Pizzeria Oceano in Lantana
- CFByrne Feb 21, 2013 07:17 AM
Pizzeria Oceano in Lantana deserves its own thread... so here it is.
It’s easily in the top 5 pizzas of my life.
For what it’s worth, I grew up on Long Island, went to school in Brooklyn, and worked in NYC. So I’ve gone through some pretty good pizza.
I’ve had much of the best of NYC including Rays, Johns, Keste, etc. And more recently, in Florida, I’ve enjoyed Harry’s, of course Anthony’s, Tucci’s, Nick’s, Scuola Vecchia, and more.
I know I have missed some SoFla stars. That's been well covered in other threads, for example this one with 66 posts:
But Pizzeria Oceano has got to be at or very close to the top. And I know some of the most respected experts on this board agree.
I’ll write more in later posts. And I hope others do too (Erica?).
But for now:
The service is friendly and excellent. I saw zero “Food Nazi” encounters. As I was sitting at the counter, a farmer walked in with boxes of fresh local greens (arugula, basil, etc) and delivered them to the kitchen. Minutes later, I was enjoying some of the basil on my slices.
Just check out these photos!!!
* Front Window
* Exterior at about 6PM Wednesday
* My “Whole Basic Pizza” with added “Crumbled Speck Americano”.
* My Pie, One slice removed. “House made mozzarella, Olive Oil, Pecorino Romano, Tomato Sauce and Basil”
* A slice of heaven
* The Wood Oven
* Chefs at Work
* Tell me you don’t want this slice!
Open Tuesday-Saturday from appx 5:30 until not sure.
Cash only, expect a wait, just chill. Good craft beers and wine.
201 E Ocean Ave
Lantana, FL 33462
And if the pizza isn't enough to get you up here more often...
They also sell (when available) Royal Reds, head on, by the pound!
(They have a little side-market retail operation).
Meanwhile, ohhh I wish I could go right now, on today's special menu:
Speck Pizza – roasted onion, asiago, mozzarella,
pickled peppers, black pepper and scallion
I MAY make a return visit this evening (Thursday Feb 21) at 5:30PM.
If anyone is interested in joining for a casual, unplanned, unannounced "meetup", please let me know at the email addy below.
*** PLEASE DO NOT POST ABOUT THIS POSSIBLE MEETUP HERE. DISCUSSIONS OF MEETUPS ARE NOT ALLOWED BEYOND A (THIS) SINGLE POST ***
So, in other words, if you are thinking of coming, don't write now reply to this with "Cool I'll be there" or "Can you make it some other date / time" or "Let us know how it went".
Instead, send an email to the below address.
Charles F Byrne (no spaces) attt Gmail andthenadot Com
Chowhound Rules on Discussing Physical Meetings:
Best pizza I've had in FL. Went there last year after reading Frod's post in foodforthought. The sauce has a great acidic sweetness. If I didn't live so far out, I'd be a regular.
re: Blind Mind
Had another excellent early dinner at Oceano last night.
Salad of thinly-shaved celery root studded with meaty black (Gaeta?) olives and pecorino, with chunks of fresh, sauteed whiting on the side. ($11)
1 Basic pizza--simple and excellent, with mozzarella and pecorino, fresh basil ($15)
1 Kale pizza--Asiago, mozzarella, pecorino, capers, blanketed with fresh kale--one of the best I've tried here so far. ($17)
With two glasses of wine ($8 each) total for 3 diners was $62 with tax, before tip. I hope to return soon.
Thanks for the write-up. I went 2x recently to "scout out" while Mrs CFB was away.
Now she's dying to go - probably tomorrow will be the day, as she gets home from work early on Fri sometimes, and I want to be at P/O right at open.
One of the new highlights of my mornings is seeing what goodies they've posted for the night's menu.
For example, tonight:
Cherry Tomato Pizza – mozzarella, asiago, garlic,
sea salt, lemon, chives & nepitella 18
Picholine Olive Pizza – mahón queama, mozzarella,
shallots, cumin seed, cilantro and chili oil 18
Ohhh I don't know if I can wait 36 hours!
I'm going to be driving by this weekend, twice, and will try to stop in having Lucali fresh on my mind and palate.
I wanted to thank CFB for POSTING THE HOURS in the original post! The place's website, yelp, urbanspoon, etc. etc. are silent, and 4 calls today have all gone unanswered.
