1221 Avenue of the Americas @ 49th Street
New York, NY 10020
(49th Street between 6th & 7th Avenues)
Phone // 212 759 5941
Fax // 212 759 6076
120 West 49th Street
New York, NY 10020
Hours of Operation
Monday through Sunday 11:00 am until 3:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday 11:00 am until 3:00 pm
Monday – Thursday // 5:00 pm until 11:00 pm
Friday and Saturday // 5:00 pm until Midnight
Sunday // 4:00 pm until 10:00 pm
Raw Bar & Lighter Fare menus available throughout the day
West of Rockefeller Center, in the McGraw Hill Building, at 1221 Avenue of the Americas at 49th Street, (212) 759-5941
Menus and other information can be found at www.oceanarestaurant.com .
Reservations, Click Here
Oceana serves lunch Monday through Friday, 11am to 3pm, continuous service at the raw bar and bar with a bar menu until 5pm. Dinner Monday through Thursday 5pm to 11pm, Friday and Saturday, 5pm to midnight, Brunch Saturday and Sunday 11am to 3pm, Sunday dinner 4pm to 10pm. Outdoor dining slated for 2010.
Private parties and reservations arranged by phoning 212-759-5941.
Owners // Livanos Family
Managing Partner // Paul McLaughlin
Executive Chef // Ben Pollinger
Pastry Chef // Jansen Chan
Wine Director // Roy Mahan
Design: Trinity Building and Construction Management Corp.
OCEANA ENTERS NEW ERA and Remains NY’s Premier Seafood Restaurant
By Nancy Walman
Rating: A Major
The Elegant and Luxurious Main Dining Room (Above)
The Livanos Family and Paul McLaughlin have transported their flagship restaurant, Oceana, to its new home just west of Rockefeller Center, in the McGraw Hill Building. Serving lunch and dinner daily, brunch on weekends, and offering continuous service throughout the day, this is a new day for Oceana, a beloved American seafood restaurant at the top of the ratings for eighteen years in New York.
The new Oceana offers a diversity of options for cocktails and dining, chief among them a raw bar, a full-service bar, and three unique settings for private dining, in addition to the main dining room. There is now also a Chef’s Table in the kitchen where guests have an intimate view of Executive Chef Ben Pollinger at work, along with critically acclaimed Pastry Chef Jansen Chan. Starting in 2010, Oceana will take advantage of its new location to offer outdoor dining for sixty more guests, weather permitting.
The space manages to be graceful and intimate, avoiding any hint of garishness. There are spacious banquettes (even some for the often neglected two-tops) and a feeling of luxury, coupled with a casual hi-dining experience.
Trinity Building and Construction Management Corp.provided Oceana with a modernized and less formal version of its signature nautical atmosphere. While Oceana’s 54th Street location resembled the cosseted dining room of a luxury yacht, the new 49th Street location seats 180 diners, and its floor-to-ceiling windows overlook 49th Street. Both outdoor seating and a bar offer a more casual experience, as lunch and dinner are served inside the restaurant’s more formal dining room.
Oceana’s high-end features include custom fabric booths and banquettes with walnut details, and a large, contemporary canopy over the revolving door entryway. Other striking details include sliding glass doors that separate the private and main dining areas, a custom-built lobster tank that sits in the entrance to the kitchen, tiered decorative chandeliers, and a tremendous amount of stone. There is a private Chef’s room located within the state of the art kitchen for special functions, and there are Brazilian cherry floors, custom woven carpets, and large flowing hand made draperies. Glorious oversized glass vases of floating plants complete the picture.
The new Oceana is more generous in both space, and menu offerings, making the innovative seafood cuisine of Chef Pollinger available to the broadest possible audience. “The way our menu is constructed, with composed dishes as the heart and soul, and simply prepared daily offerings and whole fish to round it out, I can buy the freshest seafood on a whim, or I can shop the Farmer’s markets, and then create dishes for the menu spontaneously, or feature great ingredients on their own. This combination of menu offerings is the goal, the dream, of every chef.”
Lunch and dinner menus offered in every seat of the house, from bar to main dining room, are simply stellar.
A daily selection of fresh, whole fish make an excellent dining option, displayed center stage on the raw bar (above) at the new Oceana for all to enjoy.
The Oceana Branzino (Above)
Wine and cocktails at Oceana’s new home follow the same generous trend. With a full bar, and a raw bar, for both cocktails and dining, Oceana’s wine director, Roy Mahan, is eager to develop business destined solely for this purpose. “We’re creating cocktails with the same pure, natural ethos that Chef Pollinger is using to build his recipes,” says Mr. Mahan. “We squeeze fruit juices fresh, and use them along with an exciting new line of sparkling fruit juices, and we make our own syrups and natural seasonings, like bitters, and ginger beer.” Signature cocktails are complemented by a well-composed wine list, made up of about 500 selections featuring 37 varietals that are deep in whites and seafood-friendly reds.
The Definitive Fluke-Tartar (Above)
Dinner started with lovely cocktails accompanied by the freshest of briny oysters and preceded by a grand giveaway of heady vegetable-seafood bisque, spiked with tender bits of lobster. A half bottle of Gaston Chiquet, “Dizy,” a lesser know Champagne that was not only a bargain at $68, but full of lively, tiny bubbles and fruity fragrance, was chosen to drink throughout the meal.
Appetizers were, to use the cliché, amazing: From the “Contemporary”, section, a trio of hand-chopped tuna, hamachi and wild salmon stole the show. Beautifully seasoned, this dish was served at the proper temperature, not to frigid as so often encountered, even at some of the town’s most touted restaurants. If ever less is more, it is in these beautiful quenelles, dubbed “Poke Trio.”
From the “Composed Appetizer” section, snapper ceviche with roasted corn, hearts of palm and cilantro was also terrific. The menu is easy to negotiate. Although we saw the magnificent roast, stuffed branzino, we had already over indulged in the fabulous homemade rolls (especially one made with cabernet flour), we wanted to sample two different selections.
The justifiably celebrated halibut saltimbocca, wrapped in prosciutto and garnished with a confit of tomato and ricotta (a composed dish) was crispy on the exterior and filled with juice within. A special, fresh steamed King crab claws, flown in From Alaska that day, were marvels of gentle execution and filled with loads of luscious crabmeat, just kissed by the steam. Prime meats and naturally raised fowl round out a most inviting savory menu selection.
For dessert, Pastry Chef Jansen Chan brings along Oceana favorites, like the doughnut platter, along with newly conceived creations, each artfully presented thanks to his degree in architecture. There are marvelous cookies and a chocolate chip, pecan frozen bar with buttermilk ice cream that gets our vote for the best dessert we tasted in 2009. Petit fours and first rate coffee are the finale.
While some service glitches are still being fine tuned (the restaurant is opened less than two months), Oceana’s team continues its strategy of serving three-star American seafood cuisine with the same intuitive, approachable yet professional service diners have come to expect for almost two decades thanks to the TLC of owner, John Livanos and the remarkably professional Managing Partner, Paul McLaughlin. New York’s finest seafood restaurant is alive and well.
The Remarkable Doughnut Platter (Above)