ARMONK, N.Y. – Restaurateur Michael Mazzella says his brand-new dock-to-dish seafood spot is his “love letter” to Armonk.
And to make sure that that letter is sealed with a kiss, he made sure that its raw bar was ready in time for Valentine’s Day customers.
The Seafood Grill, which opened in the old Opus 465 space on the hamlet’s Main Street on Saturday, Feb. 11, has plenty of fresh oysters – those slippery yet addictive marine mollusks with a rep for being great for (ahem) romance.
Foodies can also chow down on enormous shrimp, chilled lobster tails, littleneck clams, and Alaskan crab legs.
A self-professed perfectionist, Mazzella has been involved in several other eateries in Westchester, including Bistro 146 in Pleasantville, Campagna at the Bedford Post Inn in Bedford and Crabtree’s Kittle House in Chappaqua.
But owning a seafood place has, Mazzella said Tuesday, always been a “dream” of his.
“This place is beautiful,” added the former Armonk resident and Bronx native.
Mazzella now lives with his wife, Taeko, in Mount Kisco. The two have recently embarked on a venture of their own, in a way; they were married just about four months ago.
Manning the kitchen will be chef Tom McAliney, of Bedford 234 in Bedford Village.
In an homage to Taeko’s Japanese heritage, many dishes on the menu will be done with an Asian flair, such as a miso-glazed halibut, hake (a deep-sea member of the Cod family) with spinach and ginger and hamachi crudo. Crudo is Italy’s answer to sushi. Raw Yellowtail tuna is sliced into sashimi-like pieces then drizzled with olive oil, lime juice, fresh pepper and sea salt.
For the truly adventurous, the Grill has an appetizer of uni deviled eggs. Uni is the Japanese name for the edible part of the sea urchin. While many folks think of uni as the sea urchin’s roe, or eggs, it’s actually the spiny creature’s gonads. It has a sweet and briny flavor.
McAliney and Mazzella plan to keep their fresh fish and shellfish dishes light by not using heavy sauces or reductions.
Some of the chef's other specialties include a lobster roll with seaweed salad and jumbo crab cakes.
A Happy Hour menu features crab cake sliders and halibut or grilled tuna tacos.
For those with yearnings for land-going grub, the grill also has steak, hamburgers, chicken and Kobe beef tartare.
On the social lubricant side, the grill pours about eight craft beers such as Hitachino Nest White Ale and its wine list has been put together by Terrence Miller, who was the sommelier at Chef Michael White’s Marea, a seafood restaurant in New York City. (Marea, which means tide in Italian, has been the recipient of two Michelin stars, and three stars from The New York Times).
Mazzella said he has three vendors and his chef shopping for fish. It is delivered six days a week, so is always as fresh as it can be.
The Grill has two floors and space for private parties of up to 80 people. In the warmer weather, it will open a beautifully landscaped patio for outdoor dining.
The restaurant is closed on Tuesdays. The rest of the week it is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Seafood Grill, 465 Main St., Armonk, (914) 730-1122.