Photos by Brittany Woolsey.
Queensview Steakhouse is a hidden gem, a four-year-old fine dining establishment housed on the third floor of Parker's Lighthouse, tucked up and away into a room fit for a king or queen, a room that arguably has the best ocean view in the City, and of course, some of the most delicious steak and seafood around.
Remodeled in 2010 from what used to be the Galley Bar, Queensview Steakhouse is a fine dining concept with a variety of special occasions in mind, whether you've decided you're finally ready to propose to your beau or you're celebrating your grandmother's 80th. However, while Queensview is certainly an occasional haunt, especially for those on a budget, General Manager David Maskello, who has been with the company for 15 years and the steakhouse for six months, is working on enticing a younger crowd, one that he hopes will frequent this one-of-a-kind Long Beach jewel more often.
Last November, Queensview collaborated with Roxanne's Cocktail Lounge & Latin Grill to host the Long Beach Bartenders Brawl, which pitted two bartenders from each location against each other in a "three-drink battle to victory." What seemed like a raucous event for a traditional steakhouse turned out to be a roaring success.
"We have two wells back there, so we had two of our bartenders and two of their bartenders making different drinks," said Maskello. "People went up and ordered them, tasted them and voted which one they thought was best. We stopped the whole thing in the middle and had everybody make a drink with a specific liquor... We did a relay race where they had to chop lemons and limes and oranges and then make a martini, which they had to run to different parts of the restaurant[...]"
"So we're trying to do different stuff up here, just to get a little bit younger crowd," he continued. "So far it's been going really well."
On Monday, February 9 at 5:00PM, Queensview will be showing the movie Bottle Shock alongside a four-course meal paired with wine, as an early Valentine's Day celebration for those who tend to avoid the holiday crowd of crooning starry-eyed lovers. A wine tasting and reception with appetizers will precede the event, while dinner will naturally be followed by a delicious, decadent dessert.
According to Maskello, Queensview Steakhouse is the first steakhouse concept within the company Select Restaurants, Inc., which also owns Parker's Lighthouse. As such, his job now is simply to make it work. And one bite of the Roasted Pistachio Crusted Swordfish, slathered in the most heavenly lemon beurre blanc sauce you'll ever taste will no doubt have you hooked, and convince you that, yes, Maskello and Executive Chef Jim Tate are certainly making it work.
Queensview seafood is sourced locally from Santa Monica Seafood, said Maskello, as the restaurant aims for a high level of sustainability. At Parker's, he explained, they do a day-boat catch, where the fish is eaten within 48 hours of it being caught. "We try to keep it as ultra-local as possible and as sustainable as possible," he said.
The pan-seared, herb panko-crusted Diver Scallops are just about the most succulent, carefully selected sea creatures you will ever have occasion to eat. Served in a tomato caper fondue that so perfectly complements the light-handed saltiness of the meat, it's easy to see why the scallops are one of Queensview Steakhouse's more popular seafood items on the menu.
In a wondrous duet of steak and seafood, the Filet Mignon Oscar is a seven ounce tender cut paired with King crab, fresh white asparagus and béarnaise; if you simply can't decide between seafood or steak (and why should you have to?), you'll want to indulge in this smart rendition on this classic surf-n-turf combo. To top it off, a juicy side of oven-roasted tomatoes that have cooked overnight for 12 hours in salt, pepper and olive oil will explode in an near-overwhelming burst of flavor your mouth.
There's something for everyone, and everyone has their favorite here. The 18 oz. Rib-eye Steak is the best seller, according to Maskello, and is also Kitchen Manager Juan Ruiz's favorite dish to eat, while others argue that the Colorado Lamb Loin Chop—paired with a minty, delightfully textural sauce that results in two subtly different flavor profiles that are delicious in their simplicity—should be Queensview's signature dish.
Whatever you choose, for the staff, it's all about the taste. "We are more focused on flavors than looks," said Ruiz about the elegantly-plated dishes, each of which came out simply and minimally arranged in a composition that gave each outstanding flavor the stage, not the flashiness so often seen in many contemporary restaurants today.
For appetizer lovers and customers with more of a taste for the vegetal variety, the Heirloom Tomato salad, made with red, yellow and green tomatoes and toasted garlic croutons—crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside—a soft and creamy burrata cheese, a light sprinkling of chiffonade basil, finished with a cherry and apple cider balsamic vinaigrette drizzled on top, makes for an Italian-inspired tantalizing appetizer. Pair that with the Cajun Mac n' Cheese that is both comforting, like any good Mac n' Cheese should be, and exhilarating in its almost-spicy, very tomatoey profile or the Fried Brussels Sprouts, coated with slightly melted parmesan, bits and strips of smoked bacon and a lemon-pepper vinaigrette, and you have yourself a deal.
Maskello said Queensview is getting more popular every year. "We're trying to get the awareness out because it's one building so it gets a little confusing, but we have made great strides with that[...] And we obviously have the best view in Long Beach," he chuckled and glanced at the Queen Mary through the window, "so that's one of our claim to fames here."
The view is spectacular, but Queensview Steakhouse's claim to fame might just as well be the Key Lime Tart, a deep-dish delicacy that any guest—even those trying to "be good"—simply won't be able to resist, nor should they even try. Garnished with a sweet raspberry sauce, topped with a toasted meringue that tastes like a s'more made of clouds, and speared with a crunchy, candied adornment, even if you're full, you'll simply have to finish this dessert.
Queensview Steakhouse is located on the 3rd floor above Parker's Lighthouse, at 435 Shoreline Dr.