Restaurant: Jonathan’s Restaurant - 2499 Jericho Turnpike, Garden City Park, NY
I’ll admit, Long Island isn’t one of my favorite places in the world. However, I recently found myself venturing out to the Farmingdale area to watch my dad cash in on a LivingSocial deal for flight lessons. A lunch stop was of course a must, and we decided on a place I’d previously been with Hailey and her grandmother, Jonathan’s.
Jonathan’s is a big place. There is a large, main dining area with tables scattered about and booths lining one wall as well as partially separated areas which are often used for private events. The tables are all covered in white table cloths and, while you can get away wearing jeans and going more casual, it feels as if Jonathan’s tries to class itself up as much as possible.
We arrived at the restaurant for a late lunch (around 2 p.m.). Aside from our group of 7, there were only five other tables in the place, as well as a larger party (I think bridal shower) in one of the partially separated dining areas.
The first piece of food that draws your attention is the bread placed on each table. Who doesn’t love a good bread basket? This one had a bunch of different varieties but the winners were the onion rolls. These were loaded with an incredible amount of onion pieces that coated the entire undersides of the rolls. The result was a heavily oniony flavor.
I was trying to be a little bit healthy this afternoon (after consuming four or five rolls of course) so I opted for a salad. I ordered:
- Chicken Savannah Salad: grilled chicken breast with candied pecans, granny smith apples, crisp Applewood bacon and mixed greens, tossed in a country mustard honey dressing
A sliced grilled chicken breast as well as green apples were placed on top of the salad and sprinkled with candied pecans and the dressing. The highlights of the salad were the large amount of grilled chicken (major plus) that was very moist and seasoned to give it a nice flavor, as well as the candied pecans. (I’m convinced you can candy anything and it will be delicious.) Unfortunately, one of the major downsides of the salad were the mixed greens. I know is wasn’t eating a spinach salad but I would have preferred some more color from the lettuce. A great majority of the greens were practically white. Additionally, the green apples weren’t as green as I was hoping and this detracted from their overall flavor. I’m not sure exactly how healthy this salad was with the candied pecans and honey mustard dressing, but it tasted pretty good and did the job filling me up.
The service at Jonathan’s was terrible. Our waiter, Caesar, disappeared for long periods of time and was the opposite of attentive. It took us forever to order our food and drinks. When we received the wine menu to try and order another bottle of wine before our meals came out, Caesar was nowhere to be found. He did return to see if we wanted another bottle, but it was well after everyone had finished eating. Sorry, Caesar but you missed your opportunity. We then had to flag another waiter in order to clear our dishes after our waiter disappeared once again. It turns out, our waiter was also staffing the private party being held in one of the partially separated rooms. This is all good and fine, but when the place is practically empty and a large waitstaff is roaming the floor, someone needs to pick up the slack or specific waiters need to be dedicated to the dining room so they’re not pulling double duty.
Jonathan’s is priced around what I would classify as high-mid range. Entrees were in the low to mid $20s and my salad was in the high teens. The value is there though, with everyone at the table saying how happy they were with the quality and taste of their lunch options.
I’m not going out of my way to visit Jonathan’s. Yes, the food and atmosphere are good, but the service disappointed me and we weren’t happy about that. There are lots of options in the vicinity and next time I’m in the area I will be giving a new place a try.