Team Ocean House in the "World's Largest Golf Outing" to Benefit Wounded Warriors
This coming Monday, August 3rd Brian and a couple of his golf buddies are going to represent Team Ocean House as they play in the "World's Largest Golf Outing" to benefit wounded warriors. Last year, 12,100 golfers, including 364 injured service members, at 110 golf courses in 27 states raised more than $887,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project. And Team Ocean House is playing on Monday to help top that this year. If you would care to donate through Team Ocean House: https://www.worldslargestgolfouting.com/team?sid=47679 or read more about the Mission of the Wounded Warrior Project at: http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/mission.aspx
Ocean House in the News - Summer 2015
Happy summer from all of us at the OH. As always, we are so honored to be the topic of some recent articles and news. Please take a look below!
Best of Westchester | Best Seafood
It's unbelievable that after almost eleven years we made the Best of Westchester for Best Seafood Restaurant! We are so grateful to all who voted and to all of you who keep coming back to us every day!
All our best to all of you,
Paula & Brian
and all the Ocean House Family
Restaurants We Love: Ocean House Oyster Bar & Grill
Journal News/LoHud - photo gallery
By Tania Savayan (published July 9, 2015)
Please click on the link above to view the Photo Gallery/Article.
We are so pleased and humbled to share our recent New York Times (Very Good) Review with you!
Seafood With New England Flavor
A Review of Ocean House in Croton-on-Hudson
The New York Times - Dining Review | Westchester
By M.H. Reed (published September 19, 2014)
Despite its out-of-the-way location and its history as a funky diner, the Ocean House restaurant has transformed its deficits, and without nets and ships' wheels. Colonial-blue trim suggests an old fisherman's cottage on a briny New England shore. But it's the Hudson River that runs beyond the front door of Ocean House in Croton-on-Hudson.
The restaurant's grand subtitle, Oyster Bar & Grill, belies its frugal rectangular dining space, with table seats for 24 and five spots at the counter. Patrons bring their own beer or wine; no reservations are taken. The menu reflects that same sort of Northeastern spareness, especially the short blackboard menu, where diners will find the restaurant's latest catch, which changes frequently.
The helpful serving staff knows its oysters, which are beginning to come into season. Right now, the salty, meaty ones from Prince Edward Island are in, as well as some of the more delicate, sweeter oysters from the West Coast, like the popular Kumomotos. More will be ready in the weeks to come. Ignore the feisty-flavored sauces; perhaps add a drop of lemon.
Ocean House cooks up one of the best New England clam "chowdas" we've had in recent memory. Here the kitchen doesn't thicken its soup and, mercifully, goes easy on the cream and the salt. What fills the bowl are neatly diced potatoes and chunks of chewy clams, onion and bacon bobbing in a superb, potent broth.
Apart from their bivalve name, sautéed oyster mushrooms with chunks of goat cheese made an odd appetizer item. Not so classic grilled calamari, the tender rings and the shower of baby tentacles drizzled with olive oil, lemon, garlic and parsley.
Equally satisfying was the Maine lobster roll. The soft, disintegrating bun would have benefited, though, from toasting to support the big hunks of sweet lobster mingled with a soupçon of mayonnaise, the way it should be. And a shout-out to the delicious coleslaw that came with it and to the bulky sticks of virtually greaseless potato fries.
On the wall, a blackboard menu steers diners to the simply prepared catch of the moment. Fluke were running (I'd seen them fished out of Montauk the weeks before) and the small fillets were offered stuffed with crab, which is usually mixed with assertive seasoning and loads of bread. Here this stuffing was neither, instead a delicious crabby understatement that allowed the fluke to shine. And snowy cod broke in perfect glistening pieces, its accompaniments — lovely fresh tomato and fennel — appropriately muted in their supporting role. But overly astringent citrus vinaigrette overwhelmed the skate wing, a great springy-textured fish with a flavor likened to lobster or scallops. Best to have the sauce on the side.
On the regular printed menu, two items — grilled New York strip steak with chimichurri sauce, and linguine with shrimp, fennel, tomato and capers — should please non-fish-lovers. Sad to say, the printed menu's fish dishes were gussied-up disappointments. Heavy doses of aggressive herbs and spices from Indian, Moroccan and Mexican cuisines concealed rather than enhanced the sea fare, like roasted Norwegian salmon and seared shrimp.
Accompaniments of green beans, wild rice, potatoes and coleslaw were all well turned out.
After feasting on the rich flavors of the previous courses, diners nevertheless in the mood for something sweet might like a bit of ice cream. Skip an ill-conceived, bitter banana and ice cream "sushi." Stick to basics like a scoop with caramel or chocolate sauce or fresh fruit under a cap of whipped cream.
49 North Riverside Avenue
THE SPACE Black-and-white photographs of shore life and cheery Colonial-blue trim brighten a spare, unpretentious former diner. Beachy cushions soften hardwood seating that accommodates 24 at tables and five at the counter. Not wheelchair accessible; three steps at the narrow entrance.
THE CROWD Mostly adults in casual dress. Efficient service from a knowledgeable staff.
THE BAR Ocean House carries no liquor license, but for a corkage fee of $6 a bottle, diners can bring wine or beer.
THE BILL Some prices fluctuate, reflecting the market price of the day's catch. Raw oysters, $2.25 to $3 each. Soup by the cup, $6.50; by the bowl, $8.50. Other starters, $12.50 to $15. Entrees, $24.50 to $31. Major credit cards accepted.
WHAT WE LIKED Raw oysters, grilled calamari, New England clam "chowda," skate wing (sauce on the side), cod with fennel (special), lobster roll, fluke with crab stuffing (special), ice cream with fruit or caramel sauce.
IF YOU GO Dinner, Tuesday through Saturday, 5 p.m. until the last customer departs. Street parking. Because seating is limited, reservations are not taken. If the dining room is full, put your name on a list and while away the time at the bar down the block or have a backup plan to dine elsewhere. Reservations with credit card guarantee are taken for seatings at special-event dinners, like the classic New England Shore Dinner.
RATINGS Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.
Ocean House in the News - Summer 2014
We are so honored to be the topic of several articles this summer, including an article in the Cortlandt Daily Voice, Westchester Magazine's Best Of, and a feature in Julia Sexton's new book, Hudson Valley Chef's Table: Extraordinary Recipes from Westchester to Columbia County. Check out some of our mentions below!
Hudson Valley Chef's Table: Extraordinary Recipes from Westchester to Columbia County
By Julia Sexton
"Ocean House was never supposed to be the great restuaraunt that it has become. In 2004 Brian and Paula Galvin took on a vintage diner...with nothing but the most modest of culinary intentions. Says Chef Galvin, 'Our plan was to do a basic seafood restaurant, get the freshest fish and prepare it as simply as we could. We never in our wildest imagination though that we'd get a 28 [out of a possible 30] in Zagat...'"
Croton's Ocean House Oyster Bar Is A Prime Spot For Seafood Dining
..."Ocean House's legion fans are happy to queue on the street, bottles in hand--though, most liekly, they've left their cell phone numbers at the door and are cooling their heels in a nearby tavern."
..."Basically folks are delighted to do whatever it takes to get a crack at Ocean House's carefully cureated array of bimming East and West Coast oysters, sparkingly fresh seafood, and warming soups that include Galvin's seductively smoky New England clam chowder and his Portuguese fish stew..."
[OH Portuguese Fish Stew Recipe Included in the Book!]
Cortlandt Daily Voice - excerpt from article
By Suzanne Samin (published July 18, 2014)
WESTCHESTER, N.Y. -- There's nothing like fresh seafood in summertime, especially if you can enjoy it on the waterfront. Here are four great places to enjoy the catch of the day.
Ocean House Oyster Bar in Croton-On-Hudson
Despite inhabiting a smallish structure from the 1920s, Ocean House Oyster Bar is anything but quaint. This award-winning Westchester staple has been providing modern spins on seafood classics for ten years.
Some of their signature dishes include Truffle Lobster Mac and Cheese ($15); Roasted Rainbow Trout with apple, walnut and bacon stuffing ($24.50); and Sautéed Skate Wing with Chipotle Lime vinaigrette ($28.50).
