333 Bayville Ave Bayville, NY 11709
Ocean description The remade restaurant at the Crescent Beach Club serves seafood raw and cooked, American fare ... More »
Ocean looks onto Long Island Sound, underscoring its sense of direction.
This is the new, remade restaurant at the The Crescent Beach Club complex, which offers one of the prettiest water views on the North Shore. It's beautiful all day, especially at sunset.
The terrific location has been and remains the main reason to visit. The dining room stays a handsome, contemporary, streamlined perch, still with those marine-life mobiles overhead.
But despite tweaking, the food is rarely better than good. You come expecting waves and find ripples.
Currently, a bigger problem is service, or lack of it. Either the restaurant is significantly understaffed or no one knows what's what. There are vacant smiles; 50-50 that they get your order right.
So, sit inside or out before the sun dips, and nibble on the cheese-topped crisps that arrive with respectable hummus. Have a drink. Pick a few dishes from the sushi menu.
The salmon crudo is fine, with snippets of onion and scallion, finished with a yuzu vinaigrette. The rainbow roll: colorful and familiar, with a small catch of fresh fish. The "spicy crunchy red dragon" shows no fire, but it's a satisfactory union of crab, avocado and cucumber. Nigirizushi, or uncooked fish on ovals of vinegared rice; and the pristine sashimi have a professional's cut.
On the cooked side, try the lobster-and-corn chowder, summery and very tasty. The trio of lobster sliders on brioche rolls, a mainstay, also is recommended. Share them as an appetizer. Or complement them with the beet napoleon, with goat cheese and arugula.
No need to stick a fork in the bland crabcake. They've done that already. "Ocean pasta" is caught in its own riptide of truffle oil, sinking fettuccine, lobster and mushrooms, each seeking rescue by a salt shaker. The "ocean's bounty summer clambake" stars overcooked shellfish and underdone potatoes.
Crab-stuffed, broiled or boiled lobster would be acceptable enough if you didn't have to break it apart with your napkin-covered hands. No nutcracker. No mallet. No pick. No lobster fork. And no waiter within shouting or signaling distance.
Plain Arctic char, a salmon trout and unadorned barramundi, similar to sea bass, show up moist and mild. They're solid, safety-first choices. The roasted chicken with mashed sweet potatoes would stand out at any reception, as would the chocolate mousse.
Maybe Ocean does know where it's going.
Meantime, enjoy the view.