Jim & Kims Restaurant Guide to Long Island NY

CANNON’S BLACKTHORNS….CASUAL AMERICAN DINING. 2-21-10

We decided to go a little casual on this trip as we were slightly hungover from the previous nights festivities. I had passed Blackthorns restaurant many times as my office used to be in the vicinity. Our choice was made……..

The exterior of the restaurant is stone with heavy wooden doors that always reminded me of a castle from a far off land, inside was reflective of the outside style. But the two blazing fireplaces couldn’t warm the vast open space. We arrived Sunday afternoon, around Linner Time between 3 & 6pm….the place was EMPTY

We found our own table as a host was nowhere to be seen. Kim and I chose a table beside the fireplace as the temperature inside was a little on the chilly side. A waitress approached and our drink order was taken. Perusing the menu was a journey into the unknown. it was obvious that whoever designed the menu had a bizarre culinary sense. For example…potato croquettes as an appetizer and no mention soup anywhere on the menu. We questioned our young waitress about the soup situation and were informed that they actually had a soup du jour plus their usual french onion. Good thing we asked…….or was it?? We went with the soup du jour which was a Potato Ale Soup. it sounded interesting, we gave it a chance. BIG MISTAKE. it was so thick that I could have used it to plaster a wall. it reminded Kim of her days in nursery school….remember that thick glue? anyway, I was never a fan of having to CHEW my soup. no Exaggeration.

Hoping the entrees would fair better we pressed ahead. Kim chose a “Slow Roasted Juicy Roast Beef” served with an Au Jus with a Vegetable Medley. That’s exactly what the menu listed. what Kim got was… Shoe leather on stale bread that was tough and tasteless accompanied by last weeks fries. Completely inedible. I hoped my Bangers and Mash would hit the spot. Unfortunately the only spot it should have hit was the bottom of the garbage can. Bangers that had been cooked and reheated….like little links of dried cat turds with mash potato’s that had obviously been made the previous day. the plate was covered with lukewarm baked beans, they were EVERYWHERE. This was without doubt the most unappealing meal that I have ever had the misfortune to encounter. We overheard our neighbours at the next table also complaining to their waiter about the quality of the meal.

The waitress’s question about dessert was answered with a swift NO !!!!!.

As we looked around the restaurant, we noticed a menu board that still advertised FALL SPECIALS??? Posters on the walls touted events that had long since past. these things to us are always red flags to the overall management and care of a place. This is a pity as Blackstones decor is wonderful. Rustic charm at its best. Management and quality control needs to become a focus for this restaurant if it wants to survive.

WHAT YOU GET FOR THE MONEY

PRICE…………….MODERATE

QUALITY…………POOR

SERVICE…………ADEQUATE

ATHMOSPHERE…….CASUAL

On a scale of 0———-5 glasses we give this restaurant :: 1 glass

THE CARLTUN….AMERICAN FINE CUISINE. 2-14-10

Eisenhower Park, East Meadow. NY

We decided to go upscale in honor of Valentines Day and our next restaurant fits the bill to perfection.

Donning our finest glad rags we made our way into Eisenhower Park. Attentive Valets relieved us of our car and we entered into a beautiful foyer. Marble floors and plush wall coverings adorned the vestibule. A pleasant young lady checked for our reservations and as we were a little early showed us to the bar. Our request to the bartender for which type of martinis did they serve was answered by “Any type you would like”. I love that. the most decadent espresso martinis were delivered and the first sip confirmed… Best Martinis ever!!

Our friendly host informed us that our table was now ready. the restaurant was bustling with elegantly dressed diners and tuxedo clad waiters.

The menu was a Prix Fixe at the princely sum of $100 per person. Our expectations were high…

For appetizers,Kim chose the Jumbo shrimp cocktail with a classic perfectly spiced cocktail sauce. Jumbo was a fitting description of oversized morsels of the oceans goodness. Unfortunately, we felt that at such a price point, the extra $6 supplement for this dish was a little on the tacky side. I chose the Porcini ravioli with black truffle cream. the mushroom infused ravioli melted in my mouth, and with the added flavor of the black truffle cream, which was light and aromatic, made me eager for what was coming next.

For our entrees, Kim chose the Roasted free range chicken with porcini mushrooms and polenta fries. the chicken was moist and flavorful and the mushrooms were a wonderful complement. the polenta fries were crispy and tender but looked a little sorrowful on the plate. We felt that the presentation on such a high end meal was a little lacking.

I chose the tasting plate of Lobster tails in saffron butter and baby beef mignon. if the plate was a canvas then my meal was the art. the lobster tail was succulent and the drizzle of the saffron butter accentuated the flavor. the beef was tender and tasty. Unfortunately, it was a little on the petite side. But the combination of the two left little room for more. Waiters hovered discreetly as if to anticipate your next request.

We passed on the dessert, although judging by the diners at the next table, we had passed on a dessert fit for the gods. We finished our bottle of Pinot at our leisure and soaked in the opulent surroundings. Coffered ceilings depicting clouds and flying monkeys made our minds wander to exotic climates, temporarily forgetting the 10 inches of snow that was still on the ground outside.

All good thing have to come to an end, and as the valet brought us our car, we knew, this oasis in the park hadn’t seen the last of us.

