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Lola in Great Neck - anyone been?

Last night I walked past what looks to be a brand new restaurant in Great Neck called Lola. It is next to the movie theater in the space where Natalie's Place used to be. The menu could best be described, I think, as new American, with some local food, and it is not kosher (as Natalie's was). The decor is beautiful and I can't wait to try it, but I'm wondering if anyone has been yet. I hadn't heard anything in advance about this place and they don't seem to have a website.

I'll post again when I finally get a chance to go, but that will probably be a few weeks away.

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  1. I was there this week and had an amazing meal, all small plates...it's not Kosher...seriously beautiful place, and the food, the food...my partner and I had 6 plates between us, and was able to try some seafood (shrimp), meat (braised ribs) , and vegetable dishes, all unique and all incredible.
    The chef, who apparently is so good he's going to Thailand to cook for the Royal family in a few weeks, is beyond good. All I can say is that this place is the best new place around, for food, service and decor...GO THERE!!!!!

    9 Replies
    1. re: foodie842

      I'm convinced (although I think i was convinced as soon as I saw the place). By any chance is it at all kid-friendly? That is the main thing that is stoppnig me from going immediately. I have two 10-year olds that I would need to bring with me.

      1. re: LloydG

        It looks to good to be true, I hope and it sounds like I'm wrong. The guy that owns and runs the place is from Tel Aviv Restaurant further up Middleneck Road. Erica Marcusof Newsday and a fellow hound reported the opening of Lola and likes Tel Aviv Restaurant. In a chowhound post she touted the Israeli Bahn Mi. I tried it and it is an outrageously great sandwich. To me the rest of the menu is expensive and the food seriously underwhelming.The food looks and sounds good but does not deliver on taste. Now, free of the constraints of Kosher the food may soar, I hope so and will be there soon. Last Friday at 8 the place was empty. I have two young ones and to me the place does not look kid friendly but maybe the back garden would be.

        foodie842-- Could you describe portion size on the small plates. I noticed that the menu described one dish as "scallop... " Is that actually one scallop? Small plate joints always confuse me as I'm never sure how much to order. I really enjoyed a meal of small plates at Toku so I have high hopes . Also what was your bill if you remember.
        Scroll down to page 2 for the story about Lola:
        http://www.newsday.com/blogs/long-isl...

        1. re: stuartlafonda

          I think it's more of an adult place, although the staff was really friendly. More of a place to bring colleagues, a date, but maybe leave the young ones at home. Food was a little more sophisticated than kids would probably like...

          The way the restaurant concept was described to us was that they recommended about three plates per person to try. Didn't try the scallop dish, but if i remember correctly, they said it included parmesan cheese and fish roe in that dish...

          Also, from what I understand, they are nothing like Tel Aviv, much more upscale, food is to die for (as the saying goes), and again, place is gorgeous. Bill was $110 for the two of us including wine. If they were slow last Friday, all I can say is that you should go and show support for this place, make sure they stick around for a long time. It was just so nice to have this kind of place right here in Great Neck.

          1. re: stuartlafonda

            Here's a link to the actual item, posted by Joan Reminick.

            http://www.newsday.com/blogs/entertai...

            I haven't been to Lola but my favorites at Tel Aviv include cauliflower in tahini, potatoes bravas and green eggplant dip.

            1. re: emarcus

              Sorry for the wrong attribution. Thanks for your tip about the sandwich ,I can't say enough good things about it. At dinner it comes with two sides one of which can be the delicious 'bravas. I will get to Lola ASAP and I hope you will give us your opinion in the near future.

              1. re: stuartlafonda

                Breaking news: a colleague very much enjoyed her dinner at Lola:

                http://www.exploreli.com/restaurants/...

                1. re: emarcus

                  Went there again this week, wasn't as memorable...food is still good, but it is so pricey, and honestly the portions are sooooooo small. Yes, it is a small plates restaurant, but portions are miniscule.
                  The owner/ chef seems somewhat arrogant as well...

              1. re: abu applesauce

                The banh mi is only served at Tel Aviv. Give Lola a try though, because the chef really shines without the kosher restrictions.

        2. My wife and I finally got to try this place on Friday night (two nights after they reopened) and it was one of the best meals we've had on Long Island, and on par with food you would find in the city.

          We shared three dishes, then I got a fourth and my wife got dessert. We tried the lamb with eggplant, which was probably the best dish of the night, and included a small red pepper stuffed with goat cheese, which was my wife's favorite. The lamb was perfectly cooked and the eggplant puree paired beautifully with it. We also had the braised short ribs, which were fall off the bone tender (or I guess fell off the bone tender, since the bone had been removed) and very rich, with a mild curry flavor and a coconut puree on the side. For some veggies we got the beet salad in a thai basil vinegarette, which was delicious.

          For dessert, my wife got the chocolate glazed donuts wiith coffee ice cream (outstanding) and I got the tuna tartare, which was delicious and decadent.

          There were many other things on the menu that looked great, and we are looking forward to going back. They seemed to have a decent crowd, and hopefully this place will last, as there is nothing like it in Great Neck or nearby.

          If we had one complaint it was the overall richness of the food. We both could have used a small salad or something light to cut the richness of the dishes we had (and I think they were representative of the menu as a whole). I have a feeling that some lighter dishes will show up on the menu as time passes, since the menu changes day to day.

          Can't wait to go back and try more things.

          1. 4 of us had dinner at Lola this weekend. We felt like judges on Top Chef or Iron Chef America: the food was beautifully presented in a lovely space. Chef Ginor, who was warm and helpful, is obviously a well-versed exponent in international-inspired cuisine. We had a chef's-chosen taste of 2 amuse and 8 dishes, as well as 2 desserts. The foie gras with marinated hibiscus flowers and quince paste entranced even our non-meat lover. The tuna tartare with tempura avocado was superb. Lightly fried Rock shrimp with Korean pepper flakes was outstanding. Our favorite dish was inspired by Japanese pub food - gently cooked scallop in seafood broth, bonito flakes, and fish roe is not to be missed. The rich and hearty lamb was an exhibition of balance and skill. The couton sticks and warm brioche are apparently baked on site and were used generously to sop up delectable sauces. Every plate from every course went back to the kitchen scraped clean.

            A few unusual cocktails are available and these will find their devotees. The two desserts we sampled did not achieve the pinnacle set by everything that came before. Excellent espresso and a selection of unusual teas rounded out a great experience. At $65 a head (not including drinks/wine or tip), the twelve small plate meal was extraordinary value. The food while beautiful and composed is not precious, and we found the portions well-calibrated.

            Great Neck has lacked a destination restaurant and Lola could stand in the first rank of restaurants anywhere.

            1 Reply
            1. re: doglover4

              Went last nite, had a 7:00 reservation....only a few tables. By 8:15 it was packed. Had the Chefs Tasting Menu ( counted 8 dishes and 2 desserts but may be missing a dish) which was $75 and well worth it! But I agree with doglover4 that the desserts were the only dishes that didn't measure up to the rest of the meal. Service was excellent and friendly. Only complaint was the noise level, but can attribute that to a Saturday nite and many groups of 4 or more.

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