fresh and tasty twist on the side veggie. But what really stole the show were the Sweet Potato Wedges (honey maple butter, $9). I would come all the way back just for those. And I would have been happy to consider the side dish as dessert (it was that good!) but we dutifully fought back the fullness pains and ended the night on an incredibly high note: Cheesecake Brulee (caramelized sugar, caramel, whipped cream, $9) and the Strip Steak Split Nilla Wafer-Caramel Dipped Bananas (vanilla ice cream, spiced walnuts, caramel, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, with a cherry on top, $14). Long Island carnivores: I highly suggest you set your sights on Suffolk County's Strip Steak. Go on, get a Hotsy Tosty and prepare for a feast.
George Martin's Strip Steak
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Janene Mascarella is a freelance lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, CNN Money, AARP, American Way, Self, Glamour, Health, Cooking Light, Women's Health, Woman's Day, Weight Watchers, Parenting, Parents, Family Circle, Babytalk, American Baby, Arthritis Today, Working Mother, Bella, CBS News, AOL Travel, Mint.com, iVillage.com, and many others. Follow her on Twitter: @MrsWrite.
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