In a town with two gazillion and one sushi restaurants, its a bit surprising that there aren’t too many Italian restaurants, and even fewer sit-down Italian restaurants. I decided to use a Restaurant.com certificate at Oevo.
Oevo is owned by Ciro Verdi, who is also owner and executive chef of Da Ciro in Manhattan. One thing I regret not having tried is the Focaccia Robiola Di Ciro, which is where Verdi made his name (it’s so well known that Bobby Flay even had a “Throwdown”). I was a bit disappointed that the signature dish wasn’t even mentioned.
The first thing I noticed about Oevo is that it’s well off the beaten path, on Northern Boulevard amidst a bunch of office buildings and car dealerships. Normally that wouldn’t be the most appealing thing, but then again, this is the same road where you can find restaurants like Morton’s and Peter Luger, so Oevo is in very good company. In fact, one advantage of being out in the boonies is that street parking is not difficult to come by (valet parking is also available).
This is what Oevo looks like from the outside. It has outdoor seating available.
The first thing I noticed when I walked inside is that it’s very, very, very dark. The decor is simple and elegant. There’s a bar on one side of the restaurant (with a real wood-burning over in the back), and on the other side there are about 12 elegant tables.
Normally I’d say it’s an excellent place for a nice romantic candlelight dinner, but on the evening we went they were hosting a large party of very, VERY loud Long Islanders who occupied the table above. I suppose this isn’t the restaurant’s fault, but then again, in other restaurants they do a much better job of putting the loud parties away from those who want to eat in peace.
Ah yes, let’s talk about eating. They start you off with a very elegantly presented antipasti which included olives, soppressata, and an impressive variety of breads, from traditional Italian bread to breads that were sweet, salty, and savory (one had cheese and ham baked inside). Very traditional; very, very good.
We decided to order the Tegamino for the appetizer. These appetizers are baked in the wood-burning oven and served in ceramic casserole dishes. We ordered the seafood variation (Di Pesce) and were not disappointed. The seafood was fresh and perfectly prepared. There were mussels, clams, scallops, shrimp, and calamari over a very light and thin tomato sauce. It came complete with toast for you to scoop up the sauce. This was easily the highlight of the evening.
For our main course, we decided to go with their specials. Their specials are all priced at a flat rate; pasta dishes are $27, ravioli dishes are $25, fish dishes are $29, meat dishes are $32, and so on.
We decided to go with two specials. First up was a Ravioli with Artichokes.
The raviolo had a very unique “earthy” taste about it. The dough was thick and definitely hand-rolled. Inside was a mixture of ricotta, fontina and artichokes, with savory Italian herbs. Overall, the flavor of this was excellent, although it was far, far too salty for our taste.
The next special was homemade fettucine with salmon. This one was excellent.
The fettucine was definitely home-made, having a thinner, chewier texture than store-bought. The sauce was a light vodka sauce, and the bits of salmon were perfectly cooked and went well with the sauce.
As for the service, our appetizer came out extremely fast, but our entrees took 30-40 minutes. The staff was attentive and kept our water glasses full. There was even a delightful birthday celebration at the next table over with a cake and a sparkler.
I’d say the food was decent Italian food, certainly not the best I’ve had in my life, but definitely worth going to on a special occasion if you’re a little tired of sushi. 🙂 I’ll give this one 4 out of 5 stars, which I may bump up to 4.5 depending on how I like the foccacia.