Swimming In Culinary
Delight At H2O
By Brian and Luann/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Arriving at H2O Seafood
Grill early on a Wednesday night, one might not think to find
a crowd in this restaurant that stands somewhat isolated from
a downtown hub. But on a recent visit, the crowd was fluid,
bustling and filled with cheer as friends gathered to have
a drink, grab some premium sushi or sit down for a spectacular
We decided to do a bit of it all.
Lively and sophisticated, H2O is sleek and modern with contemporary
décor, sepia tones and hardwood floors. Throughout
the restaurant, a nautical theme of a young and hip Cap Cod
is subtle and refreshing. Our server, Eric, handed us a stack
of menus one each for the dinner menu (with a list
of sushi house specials on the reverse), the wine list, the
premium drinks and the reason why so many were at H2O that
night, the wine dinner menu.
The concept of the latter is fairly simple the restaurant
provides a menu of innovative dishes and pairs each course
with a different glass of wine, designed to blend well with
the flavors of the dish. On the night we were there, the wine
dinner featured a first course of bay scallop crepes in a
cognac porcini cream sauce paired with a Frascati from Italy.
An Italian merlot from the same region accompanied an entrée
of oven-roasted striped bass over seeded basmati rice, romaine
and cockle saffron tomato sauce. And for dessert, warm almond
hazelnut cake complemented by a Californian hazelnut sherry.
At a reasonable $40 for the whole dinner - $30 if you pass
on the wine - it wasnt hard to see why H20 was swimming
with hungry patrons that night.
While we perused the menu, we were served a simple amuse bouche
of crabmeat salad on a fresh made tortilla wedge. There was
enough crab for each bite of tortilla, and the creaminess
of the salad served as the perfect foil for the crispness
of the wafer.
After a thorough examination of the menu and hearing some
recommendations from Eric about chef Scott Szekretars
specialties, we placed our orders and anticipated the flow
The first was a pairing of house sushi specials Tornado
#2 ($12) and a Chipotle roll ($10). The Tornado featured spicy
tuna and scallion wrapped in fried potato, drizzled with an
eel sauce and topped with a dollop of spicy horseradish mayo.
The second roll was layers of crab, mayo, seaweed and rice
topped with a slice of fresh mango. The fruit seemed to almost
dissolve on the tongue and added a creaminess to the roll
that let it melt in your mouth.
As we finished the sushi we were presented with a variation
on the chefs Millennium style lobster but on a smaller
level. Rather than a whole lobster, it was a single grilled
shrimp dusted with angry garlic flour and served over a small
bed of mashed potatoes with a lemon basil confit. The potatoes
and sweetness of the confit ruled the taste buds upon the
first bite, but the angry garlic flour came back at the end
and hit you with a swift kick.
The next course consisted of shrimp and lobster wontons ($11)
as well as pan-seared sea scallops ($13). The wontons were
pan-seared and served plated with a mound of frisee, all of
which was drizzled with a tangy hoisin sauce and mustard oil.
The scallops were done to tender perfection. Served with a
couple of roasted plum tomatoes, each scallop was topped with
a clove of sweet roasted garlic that melted in your mouth.
The dish was complemented by a light creamy garlic sauce that
did not overwhelm in density or flavor.
Moving on to our main courses, we followed Erics suggestion
to the letter, choosing the hazelnut and parmesan crusted
swordfish ($29) and the pepper tuna ($26).
The swordfish came cooked to perfection, a juicy steak with
hazelnut and parmesan crusting in a subtle buttery lemongrass
beurre blanc with a hint of truffle. Served over tasty toasted
cous cous the real kind with sun dried tomatoes,
the dishs dijon mustard gave the slightest kick.
Though coated in a coarse-ground pepper, the tuna, seared
to a gorgeous deep red rare, did not lose any of its flavor,
nor did it stiffen from the heat. Instead, served atop a bed
of wasabi mashed potatoes topped with fresh creamed spinach,
the dish maintained a tenderness from bite to bite that allowed
the wasabi, tuna and spinach flavors to coalesce into a delight
for the palate.
To end our evening we sampled three desserts ($7 each)
why not? The homemade fried doughnuts dusted with cinnamon
and sugar, served with strawberry and peanut butter sauces
on the side, allows the diner to make the best jelly doughnut
ever or one heck of an interpretation of PB&J. The signature
chocolate teardrop is layered chocolate mousse, almond sponge
cake, a chocolate crunch bar foundation and a dollop of chocolate
ice cream on top, next to a drizzle of chocolate sauce and
raspberries. The peanut butter banana split is a classic,
served as a pyramid of vanilla and chocolate ice cream with
fresh whipped cream edged by strips of banana with both crispy
peanut pieces and peanut butter and chocolate sauces.
Chef Scotty has put together a wonderful menu that stays constant
about three-fourths of the year, with some slight seasonal
variation. A Mineola native who has worked in Huntington and
Fire Island, Szekretar is a Culinary Institute of America
grad, and it shows from the concept to the pairings to the
platings. A dinner at H2O is clearly more than a meal
it is an experience. We look forward to returning when the
seasonal outdoor patio, providing dining beneath a Japanese-style
215 West Main Street
Seafood specialties and other far
Atmosphere: Modern take on nautical theme
5 p.m.-10 p.m.,
Friday and Saturday 5 p.m.-11 p.m.,
Sunday 2 p.m.-9 p.m..
See web site for lounge
and sushi bar hours.