What will no doubt first impress you about BOB’S PLACE is the unassuming sophistication of the restaurant’s décor as you step in off the usually hectic Jericho Turnpike. With its high ceilings and intriguing architecture, the ambience at BOB’S PLACE also seems especially suited for this time of year, with a color pallet of russets and oranges and mahogany woods throughout. Its fixtures are sleek and simple, as much California casual as they are East Coast modern. Suffice it to say, where far too many restaurants try too hard to convince their patrons they’ve got class, BOB’S PLACE has such clean lines and impressive simplicity going for it, its understatement can be said to be a reflection of its style, as well.
Another of the hallmarks of the BOB’S PLACE experience you will notice right away? Attention to detail and customer service at a level reserved usually for the most renowned of Manhattan’s dining establishments. Whether it’s proprietor Bob Manning greeting you at the door, or general manager and sommelier Gabriel Moroianu attending to your every need (or any of the restaurant’s well-informed and personable waitstaff, for that matter), every one you come in contact with here is a personal reminder that you’ve come to a rather special place.
Of course, ambience and service can only go so far in making a restaurant successful. After all, it’s the food that keeps us coming again and again, no?
Rest assured, folks, this is where BOB’S PLACE truly rises to the occasion. Executive Chef Jeff Eutsler is, quite simply, an artist… and his creations are as delightful to the taste as they are upon presentation (each one arrives on a different-shaped plate, by the way, the geometric equivalent of “Voila!”). Eutsler’s eclectic tastes let him combine the best of what we now admire as true “fusion” (Asian, Californian, French) with as much a flair for color and texture, as for flavor. To start, we definitely recommend the Thai Duck Spring Roll, as well as an impressive multi-layered creation Eutsler calls his “Crabmeat Napoleon,” comprised of blue fin crabmeat, avocado, sliced tomatoes, roasted peppers, lemon, and smoked paprika aioli, sandwiched between layers of toasted wontons. As far as BOB'S “Bigger Plates” (i.e entrees) go, Eutsler is quite the expert on the light crusting that makes dishes like the Broiled Tilapia Filet (cauliflower and parsley crust) and the Roasted Garlic Crusted Lamb Rack such standouts. But in our humble opinion, especially this time of the year, there just might be no better dish at BOB'S PLACE than their signature Braised Pork Osso Bucco. Think of this as a dish with all the specialness of a Thanksgiving dinner (braised red cabbage, mashed potatoes, grilled sour apples), but at a price point – just 23 dollars – that’ll have you feeling a lot more grateful than you might have expected!
Which, in a nutshell, is the overarching appeal of BOB'S PLACE. While stylish and distinctive, this is by no means an out-of-reach expensive restaurant. (In fact, you’d also do well to check out their $22 price fixe options.) The value you get for such delicious food, and such top-flite service, is immeasurable.
We’ve definitely got to extend a particular tip of the cap here to Bob Manning, one of the most affable and engaging restaurateurs you may ever encounter. Readers of these pages may recall that in 1985, Manning purchased GEBHARDT’S, the legendary German-American Glendale, Queens standout. Nine years ago, Manning took GEBHARDT’S east to Floral Park, introducing the restaurant’s cuisine to a new community of loyal devotees. Then just two years ago, Manning and Eutsler crossed paths, and decided to chart a new course for the Floral Park venue.
“I think it was time,” recalls Manning. “It becomes incredibly limiting only to be able to feature one kind of cuisine.” And now that he and Eutsler have joined forces, “I think we have a really good partnership,” continues Manning. “I’m not one of those to stand over the kitchen and dictate how everything should go. That’s not me… I like to let the chef do his thing.”
All further evidence of the kind of bonhomie and goodwill that definitely makes for a special and convivial atmosphere. If you visit BOB’S PLACE, from the moment Bob Manning himself greets you at the door, to the moment your complimentary sorbet arrives tableside at evening’s end, we guarantee it’ll be one of the most memorable dining experiences you’ve had in quite a while. (And if you’re smart, especially once you see how many different levels and nooks and crannies the restaurant has, you’ll be booking a private party for your return visit!)
BOB’S PLACE is located at 230 Jericho Turnpike in Floral Park, just east of Little Neck Parkway. For information and reservations, please call (516) 354-8185, and to peruse their menus online, make sure you visit their website.