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Great Neck Steak House: Steaks, chops and seafood please the palate in Great Neck

I seldom eat steak out as to me broiling a steak is practically like not having to cook. When I dine out, I would rather take perverse delight in knowing that someone is slaving away in the kitchen, preparing something that exceeds my own culinary skills. Men, on the other hand, at least those not obsessed with their cholesterol levels, seem sublimely happy indulging their primitive instincts with a hefty hunk of beef. Still, I'm not averse to chowing down, from time to time, on a good restaurant steak, of a quality not readily available from the average retail meat market, and that's what places like the Great Neck Steak House are there for.The Great Neck Steak House is a comfortably appointed recent addition to the Great Neck restaurant scene. The tables and banquettes are roomy and far enough apart that you can enjoy a private tte a tte without your neighbor's conversation intruding. The lounge area is cozy and charming with leather sofas and a plasma TV, an atmospheric place for a cocktail. Since the New York Times's restaurant critic, Frank Bruni, saw fit to devote an entire article on the oddities of some restaurant restrooms, I feel entitled to comment on the ladies' room at Great Neck Steak House. Their spacious ladies' room is lavishly decorated, but perplexing. There is one unenclosed commode, but two sinks. What is that about? It's pretty, though.Getting back to the food, the appetizer menu emphasizes the basics, with a few more creative offerings to liven things up. Sauteed lobster meat, jumbo shrimp as a cocktail or sauteed, and chili made with filet mignon are a few of their standbys. We chose smoked trout with capers and jumbo crab cakes (actually one crab cake). The trout was salmon trout, and tasty without being too filling, a wise choice considering what was to come. The crab cake was large and well seasoned, with a nice crunchy exterior, but the inside was wet and mushy.Bits of red onion livened up a nice mesclun salad, ample enough for two diners to share.For our entrees, we looked for, and found, steak house classics. We chose loin lamb chops and a combo of bone-in rib steak and shrimp. The thick cut lamb chops were tender, flavorful and thoroughly trimmed of fat. The rib steak of the combo, was massive enough to feed a family of four by itself. This prodigious piece of meat was lean, especially for a cut of prime meat as was claimed, if not as tender as some. In both cases the meat was well-seared on the outside, leaving the interior properly juicy. The jumbo shrimp were perfectly timed to preserve their tenderness and moisture. The combo on the menu normally includes a jumbo lobster tail, but we were told, the chef rejected the lobster tails sent by his purveyor that day, and offered the shrimp as a substitute. The grilled meats are prepared with a pleasant marinade, but a choice of bearnaise, red wine, garlic parsley butter, or au poivre sauces are available. Unfortunately, our server neglected to suggest the sauces, and we didn't notice them on the menu until after the fact.The side dishes are all a la carte. We opted for potatoes au gratin and sauteed broccoli rabe, both of which were generous and nicely done. The sides are ample for sharing.From a dessert menu of luscious sounding sweets, we chose key lime pie. It was a gratifying conclusion to an indulgent meal.The Bottom LineThe Great Neck Steak House offers a no-nonsense menu for the steak and chops devotee, and enough seafood and chicken items to satisfy the less avidly carnivorous. The service is attentive and solicitous. If the tab for big steaks combined with a la carte everything else is a bit rich for your blood, they have a selection of reasonably priced prix fixe dinners on week nights posted in the window. You have to ask for the window specials, as they are not offered automatically. They are not on the regular menu, but offer good value.Great Neck Steak House31 South Middle Neck RoadGreat Neck516-466-3883www.greatnecksteakhouse.comCuisine: Emphasis on steak and chops with supplemented with seafood and chickenSetting: Comfortably well appointedService: AttentiveHours: Lunch and Dinner dailyReservations: OptionalAlcohol: Full barParking: Street Dress: CasualChildren: WelcomeMusic: NoTakeout: YesCredit cards: All majorNoise level: AcceptableHandicap accessible: YesRecommended DishesSmoked trout with capers... $12.95Mixed mesclun salad... $6Bone-in 32 oz. rib steak... $32.95Grilled jumbo shrimps... $26.95Loin loin lamb chops... $32.95Potatoes au gratin... $6 Sauteed broccoli rabe... $7Key Lime Pie... $5

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