Written by Jon Haggins Photos by webmadphotography.com
As we entered this freshly decorated seaboard restaurant of white on white with its high ceiling, I felt as if I was sailing out at sea. Limani Restaurant’s other decorative elements include an open kitchen, a market display of fish, and a modern airy space with soaring ceilings that eschews nautical and cultural clichés. The dramatic décor, as built by Shawmut Design and Construction, also includes an elaborate entrance design, symbolizing the ribs of a ship’s hull. It opens onto the timeless sophistication of the main dining room’s gleaming white marble floor, hand-grooved sandstone columns and walls, (filmy fabric panels forming gracefully flowing partitions). In the center of the restaurant is an infinity pool of sparkling water. It reflects a swirling school of fish in a seemingly endless motion suspended from the ceiling.
The bar and lounge area are defined by a massive wall of striking stainless steel displaying a wide variety of spirits behind the backlit onyx bar, a portion of which is dedicated to sashimi and shellfish offerings. As befits such a cosmopolitan setting, there is an extensive wine list with 400 bottles representing Old and New World production. Likewise, the beer selection represents a broad range of domestic and international brews.
Small candelabras with white shades accented each table and add a glow to the atmosphere. We began dinner with a traditional Classic Greek Salad of feta cheese, tomatoes, green peppers, onions and the freshest red tomatoes. One exceptional appetizer dish is a tower of zucchini and eggplant chips resting on a bed of fried kefalograviera cheese topped with a sprig of parsley. This dish is seamlessly hand sliced very thin like fine potato chips.
Limani’s specialties include Tunisian grilled sashimi quality octopus, a Maryland crab cake of jumbo lump crabmeat served with piazzi puree, mustard and mayonnaise sauce and a charcoal broiled Royal shrimp. The crab cake had a perfect texture and was extra special.
Several of the 22 seafood entrée selections are market priced by the pound. Another Limani innovation is the option for some fish to be coated with a salt crust and oven baked, as opposed to Limani’s norm of being charcoal grilled.
Executive chef M.J. Alam said, “We get fish daily from Portugal, Spain and Greece in order to maintain the Mediterranean tradition. I use the freshest ingredients and everything is seasonal from other fresh markets, such as the Ivy Salmon (white Alaska).”
A large Dover Sole from Holland was filleted and served with three lemon wedges accompanied with a side of steamed asparagus tossed in olive oil and sea salt.
From the land we had a serving of grilled French cut Colorado lamb chops served with Greek fries; complimented with a glass of merlot.
Patrit Titani, the manager said, “No matter how hectic it gets, we keep it simple. We plan to keep nature as it was given to us. We maintain the Greek traditions with our cuisine.”
For our special dessert we ordered Ekmak, which is a custard and pistachio with whipped cream resting on a bed of shredded phyllo; accented with an array of fresh raspberries.
Limani’s cuisine is at its heavenly “bestest!”
45 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10111