Time to dine

Published 10:59 pm Tuesday, March 15, 2011

One of the dessert menu items available on George’s Steakhouse menu during Restaurant Week is the homemade chocolate eclair of Haroula Taglis, mother of the restaurant’s manager Victor Taglis.

Restaurant Week returns to Suffolk March 20

Restaurant Week, Suffolk’s celebration of gastronomic delights, kicks off on Sunday, giving foodies around the area another reason to turn off the stove burners and head out for dinner at one of the city’s fine restaurants.

The spring version of Restaurant Week takes place March 20-26 and has been so popular in past years that an encore was added last fall, planned this year for Nov. 6-12.

Restaurants around the city will feature fixed-price, three-course meals featuring both old favorites and new additions to their menus. There will be special menus available for both lunch and dinner.

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Lunches will be priced at $10 and $15. Dinners will be priced at $20 and $30.

There are no passes to buy, coupons to carry or cards to punch. Food lovers may simply dine at as many participating restaurants as they like during Suffolk Restaurant Week and take advantage of the opportunity to try someplace new or enjoy dining with friends at a favorite haunt.

Fifteen different restaurants will be participating in the event. Following are the plans that a few of those restaurants have for the coming week.

George’s Steakhouse: Still a Suffolk staple

It’s a good thing that Suffolk’s Restaurant Week doesn’t just feature the newest restaurants around. Tried and true staples of the restaurant scene in Suffolk get to step onto the culinary stage and show off what has been keeping them in business for so long.

And you don’t get to stay in business for almost 33 years without knowing how to offer diners what they want. According to manager Victor Taglis of George’s Steakhouse on Holland Road, it’s a simple formula that’s kept the eatery going strong since the late 70s.

“We’re just very consistent,” Taglis says. “We offer great portions, a great atmosphere, and a great dining experience when people come here.”

For Restaurant Week, the steak and pasta house plans to stick to an already strong script by showcasing some of its regular fare that can best be described as simple but spectacular.

Items on the George’s Restaurant Week menu include appetizers like mozzarella cheese sticks for lunch and boom-boom shrimp for dinner. Lunch entrees will include a tasty chicken cordon bleu sandwich, made from fresh chicken breast, pounded and breaded by hand and topped with a healthy dose of ham and melted Swiss cheese.

But according to Taglis, the real treat of George’s Restaurant Week menu comes at the end of the dinner menu. Should you choose, George’s offers a chocolate éclair, handmade by Taglis’s mother, Haroula Taglis. It is a recipe so treasured that Mother Taglis has written her own cookbook, available for purchase at the restaurant.

So try George’s for good food done well and a chocolatey treat only a mother could perfect.

— By Troy Cooper

Nana Sushi: Something for everybody

Bringing a taste of Asia to North Suffolk, Nana Sushi, located in the Harbour View East shopping center, will offer some of its most popular lunch and dinner menu items, serving up dishes that will tempt sushi newcomers, sashimi aficionados and even those who steer clear of the traditional rice-and-seafood concoctions.

Nana Sushi’s Ariel Roll is similar to a volcano roll and includes assorted fish rolled together, with the entire roll then tempura-battered and deep-fried. The fried roll is cut into 4 pieces and set up before being covered in spicy mayo, eel sauce and spicy sauce.

“We really believe in the area,” general manager Missii Lanier said. “We have seen a lot of development happen here, and Restaurant Week is a great opportunity for us to get out and meet some of the people in the area.”

Lunchtime diners might try one of the restaurant’s bento boxes, which offer a variety of the Nana’s most popular tasty treats arranged on a special plate.

But the real stars will come out for dinner, when several of the restaurant’s most popular sushi rolls take center stage, with supporting roles held down by chicken and shrimp teriyaki and a sashimi platter.

Among those favorites are the tiger roll and the Christmas tree roll. The former is a large spicy tuna roll topped with salmon, tuna and whitefish, along with spicy mayo and eel sauce (which is not made from eels, but is instead made to complement eel).

