East meets West at Great Neck’s newest restaurant

East meets West at Great Neck’s newest restaurant
Marco Polo's opened up at The Great Neck Inn earlier this month, with an Asian/Italian fusion dining experience. (Photo courtesy of Jacquelyn Biro)

Following a successful run in Westbury, Marco Polo’s has set up its’ second location at The Inn at Great Neck, with the hopes of attracting a wide array of customers with an Italian take on Asian fusion cuisine.

After more than a decade at The Viana Hotel & Spa, The Inn’s sister property, Marco Polo’s opened in Great Neck earlier this month. With dishes ranging from Sesame Tuna Tataki to Steak Diane leading the charge to attract diners, Nick Horn, The Inn’s general manager, said the restaurant’s diverse menu is a welcome concept to bring to the peninsula.

“It was so successful [at The Viana] and we were looking to bring something different to the area,” Horn said. “It was kind of a no-brainer to have a restaurant like this come to Great Neck.”

Horn said some of the specials that were offered to guests at The Inn and outsiders were smashing hits, something that has lacked in recent years. With more and more vacant storefronts occupying Middle Neck Road, Horn said, The Inn’s goal was to bring in a restaurant that could appeal to peninsula residents and attract diners from other areas throughout Long Island and beyond.

“I’ve been here for seven years seeing not stores or restaurants opening but rather closing and we’re trying to keep Great Neck alive,” Horn said. “We’re in the heart of Great Neck and we’re hoping this new twist will give residents a reason to come out and enjoy a great meal rather than driving outside of Great Neck to eat.”

Marco Polo’s has also brought in Executive Chef Oral Wright, whose culinary expertise has Jamaican roots and adds an extra flair to dishes that already appeal to a high volume of patrons. Wright believes that “with hard work, a devotion to excellence and a love of food, anything is possible.”

While traditional eggrolls are a fan favorite at most Asian restaurants, Marco Polo’s incorporation of classic Italian dishes like Philly Cheesesteak, Chicken Parmigiana, Chicken Francese and Bolognese, Horn said, are great combinations. Horn said another popular dish is the Prosecco ginger salmon and one of the best examples of the restaurant’s Asian/Italian fusion.

“Words can’t really describe it, you need to visualize and taste it just to get an understanding of what it’s really all about,” he said.

Supporting the peninsula’s business district and aiming to be a flagship eatery to attract clients and other businesses to Great Neck, Horn said, is what The Inn aimed to accomplish with the addition of Marco Polo’s. As the summer months continue to roll along, he said, The Inn has made accommodations to fit outdoor and indoor dining to showcase what he and his staff can offer to the community.

“We are excited to offer guests the culinary equivalent of a breath of fresh air,” Horn said. “This is a unique dining option that really allows our culinary team  to showcase their talent  and let our neighbors and guests discover a new world of flavor, right here at The Inn at Great Neck.”

The restaurant is open for dinner and takeout six nights a week from 5-11 p.m. with a Happy Hour menu from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday. Horn also said The Inn looks forward to “celebrating special occasions with the community,” alluding to the restaurant’s private and customizable banquet menus.

The Inn is located at 30 Cutter Mill Road in Great Neck.

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