For months, the Mee’s have been seeking a new favorite restaurant on Long Island. And tonight, we found Nirvana. Moonstone, a recently opened authentic Chinese restaurant in Great Neck (oh so close to the Queens border) at 14 Northern Boulevard.
Moonstone replaced the old Harvest Buffet. The Mee’s never had the pleasure of, or lack thereof, that experience, but what opened up, surely opened our eyes as to what the perfect mix of glitz and good taste can offer. Clearly competing with Pearl East, which is located a few miles east on Northern Boulevard in Manhasset, Moonstone came to play. And by all accounts, we have a new winner on Long Island. At least for now!
We were joined this evening by two very special guests. You’ve read many of his articles as a guest author on the Chinese Quest, and today we got to enjoy his company in person. I’m referring of course, to the one and the only Mee Rich Yee (nee Richard Brody). Our other guest is a special friend of The Chinese Quest. As we’ve delved in to the realm of wine pairings on our Quest, Mee Har Vee has a connection in the field, and we introduced him to the Quest. We’ve heard so much about him, and today we got to meet him. Plus he brought six bottles of wine with him. So, he’s now OUR good friend too!
The interior of the restaurant was immaculate. Of course it’s only a few months old, but we wouldn’t expect it to be otherwise. But we do feel that it’s going to maintain it’s luster for years to come. This picture does not do it justice. I’m talking pristine and tasty (just as their food turned out to be). Now clearly this restaurant is looking to attract the Gold Coast clientele. You’re not going to find a lot of Asians dining here (though we did manage to spot two or three before the night was out… in fact we saw a few taking out food (perhaps they didn’t want to be seen in such an establishment, but they loved the food. And so did we!). Each table was adorned with white tablecloths and the finest utensils (read that to be knives and forks). Chop sticks were available for the asking.
The servers were clearly well trained, and eager to please and make our dining experience extraordinary. Kim was our main server and she was extremely delightful and patient (we can be, hmmm, how do you say, boisterous… and if you don’t know how to take our humor, well… but she rolled with the punches and put up with our antics and our shenanigans). We asked her to serve us a dinner that she would serve her family if they were coming to dinner.
They were extremely accommodating of our needs as we brought our Wine guru with us from Pop’s Wine Store and they allowed Mee My Kee to serve us his wine (Moonstone does have a VERY extensive wine selection, with four gorgeous, gigantic, and well stocked wine chillers along the back wall). They totally did us a solid. Not to mention honoring the Grand Opening 20% off coupon that we had brought with us (Bonus Jew Appeal points for sure!). Please don’t expect to get the same treatment that we did. Clearly we were told that next time there would be a corking charge. [Editors Note: This exceptional and extraordinary treatment and service did NOT affect our review and overall ranking. They had NO idea who we were… but I’m sure they were happy to see us leave… though they did get an extremely generous tip for such superb service]. Mee Har Vee guided us through the wine review processs, regaling us with stories of the history of the wine and what we should be attentive to as we enjoyed the pairings he poured with our dishes. He will be writing a review in a subsequent article.
All the dinner recommendations did come straight off the menu, but they were spot on. A nice mixture of tastes, spices, and textures that kept our palates happy and anticipating the next course. There was no special “Chinese menu”. Here is what we served:
- Spare Ribs – Totally fabulous (I was lucky that they actually saved me one as I had to answer a phone call from the Nurse at my son’s camp — not to worry, he’s fine!)
- Beijing Duck – Told we had to allow 30 minutes prep time (I guess EVERYONE expects Chinese food to be ready in 10 minutes or less!), we ordered it right away. It was served already wrapped in the bun in two dumpling steamers with hoisin sauce and scallions. I must say they were lip smacking good! The remaining pieces of duck were served with shrimp toast. Fabulous!
- Red Snapper (see the before and after pictures below) – Crispy yet it melted in your mouth. BEST piece of fish I’ve had in, maybe for ever!
- Roast Pork Fried Rice
- Asparagus with Lily Bulb – I don’t know what the Lily Bulb was, but the veggies were yummy!
- Sangi Chicken Claypot – I don’t remember the clay pot, but the chicken I won’t soon be forgetting. This dish was yet another winner.
- Yang Chow Fried Rice – It was ok. The shrimp was a little tasteless.
- Thrice Cooked Pork Tenderloin – This was not a triple… it was a homerun! Just right amount of spices… the pork was succulent. I could have eaten this dish all night
- Kowloon Rib Eye Steak – Served in a birds nest (fried taro… usually I’ve seen seafood served in the birdsnest and not steak. The steak was excellent!)
- Shrimp with Black Bean Sauce – I don’t think shrimp was their strongest dish. But all the other dishes made up for it.
Mind you, we did have that 20% off coupon, and we did bring our own wine. Though a few glasses of beer and a mai tai was enjoyed before everyone arrived, the bill was very reasonable, and we made up for the discount by tipping well. Even for Jews! 😉
There were no fortune cookies. But, our fortune, and our luck, was finding a really great restaurant. One you would surely go back to again. It’s a great place to take the family for a celebration and a treat. Enjoy!
Here are our ratings:
Moonstone has moved to the top of the Rankings now for Long Island Chinese restaurants!
Humbly submitted for your consumption,
—Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)