Wave Restaurant & Lounge Review
May 2, 2008
Wave makes a splash.
The reborn restaurant at Danfords Hotel & Marina is the first eatery in memory to make the sprawling, harborside site a destination for more than a room and a ferry. Do you remember the last time you had a decent meal at Danfords? Was Reagan president? In recent months parts of Danfords have looked like construction sites. But the overhaul of the dining room now is complete. The dreary look of the nautical-theme joint has given way to summery white and beige.
And chef Paul Govin has lightened up the food, too. Danfords emphasizes a New American menu. But the kitchen doesn't forget the Port Jeff essentials of surf and turf, either. A lot of it is very good. Since proximity to the water often means distance from a fine meal, Govin's establishment is doubly welcome. No sandy steamers or rubberized clams sacrificed in vain.
Govin prepares a savory crab cake, with corn salsa and a chipotle-pepper version of sauce remoulade. He sends out a trio of springtime sliders: snappy, pulled-pork mini-brioche sandwiches with caramelized onions.
Crisp duck wontons are a special, flavorful enough without the salt-shock soy dipping sauce. You can go the safety-first, baked-clams-and-fried calamari route here. But try the sushi rolls instead. The mango-chile tuna number is fine, with the spicy tuna roll for competition. The Malaysian lobster hand roll delivers more ingredients but less impact. The official "Wave roll" combines lobster, avocado, crab, roe and ponzu sauce.
Lobster bisque needs more depth of flavor and arrives with a skimmable skin on top. The ham and barley soup is a modest alternative. Wave's house salad refreshes your appetite with Gorgonzola cheese, spiced walnuts and dried cherries amid the field greens.
Govin's seafood stars with black cod char siu, sweet and flaky, atop baby bok choy, flanked by cold soba noodle and wakame seaweed salad, accented with a peach-and-miso coulis. He continues the Asian riff with ginger-soy lacquered hamachi, a dish boosted by wasabi mashed potatoes but still a bit overcooked.
The pan-seared salmon takes a menu staple and livens it up with roasted yellow corn and shrimp hash, tasso ham, asparagus and a coulis of smoked pepper. Baked lobster stuffed with crabmeat is a rarity: a buttery version that won't make you second-guess passing on the steamed or broiled productions. You'll be just as satisfied with the juicy, herb-rubbed New York shell steak, either au poivre or béarnaise. Skip the pasty bread pudding and the harmless chocolate fondue in favor of the tall cheesecake and a "flight" of toasted coconut, black cherry and tiramisu ice cream sandwiches.
Wave: Danfords' crest.
Dinner every day, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday and to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday. Lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Saturday. Sunday brunch 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Breakfast 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. weekdays; 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Weekend dinner reservations recommended.
In Danfords Hotel & Marina, Route 25A at the harbor.
Major Credit Cards Accepted
All major cards.
Crab cake, pulled-pork sliders, stuffed lobster, black cod char siu, shell steak.
Very Good (2 stars)
Steps at entrances