Page One Restaurant: Eclectic American Fare with a Chef's Personal Touch
by Christine Lynn Harvey

PHOTO ABOVE: Chef Jeanine DiMenna, co-owner Page One Restaurant, Glen Cove, NY

If you have a liberal palate and like all different kinds of cuisine -American (Cajun, Seafood, Burgers, Steaks, BBQ), to Cuban, Greek, Mediterranean, Italian and Asian, or you want to make sure everyone at your dining table is happy, then, the restaurant that’s worthy of page one attention is Page One Restaurant in Glen Cove, NY. A fixture of the community for over 15 years, the restaurant is co-owned by Chef Jeanine DiMenna who is seen as much on the dining floor as in the kitchen. Her down-to-earth persona is exemplary and she makes you feel like a personal friend who just dropped by for dinner.

Page One has a huge selection of seafood and an interesting mix of dishes – a kind of “UN” of entrees. You can tell a restaurant is going to be good when everything sounds good and you can’t make your mind up. But honestly, anything you order at Page One Restaurant is sure to knock you off your feet.

If you like sushi, then, you will LOVE the Hawaiian Tuna Martini appetizer. Pan-Seared Beijing black and blue tuna is dressed with an Asian soy ginger marinade accented with an Asian Slaw of carrots and jicama. More like a margarita than a martini, the tuna is crusted and the edges of the glass are dipped in black and white sesame seeds and dashi. The marinade is so delicious, you may just slurp it all down.

Another good appetizer choice is the Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes - tender medallions of moist lump crab meat that are lightly pan fried and served with a classic tartar sauce. Both appetizers were served with field greens and a mild balsamic and olive oil dressing that was thick in consistency but lightly dabbed on, just enough to cover the greens and not overpowering like some dressings can be; while not the showpiece, the dressing was a delicious detail as was the home-made bread which featured caramelized onions inside.

Other good appetizers to try include Florribean Coconut Shrimp - jumbo coconut crusted shrimp dressed with a key lime mango sweet Chili glaze; the Marinated Beets on greens with crumbled blue cheese and balsamic vinegar - two great compliments to beets! The menu also features an award-winning fish chowder made with crayfish and scallops, potatoes, corn, celery, carrots in a Manhattan base. The chowder won a contest some years back and has always been a mainstay on the menu.

The entrees are every bit as enticing as the appetizers. For a real treat, try the Shrimp Agave, - jumbo shrimp that are first grilled then dressed in a light cream sauce with tequila (tequila comes from the agave plant), scallions, tomatoes and crispy fried leeks. The Greek style Basa is a wonderful change if you eat a lot of salmon and tilapia.

The basa is pan-cooked in a lemon oregano base and sprinkled with sautéed fresh spinach, feta cheese and tomatoes. The feta is more like a haloumi, a mild firm cheese that fries well. Light and healthy, this dish is really filling as the portions are quite generous. Other wonderful seafood choices (and there are a total of 21 seafood entrees on the menu) include: Basa Almondine (pan seared with beurre noir, deglazed with Frangelica), Tilapia Con Mojo (pan-seared coconut crusted with a citrus, garlic and cumin vinaigrette) and Catfish Potato Crusted served crispy with a light red sauce among other delights.

If you are a meat eater, than Page One offers its share of beef in particular – Rib Eye and Shell Steaks. The French-Onion Shell Steak (grilled and topped with caramelized onions and gruyere cheese) and the Big Boy Rib Eye (28 oz Mesquite grilled rib eye with spicy fried onions, caramelized onions and sherry wine sauce) are good choices. For other meat-eaters, chicken and pork dishes are available; try the Cancun Chicken (Cancun spiced, grilled chicken with black bean, avocado and tomato salsa), the Rack of Pork New Orleans in a bourbon sauce with caramelized apples, Hawaiian Style Pork roasted with Lilikoi glaze (made with passion fruit) and Guava drizzle.

There are also a few duck, lamb and pasta dishes on the menu. But make sure you save room for dessert because Page One features home-made favorites like creamy rice pudding and an extremely light crème brulee. There is also an expansive specialty coffee menu.

Page One Restaurant features a cocktail bar with full bar menu, free Wii games and three full TV screens and offers a free buffet every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. On Saturdays and Sundays, brunch is offered in the dining room and features a wide selection of breakfast favorites (eggs any style, home fries, bacon, sausage, eggs benedict, Greek, Western, Eastern and Spanish omelets, steak and eggs, pancakes, Texas French toast, coffee/tea/juice, fruit, coffee cakes and a Bloody Mary/Mimosa) for $16.95. More options will be added in the future and all baking is done on premises.

Page One’s Stimulus and Bail-Out Special includes lighter fare to help keep more money in your wallet for $13.95 (soup, entrée) and a Price Fixe Menu for $23.95 that includes appetizer, entrée, dessert and coffee/tea. Page One also has private rooms that can accommodate parties of 15 to 150 people. Many customers have raved about the restaurant’s catered parties and Zagat recently rated Page One Restaurant EXCELLENT for food and service (2011/2012).

The variety of dishes at Page One is eclectic as the menu cover says. There’s something to make everyone in your dinner party happy. The most important part is that the chef puts her whole heart and soul into every dish she makes.

You can just imagine Chef DiMenna on one of Food Network’s reality TV shows as she whips up an awe-inspiring 4-course meal in just 20 minutes. Cool, calm and collected, she bows as she presents her magnus opus to the stone-faced judges. They take a few bites and after a few seconds - you could hear a pin drop - one judge after the other utters the words, “This is Page One stuff Chef DiMenna!”

Page One Restaurant is located at 90 School St. (bet. Highland Rd. & North Lane across from Staples and Starbucks) Glen Cove, NY 11542 For more info, visit: www.pageonerestaurant.com or call 516-676-2800