Ocean Grill

I had the day off last week and spent the morning getting some much needed sleep and cleaning the apartment. Once I felt somewhat accomplished I decided to head out and wander the city. I started out in Midtown East, trekked across into the park, stopped by the TWC for a few minutes and finally ended up walking into the Upper West Side for some lunch. It was a beautiful day- nature was giving us one more warm one so I wanted to spend it outdoors. I did a quick map check of what was nearby and saw Ocean Grill. It had outdoor seating, prix fix lunch and was the sister restaurant to Blue Water Grill- perfect!

I was seated right away at a nice sidewalk table overlooking the park and decided upon the prix-fix lunch menu. I put my menu down and waited. I don’t hang out in the UWS much and I was struck by how quiet it was. Maybe a little too quiet for my tastes. After about 10 minutes at my eerie quiet table I began to get annoyed. No one had brought me water, a waiter behind me had bumped into me while serving and barely said a word and the only reason I knew anything about the specials was from the host.

Finally my waitress showed up and I was able to place my order. It would be another 10 minutes for my drink to arrive but in the meantime a runner brought out my first course.

Steamed PEI Mussels with chorizo, cilantro and a chipotle broth. I was planning to ask for this dish without the cilantro but I had been waiting so long to order I forgot. Luckily the cilantro was pretty subdued and the chorizo flavor came through more, although no where near as strong as I would have expected. The broth was actually pretty bland. I hear chipotle sauce and think spice. This had almost no spice at all. Unfortunately I also found some grit in two of my mussels along the way. That can happen for sure but it really turns me off when it does.

Onto the main course the Grilled Skirt Steak with sautéed spinach and fresh mozzarella. As I was being seated the host raved about this special. Apparently the chef had just gotten this cheese in and absolutely fell in love with it. Upon tasting I have to agree- the cheese really was excellent. It was a bit firmer than most mozzarella but incredibly rich and creamy.

Unfortunately the cheese just didn’t go with the dish. I tried it with the steak and the two actually seemed to detract from each other. The steak was a little on the stringier side and the smooth mozzarella made that stringiness even more apparent. The steak was also cooked strangely. Half of it was a perfect medium rare and the other half was cooked through to a medium well. Maybe the grill was off that day? Who knows but about halfway through I really started to hate the dish. It just got really greasy. As the food started to cool, the grease from the steak mixed with the grease from the cheese and the whole dish started to look like some sort of heart attack on a plate. I could almost feel my arteries clogging up and decided I’d had enough.

Luckily I had ordered the three course prix fix lunch and dessert was included in my meal. It was lucky because this was the only dish I enjoyed that day. It was billed as a White Chocolate & Raspberry Brulee. To be honest the only raspberry flavor was the berries on top and I didn’t really taste too much white chocolate in the rest.

However the top was perfectly crackly and the custard was velvety smooth so I enjoyed it immensely. The pink shortbread cookie was a really nice gesture as well for breast cancer awareness month.

So overall this lunch was not a success in my book. The food was subpar and my service was absolutely atrocious. I saw my waitress maybe twice the entire meal and each time it was followed by long periods of waiting. I had wanted an espresso with my dessert but I was afraid I might be there all day if I ordered one! I settled for a gross Dunkin Donuts one on the next block and called it a day.

Ocean Grill