When we were asked to review The Jolly Fisherman in Roslyn, we were not expecting an elegant, country club atmosphere. In the handsome, carpeted reception area, we were met by Hostess Marion Kuhnt and led to the terrace room with its large windows facing Silver Lake where we were joined by owner Steven Scheiner.
Scheiner is head of this family-owned restaurant. Well grounded in the operation of an up-scale restaurant, he proudly announced that The Jolly Fisherman would be celebrating its 50th anniversary in November.
Our dinner-jacketed server, Robert, placed on our table a crystal dish of crudit/s - celery, olives, carrots and large radishes - along with a large basket of made-on-the-premises breads. In the basket were several kinds of buns, wonderful button-sized cornbread and slices of rich dark bread heavenly dotted with nuts.
The last item, a Scheiner house specialty, is made with the original recipe of Scheiner’s grandmother who started the organization in 1957 and he proudly added that they also sell it (by popular demand) by the loaf along with their cornbread. He also made sure that we had a sampling of the homemade applesauce, which his family has been serving for three generations.
Scheiner wanted our meal to include samplings of a few of his more popular dishes so he ordered for us. We were delighted with his selections.
We started our multi-course, banquet-like dinner with a rich Lobster Bisque - creamy and containing many bits of lobster ($8.50). Following this, we enjoyed the amazing Deluxe Chilled Seafood Appetizer - a sumptuous combination of lobster, jumbo shrimp and jumbo lump crabmeat on a bed of greens accompanied by two dipping sauces ($25.95) - that some people would consider a complete meal in itself.
For the salad course, we enjoyed the House Salad ($5.95) and the Mixed Field Greens with Goat Cheese Salad ($7.95). Again, this course could be enough for a main dish for a dieting person.
Our second salad, a special combination of greens, goat cheese, sun-dried cranberries and candied pecans, was an intriguing taste experience with its varied flavors and textures - unusual and delicious.
Our genial host wanted our meal to be a “tasting” so he ordered sampling portions of several seafood entrees for my partner and a two-pound steamed lobster for me.
The seafood-tasting platter contained two portions each of Macadamia Nut-crusted Salmon ($25.50) and Swordfish Steaks broiled with mustard sauce ($25.95). Side dishes included a stuffed baked potato, homemade applesauce and the house specialty potato pancakes ($5.50). Both the well-prepared entrees were tasty and satisfying.
Since our host wanted us to try the most requested desserts, we ended up with three ($6.50 each) and a swirled cream topped Rice Pudding ($5.75). Made-on-premises desserts include Banana Cream Pie (famous since 1957), a deep Chocolate Cream Pie and a luscious Cheese Cake with cherry drizzle. Extra strong coffee fortified us for the drive back to Queens.
We enjoyed every mouthful of our dinner as well as the attentive service. The other good news is that the fourth generation in the form of teenaged daughters is already backstage ready to carry on the Scheiner family tradition.
The Jolly Fisherman & Steak House
25 Main Street
Roslyn, Long Island 11576
Web site: www.JollyFishermanRestaurant.com
Bar: Full service.
Hours: Closed Monday. Lunch and dinner: Tuesday to Thursday noon until 9:30 p.m.,
Friday and Saturday noon until 10:30 p.m.
Dinner only: Sunday from 1 to 9 p.m.
Service: Superior - very attentive.
Parking: Adjoining lot - valet parking.
Reservations: Suggested for weekends
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes with ramp and lobby restroom.
Credit Cards: Yes with exceptions listed on the menu.