Within the culinary oasis that is Beebo, the newly opened sushibar is a true gem.
A little over a year old, the eatery has already made a name foritself with its ultra-fresh seafood, elegant presentation andinventive preparations, all easy to enjoy in a sleek but warmdining room – tables draped in white napery — that sets the scenefor a standout meal.
But from the time they opened a little over a year ago, therewas one request that owners Ihab Mohamed and Abraham Fallah kepthearing from the regulars.
All the guests were asking, you’re a seafood restaurant, whyno sushi?’ Fallah recalled. So when enough people asked, that’swhat we introduced.
But this is not your normal sushi experience. Menu offeringslike Beebo’s innovative take on a spicy tuna roll ($6.50) with tunasashimi replacing the standard seaweed and rice wrap, or itsrice-less roll ($7.95) featuring tuna, salmon and crab meat wrappedin cucumber, are as notable for their top-notch quality as they arefor their inventiveness.
And the real crab in the sushi is simply a revelation. Fake crabis unfortunately utilized even at many upscale sushi restaurants.The crab at Beebo is delicious, enhancing every dish it toucheswith a tangy flavor that makes your mouth realize: you know realcrab when you taste it.
The menu also features another uncommon appearance at the sushibar — lobster sashimi ($15). Until the first bite, the concept ofthis decadent shellfish served raw had us skeptical, particularlyconsidering the rubbery texture and absence of flavor of mostboiled lobsters this far south of New England. But Beebo’s freshlobster is the perfect texture for sashimi – delicate, yet with adelectable sweet flavor that blends perfectly with the soysauce.
But it’s not just the sushi bar that is outstanding at Beebo.Every morsel that passed our lips at an extended tasting of therestaurant’s Mediterranean-inflected food was exceptional.
Coconut Beer Battered Shrimp with Roasted Garlic HoisinMarmalade Sauce ($12 at dinner as appetizer) was exquisite – fivehuge shrimp artfully arranged atop perfectly cooked basmati rice.The shrimp’s crispy, slightly sweet exterior provided a flavorfulcontrast to the delicate flesh; further counterpoint was providedby a nest of quickly sautéed broccoli rabe, curled around a sprigof fresh rosemary.
The Lobster Bisque ($10) for which the restaurant is renownedwas sumptuous and rich, chock full of chunks of fresh lobster andgarnished with a sprinkle of two kinds of caviar, with the innatesweetness of the lobster taking on a subtle caramelized flavor.
Sizzling Rib-Eye Steak ($26) came to the table still a-flame.The dramatic presentation was an apt introduction for thestar-quality tender beef cooked exactly as It had been ordered, andserved on a bed of sautéed peppers and onions with twopalate-perfect accompaniments -gorgeously green broccoli rabespiked with garlic and a plentiful scoop of mashed potatoes toppedwith frizzled leeks.
Other menu highlights include eight variety of oysters from theraw bar, the Alexandria Blackened Tasty Bass ($23), based on atraditional preparation from Alexandria, Egypt, and the SaltCrusted Baked Bronzino ($23), whose flesh is meltingly tenderthanks to the style of preparation.
An exceptional value is the eatery’s special lunch, availableMonday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For $9, diners have achoice of a three-course meal that includes the lobster bisque anda Caesar salad, plus a choice of either the coconut shrimp, chickenParmigiana, shrimp marinara, fried calamari or chicken fajitas, ora sushi lunch that includes a choice of three rolls, one teriakidish, miso soup and salad.
It’s a great introduction to a restaurant whose cuisine bothintrigues and satisfies, leaving diners replete but dreaming of thepromise of future meals, Beebo-style.
8518 Third Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11209
Sunday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to midnight