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Buccaneer Crab House


It felt as though I was back in the old country – Brighton Beach, that is – at the new (and evolving) Buccaneer Crab House, a pirate-themed seafood restaurant that opened last September in Freeport (for more information, click here). Chef co-owner Paul Grafman, who owns the place with his parents, has roots in Odessa. At lunch, Grafman offers all manner of Ukrainian dumplings, which are made in Coney Island to family recipe specifications.

The afternoon meal started with a cup of garlicky borscht (served with sour cream) and moved on to an appetizer-size portion of pan-seared skin-on stuffed trout, a delectable take on gefilte fish, served with a raspberry horseradish sauce. Then, there were two kinds of dumplings; potato and mushroom vareniki and pork pelmini (ravioli). Both were served in prodigious quantity, topped with caramelized onions and served with – what else? – sour cream. Dessert? Sour-cherry dumplings with sour-cherry sauce.

Heavy going but really good. Forgive me while I go in for a nap.


“Huge portions, crisis prices” is the motto of the new Buccaneer Crab House, which opened  Fall 2010 in Freeport. Chef Paul Grafman, a recent graduate of the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan, co-owns the place with his parents.

Some of Grafman's specialties? Fish “in a bag” (steamed in parchment paper with white wine, tomato compote and mushrooms), crab cakes made of  “just crab meat” and chicken vin rouge (poached in red wine with garlic and butter).

Grafman said that virtually everything is made in house, including barbecue sauce. For dessert, he’s making bread pudding and brownies but bringing in gelato.

Currently, the restaurant is featuring a 1 to 1-1/4 pound lobster for $13.95. Also, on Thursday night, there's a $19.95 "all you can eat" special on blue claw crab (done Maryland style, Louisiana boil and butter- and garlic-sauteed).

On paper, everything about the restaurant sounds good. Except, of course, the name. Buccaneer? Arrrr!

Buccaneer Crab House is at 108 W. Merrick Rd., Freeport, 516-442-1151.

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