35 mpg in your Prius, 4 gallons round trip @ $3.77, $15 basic pizza. Listening to Outlaw Country on Sirius/XM -- priceless.
I suspect the cost of the drive, from SoBe to Pizzeria Oceano, and the cost of the pizza itself would equal the cost of the excellent pizza at Lucali -- but you wouldn't have to so vigorously defend the $26-$28 cost of the pizza itself.
Pizza -- acqua & farina -- is a simple dish, composed of simple ingredients. Unless, of course, created and served in SoBe.
Just got back from another visit and it was, again, fabulous.
For now, just descriptions and 3 photos...
* Kale & Pear Salad with Fennel, Pecorino, and Lemon Pepper Crème 10
* Bacon Pizza – mahón queama, mozzarella, shallots, spicy honey vinegar & mustard greens 19 (The bacon was astonishing. Comes from Edwards and Sons in Virginia and little pieces just exploded with sweet smoky flavor).
* Master at work. This photo is not filtered, Dak likes it dark, and it makes for a very cool atmosphere when you dine at the counter (as I have all 3 recent visits), especially as night falls.
So this was first time for Mrs CFB, and she had two things to say.
"Best pizza ever" and "Can we come again tomorrow?".
Artisan - one of the most overused words of today. When Kraft cheese started using it, you know it jumped the shark. If there's anyone or anything that I could use this word for correctly, this is the place.
I knew most of the specifics before we went and planned ahead. We luckily got right in and sat at the 6 seat bar, which are the only seats inside. There's about 5 tables outside. We each had a salad and while pricey, they are good. The pizza selections had about 2 to 3, build your own pizza selections, one entree of whitefish and shrimp (I think), 2 to 3 salads, and a pole bean appetizer.
Pizzas are created and made only by the owner - all of them. He basically makes them one at a time or if there are more than one ordered at a table, he makes them together. We had a basic margherita with speck added on and a side of pecorino. The pizza was one of the best thin crust I have had anywhere. The crust, the crushed tomato sauce, the cheese, and the crumbled speck...every element was perfect. The side of pecorino is highly recommended for all pizzas. I thought pecorino was a parmesan but came to find out it is a romano. I've never had a romano like this.
I planned on a 30 minute wait before we got there because we had to be in Lake Worth by 730. We got right in at 6pm on a Saturday which is probably unheard of. While it did take 40 minutes for our pizza, we still got out on time. Just be extremely patient when you go. Just remember that pizzas here are not slapped together in 30 seconds prep time then tossed into the oven. This place is a true artisan pizzeria and I have never claimed any place I have visited as artisan!
Just happened to see this... JIC anyone's thinking of stopping in this week:
We will be closed March 17th 18th and the 19th
See you Wednesday the 20th
Not that this endearing place needs any further publicity (it was more crowded than I've ever seen it at 6pm last night, an early April Wednesday; we were fortunate to grab our usual table for two on the outdoor terrace),
The pesto of broccoli di rape tostada (4 slices of bread per order; Swank Farm deserves much credit here; the owner delivers the vegetables as we wait) with ricotta salata, peperoncino, and some type of salumi, perhaps kielbasa but I was too entranced to ask (??), ranks up there with the best antipasti I've sampled this season.
Kielbasa pizza was as wondrous as we have come to expect, but who would have thought that it was that antipasti of rape that would be lingering in my taste memory almost 24 hours after last night's dinner.....
Service exemplary; price/value ratio ( well under $40 for two with one glass verdejo) enviable.
It may not be too late to head over tonight, and enjoy these treats I just finished 1/2 hour ago (pix attached)...
* Penne with Smoked Scamorza, Brie, Basil and Tomato and...
*Finocchiona Pizza – mozzarella, onion, tomato, fennel pollen, orange zest & black pepper
Yes, fennel pollen and orange zest pizza. Ridiculous.
We just arrived (in one piece) in NYC, after a couple of days of great eating on the road (will soon comment on highlights in Darien, Georgia (B&Js Seafood) : Richmond Hill, Georgia (Smokin' Pig BBQ) : Lexington, NC (Smiley's BBQ) Staunton, Va, (the estimable Zynodoa)
We have lots of pizza available here in NYC, as you well know, but I admit I am longing for that finocchiona, and for Pizzeria Oceano in general. Scamorza is a big favorite of mine (not all that easy to find, even in NYC) so the penne makes my mouth water, too..
