REVIEW #88

Oceana

Oceana, as one can perhaps infer, is dedicated resolutely to the pleasures of the sea. Though the restaurant no longer resides in the distinctive two-level town house designed to evoke the interior of a ship’s cabin that was its home for 17 years, the cavernous space it now inhabits in the McGraw Hill building does incorporate a palette of whites and Aegean blues along with touches like dangling chandeliers that call to mind giant luminescent jellyfish. It’s a more understated way of making the same point: that everything at Oceana relates to the sea and its bounty.

The restaurant has an outstanding raw bar selection featuring superlative oysters, including Glidden Points from Maine and Widows Holes from Long Island’s North Fork, as well as exceptional stone crab claws. It also offers a slew of entrees that are subdivided into categories like composed, whole fish and simply prepared, the best of which are a roasted branzino stuffed with mushroom, spinach and black olives and an inventive crispy curried red snapper. The combination of pristine, fresh ingredients and creative, artful compositions make Oceana one of the finest seafood-focused restaurants in NYC.

The restaurant’s new 15,000 square feet home has been outfitted with a classy, contemporary design that is accented by giant flower arrangements and features a 50-foot long Italian marble bar along with numerous private dining options. Its new location and layout make it especially popular among the business lunch and pre-theater crowd. It also boasts an exceptional wine list that is logically oriented toward whites and offers a generous 20 wines by the glass. The new Oceana doesn’t bear much resemblance to the old one, as it seems paradoxically to be both more ambitious and more profit-driven, but the reincarnation is in almost every way an improvement.

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INFORMATION

Midtown West
120 W. 49th St.
New York (nr. Sixth Ave.)
(212) 759-5941
Mon, 11:30am-3pm, 5pm-10pm; Tues-Fri, 11:30am-3pm, 5pm-11pm; Sat, 5pm-11pm; Sun, 4pm-9pm
    Ben Pollinger, Chef
    Joseph Gabriel, Pastry Chef
    Pedro Goncalves, Wine Director
    John Loats, Sommelier
    Adam Petronzio, Sommelier
    Tamara Forward, Assistant Sommelier

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    RECOMMENDED DISHES See All

    • Oysters - Glidden Points, Widows Holes
    • Cracked Florida Stone Crab-Claws
    • Octopus a la Plancha - asian style herb vinaigrette, leek puree
    • Spicy Smoked Tuna Rolls
    • Sea Bass in a Butternut Squash Sauce (Special)
    • Crispy Wild Striped Bass
    • Roast Stuffed Branzino - mushroom, spinach, black olives
    • Crispy Curried Red Snapper for two - cucumber, cilantro, crispy lotus