Laverne of GN offers dining twist

Laverne of GN offers dining twist

Steven Alexander and his partners had to make a tough decision when faced with the prospect of closing their restaurant, Laverne of Westbury, more than two years ago.

“The area didn’t hold well for the restaurant,” Alexander recalled. “We ended up relocating to the Great Neck Area.”

The move, Alexander said last week, has apparently paid off.

Following a two-year hiatus, Alexander and four partners opened Laverne of Great Neck in August at its new 9 Cutter Mill Road location in the Village of Great Neck Plaza.

In the nearly five months since the Japanese-French fusion restaurant opened its doors, Alexander said the community has embraced his eatery.

“Great Neck’s been very good to us,” Alexander said. “We have a lot of people that are coming back that we recognize … which is great.”

Aside from the Japanese-French fusion inspired portion of its menu, Laverne of Great Neck offers its patrons several Thai dishes to choose from.

“We have everything from steak frites, but we do a little twist on it,” Alexander said. “Instead of your traditional red wine sauce, we’ll do an Asian dipping sauce, like a creamy type of terriyaki sauce.”

“We’ll play with the flavors quite a bit with a bunch of the dishes,” he added, “to give it the French style of cooking as well as the Asian spices.”

Alexander said that patrons have embraced the “uniqueness of the menu” at Laverne of Great Neck, but there is also another aspect of the experience that has brought residents back for more.

“I would think the atmosphere too, it’s not your traditional Asian-looking restaurant atmosphere,” Alexander said. “It’s a little more upscale. Low light, candles on the table. All wood tables, so it’s a lot more upscale.”

Along with Alexander, Laverne of Great Neck is owned by Alan Widianto, Andre Liem, Frans Djatikusuma and Ricky Arnawa.

Both Alexander and Djatikusuma serve as managers of the restaurant, while Widianto is the sushi chef, Liem is the Japanese and French chef and Arnawa is the Thai chef.

Arnawa was previously the head chef at Spice, a Thai restaurant in Manhattan. Liem also previously serves as head chef at Laverne’s location in Westbury.

“More or less, we decided to reopen in Great Neck and keep the original head chef of the old location, as well as make the new partner the new head chef,” Alexander said.

Since opening, Alexander said he has been reviewed by several publications and blogs. He said the reviews have been “mostly positive.”

After closing the restaurant’s old location two years ago, Alexander said the success of Laverne of Great Neck has been gratifying.

“We closed it down just waiting for the right spot to open and this came available,” Alexander said.

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