Based on a first impressions, I had high hopes for Tova, the new Mediterranean restaurant that recently took the place of Grills & Things in Syosset (and under the same partial ownership). Unfortunately, my return visit underlined the kind of cluelessness I had previously encountered at the same site, no matter what the name over the entrance was.
An appetizer of lump crab cakes featured one pretty good one and another that was dry and charred on the bottom. Moroccan chicken (thighs with vegetables, herbs and Moroccan spices), while flavorful, was woefully overcooked, a visual mess. A turkey burger on a too-thick bun tasted more like turkey meat loaf. Steak fajitas weren't bad; they just tasted more Mediterranean than Mexican. A chipotle shrimp wrap was virtually swimming in spiced mayonnaise.
We asked the waitress about dessert and she didn’t think there was any. “I’ll ask him (the owner, I presume) what he has in the back,” she said. What we ended up with was a sloppily presented piece of halvah and some half-frozen cheesecake and baklava, at $5 a pop. Ouch.
Tova is at 420 Jericho Tpke., Syosset, 516-364-2017.
Newsday Photo/Joan Reminick