The Christmas tree roll features shrimp tempura, cream cheese and lobster salad, topped with avocado slices, wasabi mayo and red tobika, which is flying fish roe.

“It’s all about the texture,” Lanier said, noting that both rolls are excellent choices for those trying sushi for the first time, as they offer a crunch to offset the texture of the fish.

“Our menu is always about the restaurant putting its best foot forward,” she said. “There’s something for everybody on the menu.”

— By R.E. Spears III

Cazadores: Fast, fun and really tasty food

After 12 years in business here in Suffolk, Cazadores is still relatively unknown to some. But with a name that, when translated to English, means “hunters,” Cazadores is hunting for new customers as they participate for the first time in Suffolk’s Restaurant Week.

The dish that manager Raul Romero recommends on the dinner menu for Restaurant Week at Cazadores is the Pina Rellena. The dish consists of a pineapple half stuffed with steak, chicken, and grilled vegetables.

Co-owner and manager Raul Romero sees Cazadores’ participation in the culinary event as an opportunity to formally introduce his restaurant and its authentic Mexican cuisine to those in Suffolk who have not had the treat of enjoying the quaint, family atmosphere.

Once inside Cazadores, Romero guarantees fast service and classic Mexican fare.

For Restaurant Week, one can expect all the traditional Mexican favorites, such as cheese nachos, burritos, tacos, and enchilada combination platters for lunch. But the dinner menu might have some unconventional dishes not familiar to the Mexican food novice.

Romero highly recommends the piña rellena on the dinner menu for Restaurant Week. Essentially, the dish consists of a fresh pineapple half stuffed with hearty strips of grilled steak or chicken mixed with red onions, bell pepper and tomatoes. Served with a side of rice, the menu item makes for both a fine meal and presentation.

When asked if his staff was ready for the rush they are likely to experience during Restarant Week, Romero confidently replied, “That’s the point.”

“We look forward to all the people coming in during Restaurant Week.”

So those with reservations about trying the little known Mexican restaurant with big flavor inside, be advised that Cazadores prides itself on providing a comfortable family environment and very fast service.

“People feel like they’re at home here,” says Romero. “Plus, people often come here for lunch, because they say we’re faster than some fast food places.”

— By Troy Cooper

Muse: World fusion cooking meets live entertainment

Since its opening in the Harbour View Grande Cinemas shopping center 10 months ago, Muse: The Meeting Place has become known as the place not just for great food but also for hot, live entertainment.

The Ginger-Seared Salmon Salad at Muse: The Meeting Place includes a small, lightly seared salmon steak, topped with goat cheese, toasted walnuts, a citrus salsa and sesame ginger dressing.

With entertainment four nights a week and a special open-mic jazz and poetry night on the second Sunday of each month, the restaurant has filled a niche that had previously been wide open in North Suffolk.

“This has been the most happening place in Suffolk,” manager Katie Youngk said. “It’s been crazy busy. It’s been great.”

But Muse isn’t just a nightclub. Owner Shannon Puglisse has created a “world fusion” menu that combines flavors from many different cultures.

“Our tunas are fabulous,” Youngk said. And lunchtime sandwiches are popular for the crowd from Harbour View and U.S. Joint Forces Command, as well.

For Restaurant Week, Muse will be featuring items from a new menu.

Lunch offerings will include an appetizer, half a sandwich and dessert. One popular sandwich included on the Restaurant Week menu is the prime roast sandwich, which is smothered in mozzarella and cheddar cheeses and is topped with roasted peppers and onions and a layer of tomato-pesto mayo on ciabatta bread.

Dinnertime diners will enjoy an appetizer, salad, an entrée and dessert. Among the appetizers available will be tuna tataki, which is raw tuna tossed in a ginger-garlic marinade and served over a seaweed salad in a martini glass.

Dinner entrées will include Pollo Diablo, a grilled chicken breast topped with spicy marinara, tomatoes, fire-roasted peppers and onions and topped with mozzarella and panko breadcrumbs.

“Not one thing in this restaurant is fried,” Youngk said.

— By R.E. Spears III