P.S. the Carltun’s normal nightly menu, is upscale and classic. www.thecarltun.com

WHAT YOU GET FOR THE MONEY

PRICE………..HIGH

QUALITY……EXCELLENT

SERVICE……IMPECABLE

ATHMOSPHERE……ELEGANT

On a scale of 0———–5 glasses We give this restaurant :: 4 1/2 glasses

PADDY’S LOFT….IRISH BAR & RESTAURANT. 2-2-10

1286 Hicksville Rd, Massapequa. NY

Your Intrepid food trekkies soldiered on. This time hoping to find a culinary oasis that had so far eluded us. We struck GOLD.

Last night we made our way to a restaurant called Paddy’s Loft. the unassuming exterior masked a warm and cozy slice of heaven. Entering the festively decorated (Valentines Day) foyer, a right turn brings you into the ample dining room. We decided to hang a left and eat in the bar area. We were quickly shown to a table close to the fireplace. the flames flickered and memories of last Saturday’s culinary nightmare blissfully melted away.

A friendly waitress immediately arrived and took our cocktail order. Praise be, they had PINOT and plenty of it. Quickly returning with our drinks, she explained the wide variety of daily specials. Our mouths were watering. the menu itself was vast and varied. A multitude of appetizers to choose from and the main course list read like a novel. from traditional Irish fare to brazilian lobster to filet mignon and everything in between.

We opted for the days special of bacon wrapped scallops with a teriyaki glaze and beef barley soup for our apps. the soup was piping hot, large pieces of tender beef fought with hearty vegetables to fill the bowl. the scallops were like little pillows of bacon wrapped seafood delight with the teriyaki glaze lifting the dish to the next level. Absolutely deeelicious!!

For our entrees, I went with the Filet Mignon and Kim tried the Shepard’s Pie. the filet was served with mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus. I ordered my steak medium and it was cooked much to my delight…… perfectly. it was a tender succulent cut that melted in my mouth. Kim’s Shepard’s pie reminded me of my days in Ireland. the meat full of flavor in a rich gravy surrounded by creamy whipped potatoes that were golden brown at the edges. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and our attentive waitress made sure our drinks were never empty.

Our stomachs were full and we had to refuse dessert. although it was a close call.

After dinner, dulcet tunes started to float in the background from a live musician. Ricky Roche. Song request lists were handed out, from Tracy Chapman to Black Sabbath.the music was a perfect dessert to wash down a super meal. the bar was full and the atmosphere pleasant and jovial.

It is refreshing to encounter an establishment that has the right blend of staff, management, food, value and entertainment. Other restaurants take note.

P.S. they had advertisements for all you can eat/drink packages for Superbowl Sunday.

WHAT YOU GET FOR THE MONEY

PRICE………….MODERATE

QUALITY……..ABOVE AVERAGE

SERVICE……..EXCELLENT

ATHMOSPHERE…….WARM AND COZY

On a scale of 0———5 glasses We give this restaurant ::: 4 glasses

PJ FINNEGANS…IRISH BAR AND RESTAURANT. 1-30-10

3275 Hempstead Turnpike. Levittown. NY

We arrived Sat evening at approx 7.00pm. outside the temperature was a balmy 19° degrees, inside wasn’t much warmer. We were quickly shown to a table, which wasn’t difficult as the place had less diners than staff. the satellite radio blasted in the background obviously intended for the hard of hearing, only to be outdone later by a live tribute Beatles band that didn’t tribute at all. We desperately needed a beer and Pinot Grigio wine.

Quickly informed. NO Pinot. Disappointment exploded from Kim’s face. Crisis averted with a Chardonnay. Our waitress gave us the “Menu’s”. Which consisted of a sheet of paper in a plastic binder sleeve, holes and all. the wording on the paper was so small it led me to believe the printer was charging them by the inch. I was surprised not to see a kids connect the dot game on the back. the menu fare was basic and limited. if you are not a fan of burgers, wraps, wings or restaurants with no heat, you are out of luck.

“What are the dinner specials” I asked. I was informed there was None “What is todays soup?” that was clearly advertised on our tiny menu. again the answer was None.. But there is french onion soup as an appetizer.

French onion soup it was to share for starters….., which never materialized. For a main course Kim ordered a turkey burger with Swiss cheese and a side salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing. We were informed NO Swiss cheese. the buns for this delectable disaster were of the grocery store variety, small and flimsy.the dressing came as a small bowl of just plain balsamic vinegar. This wasn’t found out until it had been generously poured all over a now destroyed salad.

I ordered one of their “speciality” burgers. The BULL Burger. I didn’t realize that the name was going to actually describe the food. it was BULL. my burger was ordered medium well. it arrived raw on the inside, it came with a side of fries that were obviously reheated from last week. Inedible.

We informed our obviously perplexed waitress, who apologised for the numerous flaws in our meal. At least our soup we never received was not on the check. We left and proceeded to McD******lds

In this economy, when things are tight all over, people deserve to get value for money. This was a poor effort.

WHAT YOU GET FOR YOUR MONEY

PRICE—————–CHEAP

QUALITY————–POOR

SERVICE————–MEDIOCRE

ATMOSPHERE——UNINVITING

On a Scale of 0———-5 glasses We give this restaurant :: 1/2 glass

Jim & Kims Restaurant Guide to Long Island NY


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