On Wednesday, Oceans opens its doors in the Union Square neighborhood, offering a seasonal approach to local and global seafood. Situated prominently on the corner of 19th Street and Park Avenue South, Oceans is founded by Vancouver’s award-winning Toptable Group, with a philosophy of creating a timeless and elevated, yet approachable dining experience. At the helm of Toptable’s first US-based establishment is the group’s President, