$$$$ (Very expensive)
Easily the most opulent Greek restaurant on Long Island, Limani also is the priciest. The temple-size establishment's centerpiece is a display of seafood on ice, highlighting the fact that this is a prime destination for hopping-fresh fish, simply grilled and plainly plated in the Greek style, with nothing more than lemon and olive oil.
Dinner every day. Monday to Thursday: 5 to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday: 5 p.m. to midnight; Sunday: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
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Rising from the ruins of an edifice devoted to Saturn comes the temple of Limani: grand and grandiose, opulent and extravagant, full of regal Greek marble and rich Mediterranean fish. It's the show of the year from experienced producers. Reno Christou, operating partner, and chef Peter Spyropoulos are veterans of Estiatorio Milos in Manhattan. From the over-the-top design and high-roller atmosphere to a parking lot that could double as a Bentley dealership, Limani prompts the question: What recession? You effortlessly reach $100+ per person - if you can get a reservation. Welcome to the bubble within the bubble, directly across the boulevard from the exceedingly expensive Il Mulino. A regular at either establishment needs pockets deep as an archaeological dig. But Limani also is very good, sometimes better, with excellent service, an exceptional display of seafood and a warm, friendly style that contrasts with the imperial look.
The main course here is whole fish and shellfish, sold by the pound, starting in the high $20 range and peaking at $95 per. They are displayed on ice. Your waiter is an expert in post-mortem ichthyology, deftly describing each in detail. The fish is charcoal-grilled and finished with a caper-strewn sauce that's primarily olive oil and lemon juice. Fagri, a firm, Greek pink snapper, is especially fine. Typical choices: pompano, sea bass, rouget, Dover sole, langoustes and langoustines. Also recommended: snowy, cross-hatched halibut steak and skewered, marinated cubes of swordfish, with onions, tomatoes and green peppers. The carnivorous can enjoy thin, delicious lamb chops, extremely Frenched. Good appetizers include the combo of fried zucchini and eggplant, with kefalograviera cheese; heirloom tomato and roasted beet salads; and a quintet of savory fish roe, eggplant, yogurt, almond-garlic and feta cheese spreads to slather on warm pita triangles. For dessert, consider ekmek, a union of custard, shredded phyllo and pistachio cream; kadidopita, a walnut sponge cake; or sorbets.
Grilled sardines arrive charred to parched; fried calamari, very chewy; fish soup, bland; sirloin steak, overcooked; baklava, dry.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Reviewed by Peter M. Gianotti, 12/26/08