Ouzo Bay-Greek Kouzina
OUZO BAY was a highly anticipated addition to the Harbor East upscale eateries in 2012. It has not disappointed. As it celebrates its doors opening, just six months ago, I have been back a dozen times or so. Each time there is a happening vibe, the food is consistent and the service is top notch. Ouzo Bay is owned and operated by Alex Smith and partner, George Aligeorgas. Alex is a lacrosse champion, winning numerous awards during his days at high school, college also played professionally with the Chesapeake Bayhawks. Alex knows the term "winning! He owns and manages other spots in the neighborhood: Harbor East Deli (now under a two week facelift-renovation), Manchurian Rice Company and Haagen Dazs Ice Cream.
Ouzo is most definitely a “happening kind of place”! The kind of place that people in the country drive over 20 miles to come a couple times a week and one that local trendy people like to hangout. The bar is stunning and the wine list is extensive, with emphasis on Greek wines. I sipped on a Greek dry white and then changed to a California Chardonnay with my meal. Below are a pictorial of our dinner experience.
Pampering service by a well versed staff and food that is sensational. All of the dishes are skillfully prepared by veteran Chef Ray Eugenio and the front of the house is attentively supervised by owner Alex Smith and GM Donny McCafferty. The place was hopping on a frigid Wednesday night. No problem, the gracious hospitality by our server, Steven, and stunning food warmed us up just perfectly.
We were treated to two dishes not yet on the menu, grape leaves rolled over lamb and rice with a delicious, elegant sauce and grilled quail with a cinnamon dusted, crispy skin, stuffed with a tasty, olive tapenade, served on grilled eggplant and drizzeld with crumpled feta. We adored each, I especially savored the quail dish. Well done!
All meals are accompanied by the standout olive and raisin bread by family-owned H&S Bakery. It is served with amazing Greek olive oil.
Mom enjoyed the lamp chops, six succulent ribs, served to her liking at medium.
The entree was served with a bed of the super food, kale and lemon, roasted potatoes.
My stepfather adores the giant grilled prawns described on the menu as 'Vasilikes Garides ~ Jumbo Prawn $17 per piece.'
The giant prawns ( BIG shrimp) are Charcoal Grilled Head On Wild Jumbo Prawn with Fresh Lemon Juice & Herbs. You are on your own to dislodge the meat from the head, but Marylanders know how to eat seafood! Two seems to be mighty plenty, but splurge at three if you are living large!
Fish at Ouzo Bay is flown in fresh daily and expect delicacies like dover sole, red snapper, all fish prepared with head and tail on, grilled magnificently.
Pictured left are the Vasilikes Garides
~ Jumbo Prawn
My all time love, for a healthy splurge is the charcoal, grilled octopus served with a caper vinegrette over a bed of lucious hommos.
The layering of melding of flavors is spectacular as one will find on all of the dishes. I dream of this dish almost daily.
Save room for the magical desserts, made in house.
We were treated to baklava crested with a homemade sugar amuse. It was just mouthwatering delicious; full of caramel, pinenut, pistachio, buttery richness. Superbe. A night to remember.
Reviewed by Patti Neumann,
Chief Social Influencer/Founder, www.citypeek.com
WINE PEEK of the Week:
CAVU 2010 Horizon Red-Cases Produced: 147
This enticing, velvety blend is made from grapes from two of Washington's finest vineyards.
50% Merlot from Dead Canyon Vineyard in Horse Heaven Hills
33% Cabernet Sauvignon
17% Malbec from Les Collines Vineyard in Walla Walla Valley.
It is characterized by soft tannins, a silky mouthfeel, and elegant fruit flavors and aromas.
Available exclusively by Raz@winesbyraz.com only 10 cases on hand, so don't delay.
$24.99 15% case discounts apply with full case purchase. Available in DC and Maryland
I also found a Virginia Wine worth a look to warm you up by the fire: CROSS KEYS, Cabernet Franc 2010 produced and bottled by CROSSKEYS Vineyards in Mt. Crawford, Virginia.
Deep ruby in color, this wine has a very distinctive aroma of roasted peppers with a hint of dark cherry. After a year in French oak barrels, this wine has smoothed out leaving a silky sensation on the palate. GOLD MEDAL WINNER with 86 points by Wine Enthusiast!
I also have put down the Petit Verdot awaiting a year or so on the shelf. These winemakers are doing some great work. Give them a try!
First Anniversary Party Heavy Seas Alehouse in Baltimore, Maryland
Sunday, February 24-Rye's Up Against Cystic Fibrosis" Gala, where you will be able to sample all the featured Rye Cocktails, along with a substantial amount local cuisine, beer and wine, sit in on a Rye seminar, live jazz and much much more. Tickets are $50, available for purchase at www.missiontix.com or cash sale at B&O American Brasserie. Come thirsty and leave happy!
MARCH 6, 2013- SIP, SAVOR & STROLL your way to an unforgettable evening in Harbor East! Sip, Savor & Stroll is a progressive event perfect for foodies and fun-loving city dwellers. On Wednesday, March 6th strollers are welcome to experience some of Baltimore’s best dining destinations, sampling signature cocktails, wines and appetizers at each venue. Guests will visit a total of five Harbor East restaurants and bars throughout the evening, revisiting favorite venues and exploring new hotspots! Touring the neighborhood in small groups, revelers can mix, mingle and savor all that the Harbor East dining and nightlife scene has to offer! Check-in will take place from 5:30PM-6:30PM that evening at Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant (1000 Lancaster Street). Here, pre-registered attendees will check in, pick up their itineraries, and meet up with fellow guests! The stroll will begin promptly at 6:30 where participants will visit five different Harbor East restaurants and bars in 40 minute intervals. www.sipsavorstrollharboreast.eventbrite.com
March 16-17, 2013- Women's Expo Forum-12th Annual CCBC Womens Expo
March 18, 2013- NACE Baltimore UNCORKED
Sunday April, 1, 2013
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