Tucked away on the secluded waterfront of seaford, sits a Mediterranean fusion restaurant named Cardoon. The tiny and quaint restaurant lies right on the cove making it feel like a vacation spot as palm trees surround the dining area. Its location makes it seem like a hidden jewel, which is exactly what it is. Immediately as we walked through the doors, we were charmed by aromas of seafood, lemon and mediterranean herbs such as garlic, cinnamon and cardamon which made us even more intrigued to taste the food while enjoying the lovely atmosphere.
The inside has both tables to dine as well as a gorgeous marble bar in which patrons can get cocktails before being seated in the cozy,dimly lit dining area. The restaurant also has an outdoor dining area that overlooks the gentle, calm cove and the many boats that pass by. So we chose to dine outside, where a cocktail and a crisp breeze hitting our faces seemed like heaven.
Once we were seated, the cordial waiter introduced himself and explained the menu by telling us the most popular dishes and what their specialties are. As if he wasn’t informative enough, the remarkably passionate chef Jason came over to our table to describe each dish in extreme detail and continued to tell us about his love of food and proceeded to lead us in the right direction of what to order.
The first appetizer that came to our table was the grilled pita bread with an array of 4 artisan style Mediterranean dips- hummus, eggplant, spicy feta and a trout taramasalata. Before it even arrived at the table, the smell of charred bread permeated through the crisp outdoor air. The perfectly triangular slices of soft yet flakey pita bread went well with the creamy dips. The smooth and rich hummus was outstanding atop the pita. Whole chic peas laid on top of the garlic and oil flavored dip that had a surprising tartness to it from wonderfully fresh lemon. The next one was the eggplant dip which had a velvety texture with flavors of roasted eggplant, garlic and a subtle smokiness in each bite. Next, the spicy feta dip really stood out because of the difference in flavor and texture. The incredibly thick, cheesy dip had a slight orange tinge to it with some peppers lying on top for crunch and the perfect amount of spice. The last dip was the trout taramasalata which was a completely different type of dip in that it was a lovely blend of seasoned smoked trout and spices in a thick cream.
The next appetizer was the grilled octopus with potatoes, chorizo, and fennel in a smoked almond romesco sauce that had green herbs flowing through. Large pieces of meaty octopus filled the plate and with each taste, the flavor of charred seafood filled our pallets. The octopus was soft and springy in texture while the flavor was lemony and clean. The buttery potatoes added some fat to the dish as well as the sauce that consisted of almonds and peppers. Both the spicy chorizo and the fennel added a unique flavor to the subtle octopus.
Our next appetizer was the beautifully arranged lamb ribs that had the most amazing aroma of spices like cumin, paprika and even nutmeg. The juicy meat had layers of fat that mixed with the marinade it was rendered in. The lamb laid atop tahini yogurt sauce which added the perfect balance of flavor, texture and even temperature! The warm, tender ribs combined with the cool, clean tahini sauce really came together to create a perfect mediterranean spin on baby back ribs. The smooth sauce had a tangy hummus like flavor to it which really brought out the flavors of the tender meat.
Our first entree was a delicate and flakey pan roasted halibut with silky oyster mushrooms and garlic seasoned broccolini which added some crunch and a vivid green color to the dish. The halibut was perfectly cooked with a brown pan seared crust on top of the white, supple fish. The halibut came in a black truffle and artichoke sauce that added a citrus flavor as well as an earthy one from the mushrooms.
The second entree was an impressive cornish game hen with a fresh vegetable tabbouleh and tzatziki sauce. The hen was tender and juicy making it fall off the bone which Chef Jason explained is due to the cooking method of the bird under an actual brick to bring out the natural flavors. The hen had a curry flavor combined with a nice char and some spice. Underneath the meat laid tabbouleh which was created with couscous, chopped peppers, basil and herbs which brought a refreshing twist to the dish while staying honest to it’s Mediterranean roots.
A spread of Mediterranean desserts was next. The first dish that was set on the table was an incredibly rich nutella panna cotta with slivered almonds and fresh berries. The chocolate custard-like mixture was perfectly sweet and decadent with a subtle crunch from the nuts. The tart berries added another spectrum of flavor to the dessert.
Next was the cucumber mint sorbet that is specifically made for Cardoon according to Chef Jason. This sorbet was clean and refreshing with pieces of mint throughout the uniquely flavorful pastel green dessert.
Last and quite honestly, the most amazing dessert was the baklava funnel cake. A thick, crisp fried dough covered in honey, nuts and sugar was the perfect dessert to fulfill any sweet tooth. The dough was spongy and seemed to soak up all of the sugary goodness while sweet chunks of cinnamon coated apple laid on top. Whip cream covered the dessert and added a fluffiness to the dense funnel cake! It was truly amazing to enjoy a familiar dessert with a subtle mediterranean twist.
Overall Rating: Excellent
Cuisine: Medditerranean Fusion
Ambiance & Décor: Contemporary / Nautical
Prices: $15 – $35
2479 Adler Ct.,
Seaford, NY 11783