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Nov 12, 2010 01:35 PM

Source for Global, Shun, high-end knives on Long Island?

First post here from a rookie. ;-)

Is there anyplace on Long Island that actually carries the really good quality chef's knives etc, such as Shun, Global, etc? I've had a "set" of Sabatier knives that I bought about 15 years ago and while they're 'okay I guess', after reading Anthony Bourdain's book I'd love to investigate a more serious chef's knife. But I would absolutely need to see how any knife feels in the hand; I had a set of Henckels that I bought in the 1970s that I gave to a friend after seeing how much more comfortable the handles of the Sabatiers felt. It was like night and day....!

Fortunoffs in Westbury used to have a decent knife section (that's where I bought my Sabatiers, back in the day; they carried Scanpan too, and boy do I miss the Scanpan Steel line!) but of course Fortunoff's is now gone. Macys and (ugh) Bed Bath & Beyond don't have anything better than what I have now, that's for sure. I'm particularly interested in the Global after reading that it's lighter than the typical chef's knife; I have been gravitating toward my Sabatier 6" utility knife because it's lighter, so maybe the Global 8" one would work well for me.

Any places on LI where you can actually HOLD and compare the 'good' knives? Or do most people do the order online/return-exchange trial-and-error thing?

Many thanks!

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  1. Both Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table carry Global knives among some other high end brands. Williams Sonoma at Roosevelt Field, I'm sure there are other locations on LI. Sur La Table is in Manhasset.

    Sur La Table
    1468 Northern Blvd, Manhasset, NY 11030

    1 Reply
    1. re: nmurawsk

      Thanks so much, I didn't know that Sur la Table had a store here. I just looked up the address and see that it's on Northern Blvd; I wonder if that's the space that Smith & Hawken used to be in before their brick-and-mortar demise. The address definitely sounds familiar. I haven't been down the Miracle Mile in more than 5 years, since I'm out in Suffolk, but it sounds like a trip in is order!

    2. The Viking store in Garden City not only has a good selection of knives, but also Long Island's most knowledgeable knife expert / sharpener, Charlie Robertson.

      Viking Culinary Center
      835 Franklin Avenue
      Garden City, NY 11530
      P 516.877.1010

      6 Replies
      1. re: emarcus

        And thank YOU so much, I was just kicking myself for not asking in my original post for recommendations for a good knife sharpener. I'm embarassed to say that I have been using a mechanical Sabatier one on my knives ever since I stupidly had one of those "knife sharpening truck" guys sharpen one about 10 years ago and he absolutely ruined it. I figured that I couldn't possibly do a worse job than that, but didn't -- and somewhat still don't -- have the confidence to sharpen my own by hand. I realize now that it's something I will have to learn but I'm sure my current knives are in dire need of a PROPER sharpening job!

        I did a search here at first and saw a 2002-ish post by someone recommending a place called Loaves & Fishes in Garden City but a google only turned up a location in Bridgehampton, which is even farther east from me than Garden City is west. I see the address for Viking Culinary is the same as was given in the 2002 post: Same person/different business name, I guess? :-)

        Now I'm DEFINITELY going in to Nassau next week! :-) First stop Garden City, along with my current knives for some "intensive care".

        1. re: dessert_diva

          Before I bought my Global Chef's knife - which I love BTW - I went to a local Williams Sonoma to physically feel them all. THEN......Drum Roll..... I bought it at Bed Bath with a coupon!!! HURRAY! I had to travel, even over a bridge, to get to a mega store Bed Bath but it was worth it. In fact, I believe they even met the online ad price that I had brought with me. Good luck!

          1. re: smilingal

            For knife sharpening call Vets (blue truck): (631) 744-1463, he'll stop by your house.
            He even does my Xikar cigar scissors and of course my trusty Joyce Chen cleaver that was bought from Fortunoffs some twenty odd years ago...still going strong.

          2. re: dessert_diva

            OK, here's the story. Once upon a time there was store called Morty the Knife Man in Port Washington. Morty knew more about knives than almost anyone else on earth. Morty sold the store to Cliff, who didn't know that much about knives, but who hired Charlie Robertson, an old friend of Morty's who had owned his own knife shop in Glen Cove. Charlie took over Morty's old sharpening equipment and was more than equal to the task. By this time the shop, now owned by Cliff, had moved to Farmingdale.