They also make a pretty mean Lobster Roll served with french fries and coleslaw ($24.50).
49 N. Riverside Ave.
Best of Westchester • Dining
Editors' Pick | Best Seafood
Westchester Magazine - excerpt from article
The thing that makes Ocean House so wonderful could easily sink a restaurant lacking its culinary integrity: It's downright tiny, so you will wait for a table (demand is high and reservations are not taken—though there is a sign-in waiting list after 5pm); menu items disappear throughout the night as Chef/Owner Brian Galvin's fresh stock dwindles; and there's no alcohol served (it's BYOB). But you won't give a soft-shell crab about the table wait, as to eat here is to feast on the county's most expertly prepared seafood. (We especially like the daily changing blackboard oyster specials and the sesame- and pepper-crusted yellowfin tuna.)
Ocean House in the News - 2013
Here's some exciting news: Check out the Journal News and LoHud.com to see Chef Brian at work. We are so proud to be featured in Liz Johnson's "Friday fish dish: Branzino, prepared with a twist. Brian Galvin of Ocean House meets our Friday Fish Dish challenge". Follow the link to check out the entire article.
Friday fish dish: Branzino, prepared with a twist
Brian Galvin of Ocean House meets our Friday Fish Dish challenge
Journal News/LoHud - excerpt from article
By Liz Johnson(published March 13, 2013)
Branzino, the sea bass of the Mediterranean, paired with tomatoes, olives and chickpeas? With a powerhouse of flavors like those, this week could end up being one of our favorite Friday Fish Dish challenges yet.
Throughout the 40 days of Lent, when many Christians abstain from eating meat on Fridays, we’re asking professionals and readers to invent seafood recipes with one fish and three ingredients we select.
Each Wednesday, we announce the mystery basket of ingredients and take your suggestions. The following week, we publish a professional’s recipe using the challenge ingredients and include the best of your suggestions.
Today, Brian Galvin, the chef-owner of Ocean House in Croton-on-Hudson, is our pro. And rather than play it safe and going with a side dish of chickpeas, he got creative: He made chickpea flour to encrust the branzino.
“I thought it would be really flavorful and light,” he says. To complement the fish and nutty chickpea flour, he made polenta and topped it with tomatoes, olives, capers, thyme and olive oil.
“It’s a fun idea — to do it almost like a quickfire challenge,” Galvin says, referring to the fast-paced portion of the cooking contest on “Top Chef” on Bravo. “Because I watch that show every week and am always curious about what’s going to end up.”
The 50 Best Dishes in Westchester
Our definitive list of what to eat where
Westchester Magazine - excerpt from article
By Julia Sexton (published July 11, 2011)
Ocean House (price varies with season and number ordered, but $27 to $36 per dozen is common)
Lots of restaurants serve oysters on the half-shell, but, if you bother to ask, chances are they're the standard bluepoints. In contrast, Brian Galvin of Ocean House (an admitted oyster fetishist) slings a globe-trotting roster that changes daily with his whims. Look for rarities like Tomahawks from Martha's Vineyard and Seal Rock from Washington State, Fanny Bay from British Columbia, Malpeque (Prince Edward Island), Saddle Rock (Connecticut), Saint Simon (Nova Scotia), Portage Island (Maine), Gold Creek (Washington), and Wellfleet (Massachusetts). We feel that a mixed dozen at Ocean House is the next best thing to a world cruise.
Best of Westchester
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Best of Westchester - Readers' Picks:
Best Seafood Restaurant 2009
Best Seafood Restaurant 2008
Best Seafood Restaurant 2007
Best New England Clam Chowder 2006
"Chef Brian Galvin knows his fish and his chowder has become a signature dish at this tiny, dinner-only, no reservation, BYOB restaurant. It's a perfect balance of shellfish, potato, thyme, bacon, and cream. Only the Nantucket air could improve it."
