What’s your idea of the perfect Bloody Mary? Beyond the tomato juice, spices and lemon or lime, what else is needed? A celery stick to add a touch of green and for stirring? How about carrot sticks, roasted garlic or bleu cheese stuffed olives? Have you thought of caramelized bacon, shrimp, roasted jalapenos and cilantro? These ingredients and more are on the Bloody Mary bar, available at brunch on Saturday and Sunday, at George Martin’s Grillfire in Syosset.
You can build your own or perhaps your waiter will put one together for you. You probably could really start from scratch with just plain tomato juice, but I found the mix created by bartender Maria Wallace to be perfect. For her Bloody Mary mix, Wallace adds horseradish, black pepper, George Martin’s own steak sauce and lime. There are vodka choices as well, with premium vodkas adding $2 to the $5 cocktail and top shelf vodka adding $3. As for me, I go for bottom shelf—the other flavors in the glass are so strong that the vodka takes second place. Interestingly, the first Bloody Mary is said to have been created in 1892 as a warm non-alcoholic drink containing tomato juice, Tabasco, lemon juice and oysters—at a time when Americans were downing oysters like popcorn.
The stand-alone big hit for us was the caramelized bacon, which we found out is also a favorite for George Martin brunchers.
Brunch is divided into breakfast and lunch choices. All breakfast entrées include one complimentary mimosa. Eggs are offered in a variety of preparations such as Popeye Scramble with baby spinach, caramelized onions and goat cheese, and an omelet with four cheeses: smoked Gouda, Cheddar, mozzarella and Monterey Jack. The three pancake choices are buttermilk with whipped honey butter, a stack that is layered with Nutella and sliced bananas, and chocolate chips pancakes. The Bananas Foster French toast with spiced rum caramel and candied walnuts was appealing but we decided to hold off on it and have it for dessert.
From the lunch part of the menu we went with the Caribbean Coconut Shrimp ‘n Chips (the chips were sweet potato fries), the ahi grilled burger, prepared very rare, and the chopped salad of candied walnuts, golden raisins, roasted peppers, sweet corn and mozzarella, with balsamic dressing. All the salads can be enhanced with proteins such as grilled chicken, salmon or shrimp, seared tuna or walnut apple chicken salad. One of us had a burger, which he chose to top with Swiss cheese, bacon and balsamic tomatoes. As you can see, there are lots of choices to make at a George Martin’s Grillfire brunch.
Dessert was that wonderfully rich Bananas Foster. We also tried the carrot cake, which our carrot cake expert declared quite good.