The restaurant empire of Capital Region culinary powerhouse Jaime Ortiz just got a little bit bigger. Last week, the celebrated chef opened Sea Smoke Waterfront Grill on Starbuck Island. The restaurant, which joins Albany’s 677 Prime and Toro Cantina and Troy’s Prime Burger and Shakehouse on the list of Ortiz’s impressive foodie establishments, features a Mediterranean-inspired, seafood-focused menu that, as Capital Regionites have come to expect from Ortiz, sounds ah-mazing.
We’ll start with the appetizers, because, well, that’s what you start with. Highlighting the shareables menu is a quartet of dips and spreads (herbed labneh, beet hummus, traditional hummus and muhammara, served with assorted breads); Moroccan Spiced Crab Cakes (served with tomato cucumber relish and a garlicky white sauce) and Charred Spanish Octopus (served with fingerling potatoes and all sorts of spice-tastic sauces). For those who prefer their seafood on ice, there’s a cold bar, featuring oysters; Hamachi Crudo; and a seafood tower of lobster, shrimp, oysters, smoked clams and tuna tartare. Then there’s the soup, salad and dainty-sounding “pizzettes” menu, highlighted by spicy chorizo pizza and smoked seafood chowder.
View this post on Instagram
Main dishes hail from land and sea; the menu features everything from Phyllo Wrapped Jumbo Shrimp and Sherry Glazed Sea Bass to a fried chicken sandwich and NY strip. Lobster—stuffed and broiled or served in a roll—has its own section of the menu, and even the sides (Za’atar Roasted Cauliflower, Slow Roasted Kabocha Squash, etc) sound adventurously delicious.
Plant-based patrons haven’t been forgotten either: They can order off their own veggie-tastic menu highlighted by a crispy artichoke and red peppers app and fried seitan sandwich. And neither have the little ones—chicken fingers, pizza and mac and cheese, please! There’s also a hefty wine list, a creative cocktail menu and the desserts, well, you’ll have to check them out yourself.
The new joint, which overlooks the Hudson River, is open for dinner service 4-10pm Monday-Saturday.