I was recently invited to dine at the new Ouzo Bay, which opened up their second location just under four months ago in Mizner Park (Downtown Boca) in the former Jazziz spot. The 325-seat restaurant reflects the core concept of Ouzo Bay’s flagship location in Baltimore, Maryland, which opened in 2013 to rave reviews, and has been named the #1 restaurant in the city by Baltimore Magazine, which offers contemporary Mediterranean cuisine with a strong Greek influence.
Ouzo Bay’s interior was designed to reflect the Greek influences in a modern way. The signature blue accent lighting throughout the restaurant helps to create an upscale, yet relaxed atmosphere. Comfortably seating roughly 225 inside and 100 on the outside patio, there are also separate lounge sections inside and outside, as well as a 30-seat private cigar lounge attached to the restaurant. “With Ouzo Bay Boca Raton, we will continue to bring our customers the finest quality ingredients from the Mediterranean, matched by our chic bar atmosphere,” says Alexander Smith of the Atlas Group Restaurant, owners of Ouzo Bay. “We feel that Mizner Park and Boca Raton will be a perfect fit for our fish flown in fresh daily from around the world complemented with handmade cocktails and an enormous wine and spirits list.”
Highlighted by a variety of Whole Fish flown in daily from around the world, the menu includes only the freshest and finest-quality ingredients. Complimenting the seafood menu, Ouzo Bay also has an extensive selection of fine-quality cuts of grass fed lamb, prime beef and organic chicken. In addition to the impressive culinary lineup, Ouzo Bay’s posh full-service bar is overseen by Bradford White, the restaurant’s resident Sommelier/Beverage Manager and features handcrafted cocktails, small-batch whiskeys and a wine list that is emphasized by Greek wines. Ouzo Bay’s name is a nod to one of the East Coast’s largest selections of traditional Greek ouzo and the complimentary shot that is given to each diner at the end of their meal.
L to R: Baked Feta, Greek Salad, Grilled Octopus
The Feta Sto Fourno (Baked Feta) was a unique and tasty dish. The Feta was baked (obviously) which in and of itself was an entirely new presentation to me. It kind of resembled a Greek version of an Italian Caprese. The perfectly browned feta sat on top of a beefsteak tomato and a delicious eggplant purée & balsamic reduction.
The Horiatiki (Traditional Greek Salad) was light and crisp and did not disappoint; Beefsteak Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Bell Peppers, Onions, Feta, Olives, Kalamata Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Red Wine Vinegar.
My eyes always light up when I see Xtapodi Sharas (Octopus) on the menu. I am cautiously optimistic. It’s easy to over cook this delicacy and unfortunately, I have had my share of over charred/over cooked octopus that tasted more like chewy rubber. I was so hoping that this would not be the case here. To my big fat happy chagrin, it was not. This charcoal-grilled octopus was cooked to sweet and tender perfection and tossed with Sweet Onions & Red Peppers in a Red Wine Caper Vinaigrette.
Our overall experience at Ouzo Bay was a 10, in food, service and decor. Ouzo Bay is a welcome addition to the culinary scene at Mizner Park and in South Florida in general. Very excited to have them here and can’t wait to come back and try some more items.
Ouzo Bay is open for:
LUNCH Monday-Saturday 11a–3p
HAPPY HOUR Sunday-Friday 3p–7p
DINNER Sunday-Wednesday 4p-10p (Bar until 12a)
Thursday-Saturday 4p-12a (Bar until 2a)
BRUNCH Sunday 10a-3p
They are located on the South end of Mizner Park at 201 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, Florida 33432 561.757.0082. Check out their online menu and other info here.