The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
Turquoise, the long-standing Mediterranean Great Neck fish restaurant, is now kosher and is under the supervision of the Vaad Harabonim of Queens.
Turquoise first opened across the street from the Great Neck LIRR station in 1999. It was purchased in 2010 by Erica Babushkin, who moved the restaurant in 2012 to its current location on Middle Neck Road. It earned two stars from Newsday's Peter M. Gianotti.
In making Turquoise kosher, Babushkin was responding to Great Neck’s growing kosher clientele. “The town is becoming more religious,” she said. “You have to change with the times.” What hadn’t changed, she added, was the kitchen crew.
On a recent visit, both a grilled red St. Peter’s fish and a grilled branzino were fresh and well executed, lightly charred on the outside, moist within. An accompanying grilled tomato was ripe and full of flavor. Another hit was the whole “fire-roasted” eggplant, the skin black, the flesh soft and smoky. Then, it was splayed open and covered with tahini, chickpeas, garlic, lemon and parsley.
The meal lost a little steam around the edges: Rice was overcooked and bland, a vegetable garnish of steamed broccoli and asparagus was of the catering hall variety. Fried coins of zucchini seemed to have been made with over-mature squash: they turned mushy almost immediately.
Turquoise Kosher Fish Restaurant is at 76 Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck, 516-487-3737.