‘Creative American’ with flair

| vmimoni@queenscourier.com |

Jonathan’s in Garden City Park bills itself as a “Creative American Restaurant,” and that is an understatement. Owner John Mavrikis tapped a lifetime’s experience in the business to create this simple but elegant eatery with a first-rate, adventuresome menu and a selection of more than 30 wines by the glass.

Executive Chef Alain Ribiere, who honed his skills at Le Cygne in Manhattan, has taken an extensive menu of familiar dishes and given them an international flair, from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean to Asia.

He brings French influences inherited from his father, a chef at the legendary Maxim’s in Paris, and his mother (from Tunisia) to make every dish we tried a delight.

Maryland Lump Crab Cakes at Jonathan’s are succulent and sweet and the lump is no joke – they’re made from the best fancy crab meat, over baby greens with a beautiful and bright Dijon dressing.

The Shrimp and Mango Salad is a delightful contrast in tastes and textures, proudly presented with sweet red and green peppers, avocado, endive and toasted hazelnuts, drizzled with a honey, lime and sherry wine vinaigrette – a great starter.

Another good starter is the Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese salad – red and golden beets, baby spinach, candied pecans and orange segments dressed in a wonderful orange vinaigrette with a hint of ginger.

The appetizers we tried included some specials that will find their way onto the upcoming tapas menu planned for later this year.

I loved the skirt steak skewers with sweet pickled cucumber slices, over a mound of sesame noodles, sweet pepper and Daikon julienne, encompassed by both peanut and red chili sauces, with a mirin dipping sauce – a sure winner.

Chef Ribiere sent over another notable tapa; vegetarian paella adorned with baby asparagus tips. It was hearty and flavorful – a good choice for those who don’t want meat or fish.

Jonathan’s Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna with Wasabi mashed potatoes and baby carrots is one of the better takes on this dish I’ve tried in terms of looks, textures and taste.

Their fork-tender petite Filet Mignon with mashed potatoes and asparagus is caressed with a silky green peppercorn, brandy and a shallot demi-glace that will bring a smile to the face of any beef lover.

For a chicken dish, try Ribiere’s allspice-perfumed Jerk Chicken in a rum/molasses demi-glace with mashed sweet potato and broccoli, garnished with a plantain chip – succulent and savory.

To accompany these dishes, Dean Mavirkis sent over excellent glasses of wine from their already formidable – and expanding — list. Kendall Jackson Sauvignon Blanc for a white and two Malbecs: Montes from Chile and Quara from Argentina. They were perfect complements.

All baking is done in house at Jonathan’s — with one of the best bread baskets around – and the beautiful and delicious desserts included perhaps the best carrot cake either of us ever had.

It’s worth the trip to Jonathan’s – remember it’s between Marcus Avenue and Herricks Road.

Jonathan’s Restaurant

3000 Jericho Turnpike

Garden City Park, L.I.

Between Marcus Avenue and Herricks Road

Phone 516-742-7300


All major credit cards

Hours: Monday to Saturday open 11:30 a.m. for lunch; 2 p.m. for dinner

Sunday Brunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Close 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday; 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Prix-fixe $23.95 3-course dinner, Monday to Friday, 4 to 6:30 p.m.

Ample parking in lot; N24 bus.
Jonathan’s Restaurant
3000 Jericho Turnpike
Garden City Park, L.I.