Best New Seafood Restaurant 2005
"Never ventured up to Croton? You now have a delicious reason to. Ossining resident Brian Galvin decided to convert a tiny diner into a big-taste fish restaurant. Expect Fulton Fish Market fresh salmon, tuna, skate, and scallops simply prepared (no heavy sauces or overly produced plate presentations). Look for blackboard specials of lesser-known fish like the corvina, a meaty Trinidad fish with a grouper-like texture and the orato from Greece, a dark fleshed fish grilled whole with lemon juice and thyme. The combination of perfectly prepared seafood and a no-reservations policy (19-seats, yikes it's small) gives new meaning to worth the wait. Rumor has it an expansion may be in the works but until then, bring comfortable shoes to wait on line to get in!"
New on Fall Menus in the Yorktown-Cortlandt Region
The Journal News - Small Bites Blog - excerpt from article
reported By Jenny Higgons (posted November 12, 2010)
Fish lovers in the area swear by this 19-seat place, where the light blue beadboard and banquettes make you feel like you’re dining near a rocky New England coast. There are only a few tables, but the scallops, wide variety of oysters from the East and West coasts and the daily fish specials make snagging a seat worth the effort. Get your name on Ocean House’s e-mail list to receive advance notices about special events and occasional theme nights. They serve only dinner, Tuesday through Sunday. Bring your own wine.
New for fall: Chef-owner Brian Galvin has a classic French training and his technique shows in his fall menu. New appetizers include seared sea scallops with celery root puree, toasted pine nuts and golden raisins; frisee salad with pears, blue cheese, lardons and honey vinaigrette; and kabocha squash soup with lump crab and chili crème fraîche. New entrees include pecan-crusted brook trout with maple-sage vinaigrette; roasted chili-rubbed mahi mahi with papaya-green apple salad; and baked Icelandic cod with a white bean, chorizo and tomato cassoulet and saffron broth.
Insider tip: The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, but you can get there when they open (at 5 p.m.) and leave your name to reserve a spot for later that night.
Details: 49 N. Riverside Ave., Croton-on-Hudson. 914-271-0702.
DINING OUT; Seafood in the Style of New England
The New York Times - excerpt from article
by Alice Gabriel (published November 14, 2004)
ALTHOUGH summer is long gone, anyone missing a favorite clam shack in Rhode Island or Massachusetts can head to Ocean House, the charming oyster bar and grill opened by Brian Galvin and his wife, Paula. Not much bigger than a lobster boat, it's devoted to New England seafood.
But ''clam shack'' doesn't quite do justice to Mr. Galvin's sparkling food, which makes just enough concessions to diners weaned on pineapple salsa and radicchio, or to the couple's spiffy renovation of an old Bixler diner, brought by rail to this spot in the 1920's.
Since opening in August, Ocean House has been serving brisk raw oysters, sweet steamers and fat, savory crab cakes. The smoky clam chowder was one of the best I've eaten. Roasted skate with crab stuffing and tarragon lemon cream is the sort of dish that makes devotees out of diners. (click to continue reading article)
Atmosphere -- Pristine seafood served in a casual, brightly renovated diner. Tables are tight, but the banquettes, lined with cushions, are comfortable enough. Friendly and efficient service, showing grace under pressure.
Recommended dishes -- Raw oysters, steamers, Portuguese fish stew, clam chowder, grilled calamari, fried oysters, golden beet and goat cheese timbale, frisée salad with grilled shrimp (special), roasted skate, seared sea scallops, sautéed brook trout, grilled corvina with bacon and chive vinaigrette (special), poached pear, maple crème brûlée, flourless chocolate cake.
Prices -- Starters, $6 to $10. Entrees, $14 to $18.50. Desserts, $5.50 to $7.50.
Hours -- Dinner, Tuesdays through Saturdays, 5 to 10 p.m., and Sundays, 5 to 9 p.m.
Wine list -- Ocean House has no liquor license. Diners can take their own beer or wine; there is a $4 corkage fee.
Reservations -- None taken.
Credit cards -- All major.
Wheelchair access -- None.
The Ratings -- Excellent. Very good. Good. Satisfactory. Poor.
Ratings reflect the reviewer's reaction primarily to food, with ambience and service taken into consideration. Menu listings and prices are subject to change.
Review published: Nov. 14, 2004