Table for Two

Fare to rave about

Posted

Crown Gastropub

106 Bedford Ave., Bellmore

(516) 900-1560, www.crowngastropub.com

The term “gastropub,” coined in the 1990s, usually refers to a restaurant/pub that serves high-end food and craft beers. Crown Gastropub takes it beyond that, with a strong focus on fine whiskeys, bourbons, and ryes, hand-crafted cocktails, and above all, sensational cuisine. Steak lovers will be wowed by the quality — meats cut and aged for 28 days, on site by the chef. And variety can please any palate — from the hearty Shepherd’s Pie made with lamb stew, to the more gourmet Duck Confit & Mushroom Spring Rolls.

Crown Gastropub is run by seasoned restaurateur, Gerry McClorey, his manager, Kristen O’Brien, and chef/partner, Tim Eagan, whose culinary credits must be mentioned. A graduate of London’s Le Cordon Blue Cooking School, Eagan’s background includes Della Femina in East Hampton, and New York City restaurants, Montrachet, F. Illi Ponte Steakhouse, Luahn, and Tribecca Grill. For the past eight years, he ran the culinary department of the Saucon Valley Country Club in Pennsylvania, where, in 2009, he cooked for the Women’s U.S. Open Golf Championship. Now, teaming up with his long-time friend McClorey, he’s created a culinary hit in Bellmore.

Décor is rustic and eclectic — modern yet historic. Hand-crafted accents abound — an oak floor transported from the gymnasium of an old New York schoolhouse, hand-poured glass blocks from Wisconsin, and a walnut bar built circa 1800s. Walls are lined with brass-mesh cabinets holding more than 250 bottles of fine whiskeys, bourbons and ryes, lit from behind, creating a striking effect. A mural up front, depicting the family dairy farm, was painted by Eagan’s daughter. Tables are reclaimed wood, each topped with a box of condiments and sauces.

Starters were unique and scrumptious. Grilled Cheese Squares offered bite-sized brioche toast filled with melted gruyere cheese. Tuna Tartar — a tower of guacamole topped with cubes of raw tuna and a soy-lime glaze — came with multigrain chips for scooping. Appetizers, soups and salads range from $9 for Marinated Olives & Bruschetta to $18 for a Charcuterie Board (prosciutto, speck, wagyu salami, parmesan toast an og jam).

Burgers, sandwiches and wraps (served with fries or chips) are $13 to $19. Entrees are $16 to $26, and Crown Hand-Cut Steaks, $24 to $39. The Signature 22 oz. Cowboy Steak, served on a cutting board with Beefsteak tomato, onion, potato puree and Crown sauce, was of melt-in-your-mouth quality — as fine as any steakhouse version I’ve encountered. Burgers meet all expectations. Crown Burger on a Kaiser bun was heaped with wild mushrooms, sautéed onions and cheddar. Korean Kimchi Burger boasted a spicy sauce and kimchi slaw. Mushroom Crusted Atlantic Salmon was just as spectacular — a generous filet over basmati rice with fresh grilled asparagus and lemon.

Desserts are $8 and all baked by chef Tim. Banoffee, their signature dish, has banana, caramel glaze and Chantilly cream over graham crust. With coffee, we shared Chocolate Mure Cake — rich chocolate cake and ganache, with a hint of Mure Blackberry Liqueur inside.

Kitchen hours are 4:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 4:30 to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 4:30 to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Crown Gastropub is closed on Mondays. In-house parties for groups up to 75 can be accommodated. Reservations are suggested. Children can be accommodated. Watch the website for theme nights, specials and events.

Recommendations:

■ Grilled Cheese Squares

■ Tuna Tartar

■ Crown Burger

■ Korean Kimchi Burger

■ Mushroom Crusted Atlantic Salmon

■ Signature 22 oz. Cowboy Steak

■ Chocolate Mure Cake