Steak houses are back in style. Burton & Doyle on Northern Boulevard in Great Neck is the newest addition. This stretch on Northern Boulevard with four in a row, featuring Peter Luger and North Shore Steak House to the west and Mortimer's revving up to the east, is now Long Island's Steak House Row.
Burton & Doyle, rumored to be named by the architect who designed an old Long Island estate, is spacious (seats 270) and it is plush. We expected mahogany and brass and the old boys' club atmosphere - even the large foyer entry with leather easy chairs but private wine lockers tagged with customers' names is stunning. Here you can keep your favorite wines from Burton & Doyle's cellar or those of your choice. If that doesn't impress your guests (or neighbors) perhaps a cigar humidor with your name will. Or, maybe dinner in the private room viewable from the foyer known, but of course, as The Boardroom.
Seated and bedazzled, you note the ankle-length white tablecloths, the rear wall with serene scenes of idyllic Long Island life of yore and a multitude of servers garbed in the long white butcher apron and tan butcher jacket, a tradition.
The four-page menu lists the food on one page, followed by a three-page wine list. Burton & Doyle has 300 selections chosen by General Manager Paul Vaccee. Cabernet Sauvignon, the steak house diner's favorite, ranging from $87 to $495 a bottle, heads the list. (Fear not: Scotch, $4; Perrier $3.) We three - two guys and I - settled back and ordered our appetizers, a crab cake (classic fare), clams casino capped with red and green peppers, garlic, bacon and white wine and the Burton & Doyle salad, a master piece sans greens of green beans, roasted red peppers and shrimp.
Our main course was from the selection of steaks and chops and the always-excellent, always-ultra-fresh, steak house seafood. This is a steak house. Not even a chicken wing is listed. A bone-in rib steak, lamb chops and a veal chop, all today's rarefied USDA prime, were our choices.
Potatoes and vegetables (served for two) offered 17 items with variations on potatoes (white and sweet) and onions plus asparagus, mushrooms and zucchini. No point in trying the creamed spinach. It's gotta be good. A steak house cannot exist without a lip-smacker. And each complies. Mashed potatoes with "roasted garlic, caramelized onions and horseradish" sounded irresistible and was it ever! The gentlemen opted for the B & D combination platter of steak fries, thick onion rings and fried zucchini and consumed each and every one, quite a compliment when portions of steaks and chops and seafood are emperor-sized. (Note: lobsters are 2, 3 and 4 pounds at $18 dollars per pound).
Let me rhapsodize about the rib steak. Visually it is a stunner, 1 1/4 inches thick with a bone actually measuring 9 inches. As for flavor - magnificent: the chard rim, the streak of fat, the tenderness, the juiciness, the flavor of that which is closest to the bone. Lamb and veal lovers, although less loquacious, were impressed.
Who couldn't help notice the couple across the way having the porterhouse for two ($58)? It is definitely impressive, especially when you consider that as steaks are dry-aged for 21 to 28 days, 20 percent of the weight is lost. The porterhouse for three ($87) and four ($116) must be awe-inspiring in more ways than one. Burton & Doyle Executive Chef Bob Wicker was on the team that opened Rothman's, associated with B&D, in Oyster Bay.
By all means, try the warm chocolate peanut butter dessert creation. Don't let the warning "It's a hot souffle and takes 15 minutes" deter you. It is for chocolate lovers with the added taste attraction of a peanut butter interior and hot-out-of-the oven at that. I wish I could report that the key lime pie tasted great. Besides, it lacked a freshly cut look. And my chocolate cappuccino was merely ho-hum.
But that did not dim the glow of a great meal, in a stunning setting with fine service, attired like a traditional steak house. At this point, it looks as if a high-end steak house star has been born. Incidentally, if you have trouble recalling the name, and many do at first, think Doyle & Burton, and invert.
Spacious, high-end steak house. Private wine lockers and cigar humidors. Extensive wine list. Deluxe steak house items. Porterhouse for two, three or four. Good service.
Crab Cake ... $9.50
Coconut Shrimp with Mango Salsa ... $13.50
Porterhouse for Two ... $58
Bone-in Rib Steak ... $26
Grilled Tuna Fillet, Miso Sesame Sauce ... $19
Chilean Sea bass ... $19
Chocolate Creation ... $8
Creme Brulee ... $5.50
Food: Steak house
Setting: Plush. Dark wood and brass
Service: Butcher apron and jacket
Hours: Dinner seven days
Location: East of Lakeville Road
Dress: Neat casual
Credit cards: All major
Children: Especially Sundays. Share.
Private parties: To 60
Takeout: Off menu
Off premise catering: No
Smoking: Cigar room
Noise level: Steak house is quiet
Handicap access: Yes
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