2009-09-16 / Restaurant of the Week

PLUM MAKES EVERY NIGHT SPECIAL

I f you haven't visited Plum Restaurant and Bar in Bayside, you're missing out on something very special. Plum is nicely situated on the corner of Bell Blvd. and 48th Avenue with a curved glass facade that exposes the sleek, modern, European interior. Owner Kosta Kantlis makes

everyone feel at home and is proud to

unveil his new fall menu. The staff is friendly and very efficient, treating guests royally throughout their visit.

The expansive bar resembles an ocean wave, with thousands of ice blue tiles undulating down a curved wall. The cocktails here are just fabulous, such as the pomegranate martini, signature Plum-tini, cosmo-lito and mojitos flavored with coconut, strawberry or orange. Enjoy one of these refreshing cocktails on the plush velvet sofas in the front of the dining room. These intimate lounge areas provide for quiet conversation and canoodling until 2am. At dinner, settle into one of the comfortable tables in the bi-level dining room, which is decorated in sophisticated elegant hues of cream and avocado green with plum accents. Luxurious leather banquettes line the walls and provide an intimate setting for a quiet dinner for two, or a gathering with friends and family. Indeed, Plum is an excellent venue for private parties on Saturday afternoons, when the restaurant is reserved specifically for events with up to 90 people. Showers, engagement parties, birthdays and anniversary celebrations are made even more special at Plum with delicious Mediterranean and American cuisine and expert service.

One of Plum's signature appetizers is tuna tartare, supremely fresh, sushi-grade tuna chopped fine and perfectly seasoned ($10). Steak tartare is available on Friday and Saturday nights, and is equally as delicious. A new dish, shrimp in a crock, is made with plump, juicy shrimp in an aromatic broth flavored with lemon and cilantro ($8). Jumbo baked clams are topped with savory bread crumbs and baked until crispy brown, served with wedges of lemon. Satays are strips of marinated chicken or beef, laced onto skewers and grilled, then served with a Thai peanut dipping sauce. Classic Greek style dips, grilled octopus and flaming saganaki reflect Kantlis' roots. Mini lamb burgers called "sliders" are perfectly seasoned and make a great snack along with a cocktail or an appetizer before dinner. There are also nearly a dozen fresh, inventive salads to try as a first course or as a meal.

Dinner entrées cover the best in seafood, pasta, chicken and fabulous steaks. New on the menu is the Cajun swordfish fillet which was crisp on the outside and flaky and juicy in the center, served with mashed potatoes and tomato salsa. Halibut fillet is another new choice, with potatoes au gratin and asparagus ($18). I still enjoy Plum's signature sesame-encrusted tuna, cooked "black and blue" for ultimate flavor. Chef John does an excellent job with the high quality steaks purchased. The New York steak frites is a bistro classic, served with house made fries and green chimichurri sauce. The cowboy steak is encrusted in ground peppercorns and perfectly grilled, served with sautéed mushrooms. Roasted organic chicken is a true comfort dish for fall, served with garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach ($12). The lobster ravioli are tender and flavorful and you'll love the seafood

pasta fra diavolo with assorted seafood and lobster in a piquant sauce, served over al dente rigatoni. Greek specialties such as

patronage and so has begun offering a price fixed early dining menu for the many seniors in the area. Served from 4pm to 7pm weekdays, one can enjoy a 3-course meal for $13.95. In addition, a new, economically- priced sandwich menu can be ordered anytime, at the bar or in the dining room. For just $9.95, choose among steak bistro wraps, salmon and guacamole, shrimp fajita wrap and more, including house made fries or a green salad. Save room for their decadent desserts and robust coffee.

Plum serves a delicious brunch on Sunday afternoons from 10am to 4pm. Buttermilk French toast, whole wheat French toast, banana pancakes, omelets and more make any Sunday special. Plum has something for everyone on its new menu and it's all beautifully presented by polite servers. They're open 7 days a week for dinner, brunch on Sundays and private events on Saturday afternoons. Call to make reservations for your private event and create the perfect menu to please your guests. Don't waste another night and visit Plum where every night is made special. With great food, cocktails, wine, great service and reasonable prices, Plum is a plum among restaurants.

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