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Jan 9, 2009 06:11 PM

Ocean Drive Sono Closed?

Had dinner tonight in Strada 18 (good tip on the pizza jfood...enjoyed it), on the way out I noticed Ocean Drive is all closed up and looks dead and buried. Another one bites the dust...?

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  1. Saw the same thing tonight too...think it is done and dusted.

    10 Replies
    1. re: Scotty100

      We had dinner at Osetra tonight and also saw Ocean Drive was all quiet and boarded up. Also noticed those bizarre mannequins in the window of Bacchus...creepy and weird!
      Osetra has changed it's focus again, the menu was standard apps and entrees. It's too bad that they didn't stick to their guns. Since the day they opened they've been futzing with the menu format. Unfortunately the food just wasn't all that good tonight either. A couple of dishes were good, but both of mine were oversalted and my entree was just kind of muddied and blah.
      It was pretty empty overall while Strada and Pasta Nostra were packing them in, as was Match and even Wasabi Chi. Too bad, but I don't think Osetra is going to last much longer.

      1. re: sibeats

        Osetra changed to the app/entree customer choice a few months ago. Have they changed again? The on-line menu looks the same.

        OD was on life support for a while. Jfood ate there this past summer when he could not get into Strada. Food was very good but the menu had seen better days. They just could not see themselves changing.

        1. re: jfood

          Yes, Osetra changed again, as of yesterday. The on-line menu doesn't reflect the new changes. They went from offering every plate as a small/large option to just a regular app, salad, entree choice, with the addition of a few sandwiches.
          I've never seen a restaurant go through so many format changes in such a short time. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a restaurant go through so many format changes period! It's too bad that they didn't have more confidence in their vision and give it some time to settle in.
          In the past, regardless of the format, the food has been very good, with some admittedly odd combinations, some that worked, some didn't, but the creativity was appreciated. Last night there were too many things that just weren't cooked well.

        2. re: sibeats

          We had dinner at Osetra last night. Food was quite good, however, we were quite surprised that the menu had changed. Especially in light of a conversation I had with the chef just ten days ago. We received a gift certificate and I called to make a reservation. Chef asked if it was our first visit and I said yes and he asked that we don't come on a Sunday night as that is the night they have lobster rolls, fried clams, etc. which doesn't showcase their menu. He suggested coming on a Sat nite and having the tasting menu. Well - came the very next Saturday night; no tasting menu and the lobster rolls and fried clams are the prominent items on the regular menu. There were excellent small plates but they seem confused between a small plates and a large plates restaurant. Again, the small plates were very good. But the service was very mediocre. Our table would have ordered another bottle of wine if our server had appeared even once between the first set of small plates and the second. And the busser took our plates and silverware between each set of small plates and never fully replaced them once - so that when our food came, it cooled while we waited and had to ask for plates and forks. This happened four separate times! In this economy, execution is critical. As good as their food is, I agree with the writers above and below who predict Osetra's sad demise.

          1. re: PRFoodieWannabe

            it is a shame, because the food has been so good at times. The last time we were there, the appetizers we ordered were very good but the entree sized plates were lacking. I hope they pull it together, but I have to say after our last experience, we won't be rushing back.
            Interestingly, Harvest Supper in New Canaan also recently changed from a small plate format to a standard menu. We have had several excellent meals there, and the small plate concept seemed to really work and the place is always packed. It wasn't put forth as a way for sharing, but just ordering 2-3 small plates per person. The owner said that people were complaining that they wanted a regular format, so they changed over. The food was still excellent across the board, but I did miss the variety of 3 small plates. They did offer a tasting menu though, so that might be an option for the future. If you ever go and the stuffed squid is on the menu, it's amazing!

            1. re: sibeats

              To answer the original string, the word is that Ocean Drive will be turning into Habana, (both places were owned by the same people, and still are by the relatively new owners). Habana is becoming a diner.

              As for the small plates at Osetra, and Harvest, I think the general population of diners are confused by and turn away from the words "small plates", when really they ARE appetizers, soups, and salads. Judging by the number of appetizers, soups, and salads offered by Osetra, I wouldn't say they've gotten away from their concept at all!

              1. re: tatum1901

                Jfood likes Osetra and he has had nice conversations with the chef, but the menu is in Phase 3 of it's progression.

                Phase 1 - All small plates with one large plate offered (lasted about 3 months)
                Phase 2 - All dishes served as either a small or a large plate (same timeframe)
                Phase 3 - Dishes categorized into Appetizer, Salad, Soup and Entree.

                Can you ask for an entree as an appetizer or vice versa, maybe, but they have absolutely "gotten away from their concept." An jfood applauds their versatily and reacting to market conditions. It was a very difficult menu to navigate in Phase 1 and Phase 2 was a good idea but probably very confusing to many customers.

                Bottom line is that the food is good and if the menu is less confusing and people now enjoy the chef's creative interpretations, that's great.

                1. re: jfood

                  Well I don't understand why people are confused by small plates. It's just a way to try more variety, rather than having an app and entree, you have 3 small plates. Not confusing to me, but I guess the chef knows best. Yes, they have completely changed their concept, hopefully this incarnation will work for them.
                  Bottom line is correct in theory, however the food wasn't really that good and the place was empty. We'll see what happens in the months to come, but I hope they succeed.

          2. re: sibeats

            You're so right about Bacchus. That setup is creepy and weird. It says they're still waiting for their liquor license, yet if that's the case, why don't they go BYOB in the meantime and attract a whole bunch of new customers to their, in my opinion, very good menu.

            Anyway, I ate at Osetra tonight and it was much better this time than it has been. I didn't have a problem with the small plates, but I think sometimes there was just too much to choose from and you want to try everything. We started with the Caramel crusted lobster and pork loin polenta. Both were great. My wife had the lamb chop which was ok, but I had the "O" Burger and it was O-some. May have a contender for best Sono burger...although I still love the Chocopologie Bistro Burger.

            1. re: UWStoSONO

              I do love that caramel lobster at Osetra...and the portion size last time was enormous. They were out of the burger when we were there, but I heard it was good. I had the skate entree and I was very disappointed in was mushy and everything on the plate was kind of an unattractive brown color. The lobster spaghetti was pretty good and again a very large portion, so I took bites of that after I pushed my skate around for awhile. I've been a fan of Osetra from the beginning, but this last time was a real let down from our other meals.