Astoria, Restaurants
Sep 10, 2014

We Tried Off The Hook’s Rum Inspired Menu and Loved Everything We Ate

A couple of weeks ago the WHA crew was invited over to Off The Hook to try their rum-inspired menu. We had been there before and liked the food, but (…)

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Photo credit: Off The Hook

A couple of weeks ago the WHA crew was invited over to Off The Hook to try their rum-inspired menu. We had been there before and liked the food, but this visit really impressed upon us how they are truly striving for excellence with their dishes. Everything was delicious and we left with very happy bellies.

I remember that it had been quite a day for all of us, so we were happy to start out with some cocktails such as the Pepper Punch, which included Thai rum infused with jalapeño; a version of a Dark “N” Stormy made with a Missouri distilled rum; and finally a deep pink concoction of deliciousness made with a raspberry/fig shrub and Clement dark rum.

When I visit OTH I always have the Pepper Punch—it’s my favorite. However I also really enjoyed this version of a Dark “N” Stormy. I might have to change things up the next time I visit. -Emily

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The first bite of food we had were oysters baked with spiced rum and Gruyere cheese, and we simply adored this dish. They chose to cook it all in an escargot dish, which was a brilliant decision, as it portioned out the oysters perfectly. It was a very savory and umami-rich dish, and the oysters and sauce went well with the little toasts provided. We really could not get enough of this. In fact we dipped any extra bread we came across in the remains of the sauce, it was so good.

This might have been my favorite dish of the evening-as much as I love Meg & Judith—I would never share this dish with them (or anyone!) again. Every time I put my little fork in the escargot dish cavities, I felt like a treasure hunter collecting gold! Sweet oyster gold. -Emily

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We also chose to get a plate of raw oysters on the half shell, since that’s how we roll. They provided a selection of different kinds, and since they were so fresh they all went down easily and pleasantly, accompanied by lemon juice, vinegar, and cocktail sauce. Their briny nature was seriously tasty and we probably could have eaten two more plates of them.

Sitting in the beautiful Off the Hook backyard, drinking cocktails with my friends, eating a dozen raw oysters is my idea of a summer dream! -Emily

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We then shared a bay scallop roll, an interesting take on the more conventional lobster roll. The tiny scallops were lovely along with their tangy mayo, but what really sticks in my mind was the soft roll that held everything together. Really, the combination of these three elements—little sweet bay scallops, luscious mayo, and the perfectly toasted soft roll—makes this a true winner. It came with excellent homemade potato chips and really solid slaw.

This was a dish that surprised the three of us. It was so simple yet really delicious. I’ve been more familiar with sea scallops in the past-but these bay scallops were super buttery with a nice crisp crust. Upon reflection again I ask myself—why did I share this…? -Emily

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After this we tried a few more larger plates—a half roast chicken, salmon, and fish & chips. First the chicken, which is on the menu for those that have a hankering for the “turf” in “surf & turf.” It’s served over green beans and plated very simply, which was just perfect, as the jerk seasoning and the Myers’s rum on the chicken exploded with flavor. We loved how juicy and flavorful it was, and the green beans were fabulous. It also came with a side of roasted sweet potatoes that tasted like candy. Yum!

This is a great option if you adore seafood and have someone in your life that doesn’t swing that way. Another great dish.  -Emily

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The salmon was a more elaborate dish, accompanied by strips of mushrooms and a mound of silky mashed potatoes flavored with chives. It was nice to have a piece of fish that wasn’t dry, and I constantly was delighted by the smooth texture of the potatoes. The mushrooms added a bit of depth, and really this is a dish worth getting. Related: I heart mâche, which is the green bits atop the fish.

Agree that the salmon was delicious. I must mention my love for the mushrooms! They were silky, flavorful, and had just the right amount of texture. I don’t normally wax on about mushrooms, but these were a great element of the dish. -Emily

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It’s hard to resist fish and chips when they are offered, and I’m always on the search for good ones. These were fantastic, made with generous pieces of cod, fried without any residual oiliness, and came with great homemade fries and more of that delicious slaw. I would get this again for sure. Also, homemade tartar sauce FTW.

Resistance for fish and chips was futile. -Emily

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We were truly impressed by the quality of the food we ate and are really looking forward to our next meal there! Many thanks to the Off The Hook family for welcoming us into their restaurant and feeding us so well.

Off The Hook, 28-08 34th St., Astoria, NY 11103, offthehookastoria.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

7 Comments

megc

We wanted to follow up on this. After discussing this issue among the editors, we wanted to ensure that our policy was clearly outlined on the site. We’ve added this to our About page:

“We Heart Astoria focuses on the positive aspects of Astoria and therefore we do not post negative reviews about local restaurants or businesses. Sometimes we are invited by restaurants or businesses to try their products and services, which we do our best to indicate. Under no circumstances are we compensated for a product or service in exchange for a good review. If we do not like something, we simply do not write about it.”

We hope this is helpful. Please keep this link handy. Thanks for all the feedback!

Reply
trxfreely

Paul G,
I think yours is a good serious question. WHA?

My impression is that some have had poor experiences with food or restaurant establishments, and then you do not see those listed on their site here. Look for what has not hit the site.

Btw, a place that I love was terrible recently, but hopeful to give it another try if they get their act back together.

Any places that you would caution visiting? What are your favorite most reliable restaurants?

Astoria has so many good restaurants and food, why bother mentioning the others …

Reply
Paul G

Serious questions: When you go to these restaurants, do they know you have a website or that you will be doing an online review before you are served?

Can you point me to one of your reviews where one of the dishes you tried was not good? I read this site almost daily and I can’t remember seeing a bad review of food.

Thanks.

Reply
pzl101

I completely agree with Paul G. WHA just “loves” every single restaurant they get invited to review. They are usually pretty up front about stating so-and-so restaurant asked them to check the place out. And it’s ALWAYS a raving review. So much that I stopped reading their restaurant articles and just come here for event news.

Yes, there are a ton of restaurants here with great variety BUT it is not all good. And when it is good, it’s not over the top like the ravings WHA gives to every single place. The writing actually gets pretty silly and seems so fake.

I would think the restaurants prefer constructive honest feedback not “thanks for giving us a free meal, I’m going to talk you up so much on WHA”

Reply
megc

Thank you for your comment and for the others that are related to this topic. We’ll keep it in mind. And thanks for coming by to read about the events!

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