Ocean: An experience at Easton’s seafood spot

The Duck Confit Gnocchi, a rustic dish served with butternut squash and Swiss chard in a maple cider cream sauce.

Photo by Anastasia Gayol Cintron ‘17

Stepping into Ocean in downtown Easton is like entering a trendy restaurant in Midtown Manhattan without the travel time. Youthful, fun, and truly cosmopolitan, this gem is located on Ferry Street next to Sette Luna. From appetizers to dessert, Ocean prepared a glamorous feast – but be prepared to pay the price of quality. My dinner partner and I racked up a bill of $90 not including tip.

Primarily a seafood restaurant, I ordered a seafood appetizer: Fried Panko Crusted Calamari and Tuna Tartare. Although both dishes were not revolutionary in the way they were prepared, their execution was impeccable. The calamari arrived at the table steaming and fresh out of the fryer in perfect little tenders. Served with smoked honey sriracha and spicy mayo dipping sauces, there was certainly a more casual and contemporary twist on this Mediterranean classic. The Tuna Tartare was delightfully fresh and flavorful.

To provide the crunch that most tartare’s need, Potato Gaufrettes (essentially thick, homemade potato chips) accommodated the meal. But the chips broke easily and were not the ideal scooping dipping chip that tartars usually adorn. I would have liked to see something sturdier on the plate, like a plantain chip.

For an entrée, my order was on the heavier side to warm me up on the chilly fall evening. Rich and scrumptious, the Duck Confit Gnocchi was served with butternut squash and Swiss chard in a maple cider cream sauce. I was surprised at the superb quality of the duck in the dish considering how little there was of it. The duck was far superior to its gnocchi counterpart, which was not mind-blowing and stuck uncomfortably to my gut. The stars of the dish were the butternut squash and Swiss chard that provided an overall rustic flavor and complimented the texture of the duck.

Ocean’s Mushroom Ravioli, despite being only pasta, was a superb dish. Its marsala-like sauce was light and the raviolis were perfectly thin while pristinely housing an aromatic nutty flavor of the mushrooms.

I couldn’t resist coffee and crème brûlée for dessert. This simple and classic combo was well executed. I especially enjoyed the fresh strawberries that balanced out the sweetness of the crème brûlée. My dining partner hoarded a brownie dessert. Drizzled with a strawberry sauce, this light treat was the perfect end to a satisfying meal.

To top off the experience, Ocean’s manager appeared at my table three times (one of which he graciously agreed to take a photo of us for Instagram). Ocean’s urban and energetic atmosphere compliments tasty food and solid service. I splurged on the meal, but it was well spent at Ocean.

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