Rarely have I encountered a more eccentric restaurant than this boat-in-a-bottle-size place. What makes eating here so compelling, though, is the sparkling-fresh seafood on proud display in a showcase upfront. And the prices.
You'll need skill to navigate the menu. Appetizers are family-size, so $16 for four huge crab cakes is actually a good deal. While entrees start at $15, you can order one of the $11.99 "daily specials" and get, essentially, the same fish - along with Greek salad, potatoes or rice and garlic bread. The difference, I'm told, is that the regular price roster represents "double portions." Food comes on paper plates; utensils, however, are stainless.
Barbecued octopus is an amazing plate of mollusk - ridiculously tender and redolent of the charcoal grill. I can't say enough about the plump, light, lump crab cakes - virtually all crab and spice. Clams on the half shell are fresh and briny; what more could anyone want?
It would be hard to improve upon the whole grilled red snapper, its skin crisp and glistening, its interior moist and herbal. Fried whole porgy is a treat, a greaseless crunch overlaying mild white flesh (careful of the bones). The flawless fried fillet of sole is another fry basket triumph; on the side are thinly sliced Greek fried potatoes. It isn't often that I come across crab-stuffed shrimp this perfectly cooked, made with lots of lump crab meat.
An iceberg-based feta-topped Greek salad is uninspired; I have to dress it with oil and vinegar already on the table. Broiled swordfish steak is overcooked. Broiled salmon is topped with bread crumbs and swimming in a garlicky "scampi" sauce - hardly the simple preparation I'd expected. French fries are the previously frozen variety; rice is flecked with frozen peas and carrots. And the baked potato I order as a side dish never materializes. "We're out," snaps the waitress when asked.
She's firm about not serving any appetizer half orders, but another waitress, on another occasion, lets me get a half order of octopus.
Baklava for dessert? Sorry. None left.
You won't pay a lot for some very lovely seafood. Just order wisely and know in advance that there may be inconveniences.
Reviewed by Joan Reminick,, 3/26, 2009