BK Review: Seared Jumbo Scallops, Swordfish Kebabs, Grilled Calamari

28 Nov

Written by Tracey Ceurvels

When you walk through the open doors to this ground-level restaurant you might think you’re somewhere far more exotic than Brooklyn. But with the buses, cars and taxis whizzing down Fulton Street, there is no mistaking that you’re in Fort Greene.Welcome to Aqualis Grill, the neighborhood’s newest addition to its ever-growing culinary scene, which serves Mediterranean food (with mostly Greek influences). The dining room is minimal yet warm and inviting with a tin ceiling, exposed brick and plants. There was once an Italian restaurant here (some of the basic elements are intact), but the space has been pleasantly revamped to suit owner Gorian Papa’s sensibilities. There’s an open kitchen where you can watch chef John Tsakanis, formerly of Kellari Taverna, make the restaurant’s specialty; fresh fish—Mediterranean sea bass, red snapper or royal dorado—picked that morning from Hunt’s Point then grilled whole, simply, with olive oil. The food here is clean, fresh and straightforward. Some of the highlights include the octopus appetizer ($10), grilled calamari with lemon saffron vinaigrette ($10), swordfish kebob with escarole ($19), the cod with spinach and roasted golden beets ($18) and the jumbo scallops, pan roasted with a white bean salad ($18). You must come here for the seafood, but if you’re feeling carnivorous, there are juicy lamb chops ($21) and a crisp and tender roast chicken ($16). There is also a cute bar where you can enjoy an appetizer or dinner, but on my visit, no alcohol (the liquor license still hadn’t arrived but hopefully it will soon). To top it all off, dessert here is a single option; a classic Greek dish of homemade baklava that’s served with yogurt topped with sour cherries. With its unique flair and bright flavors, Aqualis Grill is a welcome newcomer to the neighborhood.

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