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The porcini dusted flatiron steak
The porcini dusted flatiron steak

In an effort to expand its culinary palate, the George Martin restaurant group sinks its teeth into a new concept with GM Club Steak, which recently opened in Rockville Centre.

The dimly-lit and aesthetically refined eatery sits on North Park Avenue, in the spot previously occupied by another George Martin incarnation, Grillfire. Whereas that spot boasted a broad appeal with comfort and bar food, GM Club Steak caters to eaters with a penchant for more stylish and sophisticated fare, featuring shareable small plates on the cutting edge of urban food trends.

But the main draw at GM Club Steak is revealed in the restaurant’s name. Diners eyes are immediately drawn to the center of the menu, which features two steak categories: six small “tapas style” steaks and six “steak boards,” with cuts ranging from a 10-ounce hanger steak to the intense 36-ounce tomahawk rib-eye Dino Steak.

The small steaks are big on flavor with inventive garnishes and offer a mix-and-match opportunity for true carnivores to pair meat with meat. The porcini dusted prime flatiron steak is pure simplistic succulence, with caramelized shiitake mushrooms and a classically French Bordelaise sauce. The tender cut is cooked to order, but the chef recommends a medium-rare temperature for the full flavor experience.

The Burrata is  delicate and flavorful.
The Burrata is delicate and flavorful.

Korean-style seared short ribs and sliced filet mignon also populate the small steaks menu, while the steak boards promote sharing with cuts including an espresso rubbed hanger steak, a 12-ounce New York strip and a 16-ounce block-cut rib-eye steak, also known as the Chairman’s Reserve.

Beyond the butcher board, Chef Frank Greco prides himself with dotting the menu full of an eclectic array of options. The appetizer section, dubbed “Boards. Toasts. Crocks,” offers, among other items, a must-order Burrata with pistachio oil, sage and roasted pears. A Burrata is basically mozzarella taken to the next level—and when the outer shell of solid mozzarella is pierced, like a soft-cooked egg, a delightfully rich deluge of soft mozzarella and cream spills forth.

Side dishes or “Escorts” include cauliflower cheddar tots, ginger ale roasted baby carrots and a vivid take on mac and cheese with a small-tube pasta called ditalini and gouda, cheddar and gruyere cheese topped with a Goldfish cracker crumble. It’s warm comfort food elevated to near hedonistic heights.

The shareable Plates & Bowls menu section gives eaters dynamic entrées worth multiple looks. Sitting atop the menu, the Buttermilk Fried Wings is a sweet and savory must-eat dish. Four crisp, perfectly fried chicken wings are stacked on a sweet potato waffle and served with apricot honey butter and Vermont maple syrup. The seasoned eater will want to get all elements of this dish in one sticky, salty bite.

The lentil hummus is a solid starter.
The lentil hummus is a solid starter.

Other options from this section include butternut squash ravioli with a soft-cooked egg; tiny meatballs and spaghetti, with another play on the wonderful Burrata; bacon-wrapped shrimp; slider versions of GM Burger Bar’s Black Jack; and street tacos with either adobo BBQ chicken or cauliflower, the latter of which features golden raisins, pepitas, queso fresco and salsa verde for a robust flavor and textural experience.

Be sure to listen to the dessert menu, as the chef pays close attention to his sweet offerings—like Nutella-filled warm crepes with vanilla ice cream and a Bananas Foster twist.

The newest addition to the George Martin restaurant group is a club you’ll want to be a part of.

GM Club Steak, 13 N. Park Ave., Rockville Centre, 516-678-1290; www.gmclubsteak.com.

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Steve Mosco is the editor-in-chief at Anton Media Group, editor of Plainview-Old Bethpage Herald and a columnist for Long Island Weekly's food and sports sections.

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