            A few years back, Cliff closed the store. Charlie moved first to Fortunoff's and then to a cookware store in Garden City owned by the Loaves and Fishes people of Bridgehampton. Loaves and Fishes sold the store to Viking and Charlie is still there, selling and sharpening knives, among other vital tasks.

            1. re: emarcus

              I loved Morty's when it was in Port Washington and even followed it to Farmingdale. I didn't know it had closed. I used to buy the best little yellow-handled utility knife there. Mine are so old that I can't see the name any more but I'd love a few more. They're 71/2 inches total. Does anyone know where to find them?

              1. re: RANYC

                Any restaurant-supply store should stock something similar. Try Ideal on Voice Road in Carle Place.

        2. There is a small storefront called Salvadoren Knifeworks near the Wantagh LIRR train station. They are almost invisible to a passerby. They seem to be a sharpening business primarily. I do not have high end expensive knives, mostly Farberware forged. I went there one day and had a few knives serviced. They had hundreds of knives boxed with the names of stores, some high end, like Fairway, I think. Maybe Dean and Deluca. They charged me $3.50 / knife. On a subsequent visit I asked if they sold knives also. They do sell new and used knives. Not fancy, but stamped German steel, with textured plastic sure grip handles, for $6.50. Sharpened to perfection before you leave the store. This seems to be a great way to try stuff out. On Americas Test Kitchen the Forschner Victorinox seems to win every competition. The store is on Wantagh Ave a block or two north of McDonalds on the west side of the street. It is the southernmost store in the little strip mall. They may have some of the High tone knives.

          1 Reply
          1. re: phantomdoc

            I went in and spoke to the guys at (Correction)
            1898A Wantagh Ave.
            Wantagh NY 11793
            516 221 6911

            They are a commercial sharpening service and they do sell knives. Mostly stores and restaurants. I saw some boxes labeled Whole Foods cheese dept. and Whole Foods meat dept.
            The knives they primarily sell are Canadian and German high carbon, stainless stamped blades with textured handles. $16-$18 for 8" chefs knife. They can get F. Dick by special order. They charged me $3.50 to sharpen my Farberware knives. They have 4 or 6 guys working , so they seem to be busy which tells me they know what they are doing. The guy in the Tri-County Mall on Hempstead Turnpike charges $7/knife.

          2. This is an interesting thread. Thanks for all the great recommendations. What are your favorite brand of knives?

            1 Reply
            1. re: motoeric

              Thanks to all the info above, I took my old knives to Charlie Robertson and am really looking forward to using them after he gives them the TLC they need! It was fascinating to talk to him too, and I learned a lot.

              Before going there I went to Sur la Table to check out the various brands they carry. Tried the Global chef's knife first and was amazed at how light it is. It boggled my mind that the 8" chef's knife is significantly lighter than my 6" Sabatier utility knife! However, the feel was so different that I was unsure whether I liked it or not! So I decided, since the case had been unlocked, to try the various other brands/styles.

              All of the others felt 'wrong' in my hand (meaning not as comfortable as my Sabatiers) until I picked up the last one which I admit appealed to me not only because of the shape of the handle but the sheer beauty of the blade. Whoa. I swear if that knife could talk, I'd have heard it say "I love you" to my hand, with my hand saying "I love you too" right back!! Handle shape, size, balance, everything felt perfect. I asked the clerk "What is THIS?!!" "This" turned out to be the Shun Bob Kramer 6" chef's knife. Price $269.95. *gulp*

              It was seriously TOUGH to walk out of that store without buying that knife. But I still really really really REALLY want it. *sigh*

              Time to do some serious pre-holiday hint-blitzing for gift certificate(s) to Sur la Table, since I learned, once I got back home (ASSuming I could find it for less elsewhere online... wrong!) that it's only sold through S la T and noplace else. Curses.

              Speaking of things learned, I was surprised to hear from Charlie Robertson that the Sabatier knives are not made by a single company (like for instance Wusthof knives are) but instead that the use of the name is leased to various companies, any one of which may make a given run of Sabatier knives. Just like Sears does with their Kenmore branded appliances. For instance two of my Sabatiers were made by Cuisine de France (fair to middling quality) another one was made by Lion, and so forth. I never knew that, but always ASSumed that a Sabatier was a Sabatier, etc etc. Now I know better. :-)