First of all, valet parking makes me so happy. When it's cold and I'm hangry, knowing that I can pull up to the door and not freeze my tail off walking across a frigid, Nordic terrain makes all the difference. With that said, Polo Steakhouse is located within the Garden City Hotel, and, yes, they have valet.
My friend, Nicole, and I visited Polo for dinner and admired the beautiful decor while walking to the restaurant: a cozy sitting area with a fire; lush greenery throughout; well-lit displays containing designer pieces. We were chatting about the menu under a portrait light on a stand, when we walked through the door of Polo and just stopped. The fragrant aroma of fresh flowers billowed through the air and I could think of nothing else. I can't remember if I thought to say hello to the hostess before or after I commented on the amazing smell of flowers. She said that Polo always has fresh blooms, and I floated on a cloud of aroma therapy to my seat.
When talking with Nicole, we came up with what this space looked like: a men's club, a cigar lounge, first class dining aboard a 1930s liner - you get the idea. Polo reaps of class and sophistication. Surrounded in pops of red, walls of wine, and wooden features, you feel as though you're in an exclusive setting.
We look over the menu and go over starter options: Fois Gras & Bone Marrow, Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, Burrata... Wait. Madagascar Prawns? I immediately thought that this would make for a great shot, but then was a little concerned. Our server started talking about sucking out the tail and head, and I glazed over out of pure concern for my mental ability to handle these prawn. So, what did I do? Order them, of course. My taste buds need adventure! Such a great decision. Olive oil, green peppercorn (also from Madagascar), fresh herbs and lemon highlight the fresh prawn beautifully.
Next, the Clams Casino stepped up in all of their glory. I love that the clams weren't hidden in piles of breading. When I order clams, I want clams - not stuffing on a shell. Chef Ari clearly knows how to make a dish shine.
Before I get ahead of myself, let me tell you about a couple of cocktails that the bartender, Brian, mixed up that require your attention. First, the Bourbon Apple Snap is a drink that will warm you right up. Hudson bourbon, Schonauer Apfel Liquor, and cold pressed apple juice make this drink just right for sipping.
Then there's this gorgeous sangria. The fruit is so aromatic, and the red wine is well balanced. This is important for sangria, because it keeps the integrity of a red while remaining light and crisp.
It's rare when words fail me. It's rare when something is just so fantastic that I know that what I have to say will never do a dish justice. This is the case with Polo Steakhouse's nine ounce filet mignon. Polo's focus is on letting the beef shine, and doing that means going all-natural with beef from Niman Ranch. Niman's mission is to raise "livestock traditionally, humanely and sustainably to bring you the finest tasting meat in the world." Their ranch is located out in California, and Polo has their beef shipped in just for you. I'm telling you, it makes all the difference. Polo is starting to age their steak on-site, and that's some commitment, because their beef can age for up to 28 days! The filet mignon isn't aged, but it's cooked to culinary perfection. That's enough from me. See for yourself:
Let me help break the steak-trance that you're in by directing your attention to the sides we selected for our steaks: gooey, dense mac and cheese, and tasty, crisp brussel sprouts.
How do we end a meal? You know this one.
Caramel bananas Foster bread pudding with bourbon ice cream. Let's just let that sit there a moment and really think about it. Sweet, hearty, rich, and boozey! There's no other way I'd rather end this meal. The ice cream is no joke. The bourbon really pops and compliments the sugary bread.
Polo Steakhouse has mastered their craft, and that is due in large part to Chef Ari. Every dish stands on its own. Every dish is memorable. Every dish speaks to the quality of Polo.
45 7th Street
Garden City, New York