Burton & Doyle
661 Northern Blvd. Great Neck, NY 516-487-9200
A a distinctive, luxe spot for high-end steak -- and then some.Hours: Every day for dinner. Ambience: Good Service: Very Good Reservations: Recommended Credit cards: Accepted Accessibility: Yes Party size: Party rooms
It's a distinctive, luxe spot, and a major overhaul of what used to be the forgettable Salute! and, before that, the memorable North St. Grill. It's a high-end production, loaded with clubby good looks. Landscapes and seascapes, portraits and a substantial amount of woodwork went into this shiny enterprise. So did lots of stellar red wine in big bottles. Cases are part of the decor. T he bar in mid-room is the haven for martinis, cigarettes, beer on tap and sports TV. Comfortable, rounded booths dot the dining areas. The place already is jammed. The food is classic steak house fare with some surprises, in hefty portions with prices to match. You could begin with one of the excellent shellfish cocktails, either plump shrimp, dewy lump crabmeat, or a small lobster. The appetizer of sesame-crusted tuna could be a petite entree, rosy and right, with a bit of crunch. Salmon sashimi is a delicate and sweet starter. The coconut-crusted shrimp could wrestle lobsters. They're a trifle sweet, crisp and set tails aloft on lively mango salsa. Fresh mozzarella and very ripe tomatoes add up to a seasonal treat that could dissuade you from ordering the combo in cold weather. And the salad of field greens, porcini mushrooms, Roquefort cheese, pear and walnuts is a savory suggestion of autumn. Soups are on the bland side, from the thick shrimp bisque to the chicken-barley-orzo unions. The main course at Burton & Doyle is the porterhouse steak, for two or more tr ue carnivores. It's a thick, juicy, crusty slab of beef. The T-bone for one gives you an only slightly smaller, full-flavored variation on the theme. Filet mignon is very thick and very good. The filet mignon au poivre adds bite, but the sauce is heavy going. Enjoy yours unadorned. Veal chops are tastily charred, moist and to the point. The lamb chops rival them. They're cooked perfectly. The house's rendition of chicken Marsala boasts a beautiful bird, but the sauce is dense and cloying. Steamed lobsters are available in the two-to-four-pound range, and they're respectable at $18 per. Crab cakes, while broad as dessert plates, are dull stuff. Alternatives for those brought here against their will: broiled Chilean sea bass and swordfish Provencal. Vegetables are a la carte. Best are the garlic mashed potatoes, shoestring fries, sauteed onions, onion rings and creamed spinach. Skip the ultra al den te steamed asparagus, limp sweet potato fries and singed cottage fries. The sweets naturally are led by creamy, first-class cheesecake. Or have the pecan pie capped with a scoop of ice cream. The Key lime pie and banana cream pie are stuck in neutral. Rice pudding: pasty. But the creme brulee is a satisfying flourish. You'll leave full.