Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Oceano Seafood Restaurant Review

Traditional Greek Ambiance with Classic Greek Music

Walking down Ditmars Blvd in Queens, one encounters a number of Greek restaurants. Many are famous, and people from all over Manhattan make the trek to try the fresh seafood dishes. Some are brand new and just praying to become one of the destinations in a New York City tour book.

Oceano Seafood Restaurant is one of those hopeful restaurants. Only open since December, one can see the famous Taverna Kyclades across the street with people waiting in a long line outside. At Oceano, there are plenty of tables available, and the excited and eager staff are beaming at the presence of new customers.

The meal started with complimentary bread and olive tapenade which is a nice homage to the bread and balsamic vinegar served at Italian restaurants. There is a variety of popular Greek dishes and fresh fish options on the menu. True to its name and underwater paradise décor, seafood plays a heavy hand in the options. 

We started out with “Spanakopita” which was tasty but nothing too special. We went for the “Fried Zucchini and Eggplant” appetizer, as well, which was evenly breaded so that the true crispness came from the veggies and didn’t have that mouth-heavy, cheap fried taste. For dipping, we were supplied with garlic mashed potatoes, which seemed like an odd, heavy option. Surprisingly, the flavor of the potatoes combined with spices in the breading made an excellent arrangement.

For our entrees, we got the “Grilled Calamari” and the “Seafood Pasta.” The calamari was fresh but a couple of the pieces of fish were slightly chewy. The pasta, on the other hand, was a perfect dish. It was a bit expensive at $19, but the plate did not skimp on the seafood. Mixed among the pasta and the tart, spicy red sauce were heaping helpings of scallops, shrimp, and mussels, all fresh, and all meshed well in the sauce.

After paying our bill and preparing to leave, the owner sent over a complimentary Galaktoboureko, a traditional Greek pastry much like Baklava but filled with a custard instead of nuts. It was lightly sweet and the phyllo dough crispy. This is the kind of service to be expected from an eager, family-owned restaurant like Oceano. Along the 35th Street side of the building is a garage-door wall that opens in the summertime, hopefully adding a breeze to enjoy with the fresh seafood; perhaps New Yorkers will be able to close their eyes and briefly imagine that they are by the Greek seaside.

Oceano Seafood Restaurant
35-02 Ditmars Boulevard,
New York, NY 11105
7pm on a Sunday
Price range between $19 and $45 (Fresh fish prices range with market prices)
Greek Seafood
Conducted by Chrissy 


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