Hope to catch up next winter..keep posting those reports and pics....gives us something to look forward to.
Pizzeria Oceano was our favorite eating spot in four months of winter in the Boynton area. That is the one place we returned to over and over again....
Thanks, always, for those pica, and for the educated comments.
I think the pizza is much more than "solid", it is spectacular.
And so is just about everything else I have had from apps to desserts.
I've probably been here 10 times in the past 6 months and we've never had anything but all smiles and great service from the servers.
Of course, I play by the "rules" - I don't ask for substitutions, I have cash ready, I don't ask for take-out, I get there when they open so I don't have to worry about waits. And I am fine with the terms of this "deal", given what I get in return.
PS: And I also don't wear strong cologne nor my wife, perfume, as requested.
"Starting next week, Oceano Market at Pizzeria Oceano will be open during the day".
This is their "retail market" where in the past they have offered only some great food products (imported prosciutto, royal red shrimp, Benton's ham etc) for pickup during evening service hours. But it gets better...
"THE MARKET WILL BE FEATURING Miss Marsha’’s cookies and desserts ALONG WITH A FEW LUNCH ITEMS FOR TAKE OUT"
If you have had their dessert you know this is good news... Will be most interesting to see what the "few lunch items" are.
Tues - Sat 11 to 2, starting Tues 6/18.
"OKTOBERFEST PARTY SUNDAY SEPT 29TH"
No details yet - but I believe it will be afternoon or evening.
Could be a chance for folks to come up from Miami etc if you've been wanting to, without the traffic nightmares.
On the other hand, there could very well be no pizza at an Oktoberfest Party...
And another great meal Friday night...
Onion Soup, Smoked Jowl, Brown Ale, Herbes, Lots O’ Cheese
Roasted Turnips, Turnip Greens, Balsamic, Walnuts, Butter
Runny Mozzarella, Jasper Tomato Clusters, Lemon Basil
Soft Scrambled Eggs, Crème Fraîche, Smoked Tuna, Chives - this was just ridiculously good.
Robiola Pizza – Mozzarella, Parsley, Shaved Raw Mushroom Salad
Many, many thanks for that testimony to the fabulous food on offer in the vicinity!!
Truly a welcome post, after my close-to-distastrous dinner at Prime Catch ( a venue chosen by others, who are long-time fans) I have winnowed down my reliables to a very small list, with P. Oceana in Lantana near or at the top. I have never had a meal there that was less than excellent!
The difference in both quality and creativity, not to mention price/value ratio, between what I consider my "to go" spots, and the masses what may be seasonally popular spots in highly trafficked zones , is even more drasttic than in my home base of Manhattan..
Perhaps I am just grouchy after the near-abysmal dinner last night at the buzzing Prime Catch in Boynton....what is that keeps these mediocre to poor places in business, and booming night after night in season????
Ok, grouch will retire early, with thoughts of Key LIme pie at Ma's in Islamorada dancing in my dreams....
Prime Catch has prime real estate, that's why they stay in business. I liked it for lunch one day last year, it was gorgeous and cool out. I had the lobster roll. I could tell that it wasn't an exceptional dining venue, just a pretty and quiet view. I actually was afraid to try dinner there because I could just tell that it was mediocre.
I am glad to hear this Pizza Oceana has other interesting food there, now that I'm dieting again and STILL have not tried it!! Those pictures look amazing!
Another top-level meal at Pizza Oceano last night: Four of us began Shared Mixed Lettuces studded with orange tomatillo and onion slices and lavished with Goat Feta fresh cracked black pepper. This was outstanding; next time I would order a minimum of one salad for two persons. Hope they keep this in regular menu rotation.
Following the Salad, the four of us shared (again, next time I would order an additional pizza--three instead of two for four persons) two divine creations that I had not had before:
ONION PIZZA WITH GRAYSON CHEESE (a washed rind, golden, semi-soft Jersey cow's milk specimen from SW Virginia that has received many accolades), LIGHTLY SAUTEED ONIONS, ONION SEED, THYME AND SALT.
Currently ranks near the top of the pizze I've sampled here; again, this is a plea from one pizza-started New Yorker to keep this on the winter menu.
