(516) 877-9385, Garden City
The new Polo Steakhouse in the Garden City Hotel is a class act.
This four-month-old restaurant in a 140-year-old hotel maintains the elite standard established by its previous occupant, the late, lamented Polo Restaurant that closed in 2007.
An experienced, heavyweight chef prepares gargantuan 28-day, dry-aged USDA Prime steaks, towering chops and the freshest of seafood. The wait staff of polished pros provides swift, discrete, knowledgeable service. The dining room is lush and appropriately masculine. (Steer heads have replaced pictures of Polo horses.) All desserts, including ice creams and sorbets, are made on the premises. (Try the noteworthy and seldom seen bourbon brown sugar ice cream.) The Polo Steakhouse says hello to diners with an amuse-bouche of flavorful onion soup in a miniature crock and bids them goodbye with a warm chocolate chip cookie in a little take home bag.
All of this luxury and attention comes at a price, one that diners who patronized the previous Polo willingly paid because it was one of the Island’s superior restaurants. This is likewise true of the new Polo Steakhouse. It is one of the best of its kind and its prices are on par with other high-end red meat emporiums.
Only a small (8oz) filet mignon was priced below $50 among the grilled steaks. Two cuts—the bone-in ribeye and the signature bone-in filet mignon—cost $65 each. Side dishes and desserts cost $10, while the least expensive salad or starter was $12.
One of the very few misfires of the night was a thick, filling, but strongly fishy lobster bisque with a tiny centerpiece of lobster meat ($14). The shrimp cocktail ($18) earned its “jumbo” designation. The roasted baby beet salad with citrus segments and crumbled goat cheese ($14) was all it should be, while the huge iceberg wedge salad ($14) was even more than that. Its two hefty pieces, essentially a split head of lettuce, came with toasted corn, shaved red onion, grape tomatoes, crumbled blue cheese and a tasty topping of bacon squares.
Steaks arrived accompanied by three sauces, a spicy green peppercorn, Bérnaise and a Garden City in-house steak concoction. We sampled two grilled steaks and some Colorado lamb chops ($46). All were enormous, delivering pleasing heft and height. The he-man-size Kansas City strip ($55) delivered a dynamic mineral taste, while a tall, robust hunk of filet mignon was a tad dry, but nevertheless generated bold flavor. The two too-big-to-finish lamb chops were a juicy, hearty treat. Don’t neglect the seafood selections either; chef Michael Mandato teased out all the richness and moisture a grilled swordfish steak ($32) could muster.
The last bites of the night were among the best. Chocolate lovers should forego every sweet and treat and target the colossal seven-layer chocolate cake escorted by a hot fudge sauce. Other diners will be delighted with the warm bananas Foster bread pudding crowned with an oversized scoop of the bourbon brown sugar ice cream.
Photo by Tom Fitzgerald and Pam Deutchman / thefphoto.com