2008-05-28 / Restaurant of the Week


42-15 235th Street Douglaston, NY 718.224.2898
by Teresa Barile

George Martin Restaurant of Douglaston is the newest addition to the George Martin Group of fine restaurants in Long Island and now Queens. Located just next to the LIRR station in Douglaston, George Martin Restaurant opened just two months ago in one of the quaint buildings in this historic part of town. The sleek, masculine yet elegant interior is composed of rich dark wood wainscot, wooden floors and smooth leather banquettes set against exposed brick walls, accented by mirrors. An original long wooden bar serves top shelf cocktails, beers, liqueurs and boasts a fabulous wine list with vintages from California, Italy and Chile, starting at $34. In addition to the dining areas in the front of the restaurant, a more intimate space in the atrium, at the back of the restaurant, provides a serene setting for a quiet dinner.

A meal at George Martin is a culinary treat that everyone should experience. From the comfortable, classy décor to the exceptional service and top notch cuisine, you can be assured of a memorable meal. Start with one of their meticulously prepared appetizers such as the crunchy sesame tuna, encrusted in sesame seeds and seared to perfection with accompanying wasabi, soy sauce and slivered ginger. Tender grilled asparagus, a harbinger of spring, is served with buttery fresh mozzarella, tomato confit, pine nuts and basil ($9). Seared sea scallops are first seasoned with a blend of five spices, then seared to golden brown and served with caramelized shiitake mushrooms ($14). Maryland crab cakes are made with sweet lump crab meat and spices and served with crunchy cucumber apple slaw. There are small salads to start, such as the traditional Caesar or beefsteak tomato and onion. Entrée salads such as the GM chopped salad make a meal or can beshared as a first course. This flavorful signature salad is tossed with tomatoes, roasted peppers, golden raisins, walnuts, dice of fresh mozzarella and sweet corn with a zesty balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

When it comes to restaurant menus, I am a firm believer in "less is more". I am always happy to see a concise menu with carefully selected dishes that cover the range of options in meat, poultry, fish and pasta. George Martin's Corporate Chef, Frank Greco and Executive Chef, Christopher Holt have done just that. House specialties include wild king salmon fillet cooked on a cedar wood plank which imparts a decidedly earthy sweetness to this supreme fillet. Served with wilted spinach, creamed leeks and Chinese mustard, this dish is healthy and a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Ahi tuna is pan-seared to perfection with orange and fennel, and is served with lobster risotto with a Meyer lemon vinaigrette, creating the perfect marriage of sea and earth ($27). French cut chicken breast is served with roasted asparagus and tarragon mustard sauce, or indulge in the ultimate comfort food; herb-roasted free range chicken with garlic mashed potatoes, crispy onions and bordelaise sauce ($21). Forget anything you remember about dried out pork chops. George Martin's maple glazed pork chops are impossibly tender and juicy, served with caramelized apples ($25). Flat iron steak is cooked to order and served with porcini mushroom truffle sauce. Buttery-tender filet mignon is served in an 8-ounce petite cut or a 12-ounce portion with port wine demi-glaze. Live a little and combine your filet mignon with a lobster tail, a crab cake or jumbo shrimp scampi to help celebrate life's special moments.

George Martin's Tavern menu is perfect for lighter bites or a quick after-work meal. The sirloin burger eats like steak and is served on a big, sturdy roll. Balsamic grilled chicken breast is laid upon warm focaccia bread with mozzarella and roasted tomatoes ($14). Linguine with lobster and shrimp or whole wheat ravioli filled with grilled vegetables satisfies those eschewing meat.

During your meal the attentive, professional wait staff floats to your table bearing plate after plate of beautifully presented courses, served piping hot, each delivered with a change of silverware which is a nice touch I always appreciate. Do save room for dessert where the George Martin fudge brownie reigns supreme for its decadent fudginess. Cinnamon scented bread pudding is a classic, made extra special with a scoop of handmade fig ice cream. Meyer lemon créme brulee is irresistible, and a glass of tawny port enhances any of these fine selections.

George Martin in Douglaston is a top-notch establishment and you'll feel very welcome from the moment you walk in and are greeted by the lovely ladies at reception. Private parties of up to 65 people can be accommodated and larger parties can be accommodated during the day. George Martin of Douglaston is open 7 days a week for dinner from 5pm to 10pm on weekdays and until 11pm on weekends. Celebrate life's special occasions or make an ordinary night special with a meal at George Martin Restaurant. Visit their other fine establishments too.


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