MANCHEGO PIZZA STUDDED WITH GREEN OLIVES, GARLIC, CUMIN, CHILI OIL, AND FRILLY (what we know as Delfino(??) CILANTRO. No questions need be asked; order it next time it makes an appearance on the daily changing menu.
In fact, although our favorite and highly competent server is pleased to answer questions, there is really not much need.....just try the offerings that are new to you; we have not had anything less than spectacular yet.
Dinner for four, with three glasses of wine from an always interesting list, came to a reasonable $80 or so (forgot to take home the bill so number is not exact) before tip: Very high price/value ratio at just over $20 per person, and a most enjoyable dinner.
CFB: A Man after my own heart! That would also be my standing order in a perfect world Too many diners (they know who they are!!) have too many questions about every last ingredient! Just bring it all! As I said, I can't remember ever not finishing whatever was on the plate. How many places can you say that about?
If you have been to Meatless Mondays, do you recommend? Just the same high level but without any meat component? Should add another day for me to go there!!
Also want to know the name of the congenial fellow with glasses that always waits on us...
Four of us were there for dinner last night. As usual, everything was fantastic. We had two tomato and runny mozzarella salads, a wilted bibb lettuce and shrimp salad, the pasta of the day(not sure what was in it but it was delicious), two blue cheese and cremini pizzas and one regular pizza. We brought our own bottle of Dominus 2001. If this isn't the best pizzeria in the world, its most definitely the very best one that I've been to.
Still wondering about corkage fee (I forgot to ask last night!)
Tip: If you see the smoked mullet (fished locally and smoked on premises), DO NOT pass it up!
Even the fish-shunner at my table was blown out of the water (!?) by this dish, served with good bread and sliced red chilis and onions. Needless to say, I was in heaven with this antipasti and could have eaten three or more plates full.
Our usual strategy now is to order all the pizze on the menu (usually three for four persons) There has never been a crust left over.
1) Corkage is $15. That from waiter Jason, who opened a bottle for the folks next to us at counter last night.
2) Posted hours have changed. Used to be 5:30, now:
"SERVING DINNER TUESDAY THRU SATURDAY FROM 6::00ISH"
3) Thanks for the tip on the Mullet. In my 20+ years in FL I always thought you "couldn't eat" mullet, that it tasted like crap because all they eat is algae. OK so much for that...
Years ago there was a place near Tampa famous for smoked mullet and apart from that place, Ted Peters, I had never heard of it...although come to think of it, I think I have seen Mario Batali cook with fresh mullet on tv....a red fish outside?? I am telling you, that mullet at Oceano was TO DIE FOR!!!
Thank you SO much for the tip on both the wine and the time change. I plan to give it another go tomorrow night and will report back!!
Another stupendous dinner at Oceana last night.
Pole beans with Manouri cheese you say? "How interesting could that be??" Answer: More than interesting, fantabulous when several varieties and colors of beans from Swank Farms are dressed with a smashing bbq sauce and dotted with peanuts and frizzled onions.
Three pizze again for 4 persons: The quintessential Margarita--perfection; Onion pizza with Alehouse cheddar, mozzarella, and horseradish (!!) swathed with healthy lashings of capicolla; and the highlight of a night of highlights: The Baby Collard Pizza with vivid green tender baby leaves (Swank, again) Picholine olives, garlic, mozzarella (made daily in house), Chili oil, and Pecorino.
Lovely Viognier blend from the wines-by-the glass list.
We've been averaging once a week and I would up the frequency if I could......the bathroom scale now lives pushed way back under the vanity in our rental condo!
Dinner with tip, including one pear cider, two glasses wine, two San Benedetto bottles: $122 for four people. Price-value ratio:
So what's happening is apparently Dak is going to do a one-time "Pop-Up" at an existing restaurant site in East Delray.
Sounds like this will be Sunday evening Nov 2. Especially good for In The Biz people who normally can't make it to PO, or MIA folks who won't have to worry about rush-hour traffic.
It WILL NOT have pizza - since there's no oven. But if you've ever had their non-pizza dishes, you know that's not really a problem.
Note - I have no business relationship with PO. Just a big fan.
So the big news is Dak at PO will be opening a takeout and delivery only pizzeria - the first to be in Delray's Pineapple Grove area. (By fortunate coincidence, 6 blocks from my house).
Very limited menu (A few pizzas and a few salads), top sourcing. He's been working on modifying his existing pies for takeout. Need different dough of course.
Should be interesting.