I just realized that I’ve never written a new review for Turquoise. Turquoise is the Middle Eastern style seafood restaurant that was once located across from the train station, but has since upgraded to a bright new location on Middle Neck Road.
If you recall from my review of them at their old location, I was satisfied, but wasn’t really blown away by any part of the experience.
The ambiance of the new location is definitely much, much improved. Instead of the dark, depressing atmosphere the old place had, the tables and wallpaper are much brighter colors, and the place is brightly lit with wall lighting and beautiful chandeliers up top.
There are about 15 tables, but with the increased space they’re spread much more apart than at the old place. We were given a bottle of tap water at our table, something I like much more than at other restaurants where the servers constantly have to check if your water is empty.
Same as the old place, we started out with some bread.
The bread was dense with sesame baked on top, and came with three kinds things to dip the bread into: Tzatziki yogurt with cucumber, Tahini paste made from sesame, and a beet and red cabbage dressing, with a delightfully sour taste that was great for prepping the appetite. All were excellent with the crispy bread.
We ordered two appetizers: the sauteed crab cakes and the calamari pinwheels.
The crabcakes were good, but not all that must different than what you’d find in a seafood restaurant. Breading was thick and crispy, and it came with sweet tartar sauce. It did have real pieces of crab in it, which is always a plus. This is probably a good one for kids, but didnt really knock my socks off.
The calamari pinwheels, on the other hand, were phenomenal. They were grilled very well and had a light butter sauce that really let the freshness of the calamari come through. It came surrounded by sundried tomatoes and chunks of seafood. Definitely the highlight of the evening.
For our entrees, I ordered the scallops, while Lisa ordered the seafood pasta.
The scallops looked very nice when they came out.
They were grilled to a very nice color, and the presentation with the broccoli and rice was simple but effective.
Unfortunately, when I bit into the scallop, it was a little off. I wouldn’t say that it went bad, but it was a little on the mushier side and certainly didn’t have the “snap” that I’ve had with really, really fresh scallops. Similarly, the steamed broccoli seemed just a bit too steamed. Perhaps they do this to cater to an older clientele that might not have all their original teeth, but as someone who’s holding on to at least some of my original teeth, I probably would have preferred something with a little more snap.
Here’s what the seafood pasta looked like.
Presentation-wise, I wasn’t too impressed. It’s not too far off from what what you might find in a can of Chef Boy-ar-dee. Taste-wise, it was hit or miss. Sort of keeping with the theme of the evening, the consistency of the pasta was not at all al-dente, it was definitely much more soggy than it should have been. The seasoning was a bit too salty as well. On the bright side, certain parts of the dish, including the garlic tomato, were excellent, as was the calamari and shrimp, both of which were definitely very fresh.
Service overall was good, but with some wrinkles; we had ordered potato medallions but never received them. On the other hand, our food consistently came out quickly and the servers and staff were courteous.
While I’d given the place 3 stars in the old place, I’ll bump it up to 3.5 stars in this new place, given the beautiful new decor and the decent service.
Turquoise Seafood Restaurant
Great Neck, NY 11021
Sun-Fri 4:30pm – 10pm
Sat 4:30pm – 11pm
Price Range: $$$$ (Entrees range from $24 to $35)
Takes Reservations: Yes