The goods: The massive waterfront restaurant space on the JFK causeway has had at least three different identities in the past five years. But there’s a good chance it’s new incarnation- Trio on the Bay – will have some staying power. Chef Klime Kovaceski helmed Miami Beach’s Crystal Café for many years and nightlife guru Gerry Kelly is in charge of packing the house with DJ’s and weekend crowds.
Ambience: The 14,000-square-foot indoor space is a mix of high-top tables, lounge seats and a large dance floor while the 10,000-square-foot patio offers one of the most expansive views of the bay. Wicker couches and fire pits create a cozy atmosphere while a tiki-style bar outfitted with flatscreens lends a sports bar vibe.
The grub: Classic continental cuisine. Prices are moderate and portions are generous. Starters average $9, pizzas and sandwiches $10-$12 and most mains $20 or under. Kovaceski has migrated the shrimp cakes and pistachio-crusted goat cheese from Crystal Café and added regional Balkan specialties (he’s from Macedonia).
Dinner starts with fluffy focaccia and olive-flecked olive oil. The Mediterranean trio brings a platters arrayed with pita and tzatziki dip, roasted pepper spread and humus. The “illegal bread” is a savory phyllo roll stuffed with feta and ricotta cheese while the shrimp cakes are petite patties lightly coated with panko breadcrumbs. Generously sized pizzas include fig, pancetta and blue cheese varieties, while the grill serves up beef, shrimp and marinated chicken skewers. Mains include a slab of pecan-crusted trout and lamb chops with apricot chutney. Sides include Gruyere mac and cheese and truffle fries lightly accented with perfumey truffle oil.
Verdict: A combination of the haute and the down-home at one of the city’s most enviable waterfront spots.