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.
Buccaneer Crab House is at 108 West Merrick Rd., Freeport, 516-442-1151, buccaneercrabhouse.com
Lunch takes a Ukrainian turn with pork ravioli (pelmini) at Buccaneer Crab House in Freeport. (Newsday Photo, 2010 / Joan Reminick)