Longtime restaurateur George Korten has expanded into the Syosset dining scene with his latest venture: George Martin 1989. The name is a nod to the year he opened the Rockville Centre staple, George Martin The Original, reminding Long Islanders just how long he’s been in the business.
Stepping into the new restaurant—it replaced Korten’s restaurant Grillfire in March—patrons are transported into a warm and vintage vibe. There are stone walls, dark rustic wood details, large candelabra chandeliers, ruby red leather booths, a main bar with a granite top and eye-catching oil paintings scattered all throughout the room.
“It’s clubby, it’s sophisticated, it’s timeless,” Korten said.
With the help of Executive Chef Chris Holt, the steakhouse-inspired American bistro also has several standout dishes. Korten boasted about the Korean BBQ Duck Tacos made with kimchi slaw, soft corn tortillas, cilantro and lime, as well as the Grilled Spanish Octopus with chorizo sausage, chickpeas and petite tomatoes. And Korten didn’t leave out one of his favorites: The Ahi Tuna Poke topped with cucumber, avocado, charred pineapple, Sriracha, mayo, sesame oil and tortilla crisps.
But those are just the starters. Diners can move on to popular pasta dishes like orecchiette with shaved Brussel sprouts served in a creamy Italian fontina with pignoli nuts. Or they can opt for a sandwich, salad or main plate, including the “simple but very good” whole grilled branzino.
Of course steak is the main attraction here. Diners can chow down on the signature George Martin Club Steak (20-ounce dry-aged, bone-in NY strip) along with some new additions like the Espresso Rubbed Flat Iron Steak and the Ginger-Soy Marinated Skirt Steak. The restaurant also offers the special feature George Martin regulars appreciate.
“[Steaks] all come with a complimentary side dish unlike the classic steakhouses that are on the North Shore,” Korten said. “It’s a great selling point and creates the value that’s important to us.”
George Martin 1989 includes some other pluses: valet parking, a daily lunch menu (noon-4pm) and happy hour giving diners small plates along with discounted cocktails, beer and wine. The restaurant also hosts private parties for up to 100 people during weekend days.
And the best part? Regular customers will be pleasantly surprised throughout the year as Korten promises to constantly make slight alterations to the menu.
“We will change it in the fall, we will change it in the spring, we will change it in the summer,” he said. “It’s always evolving.”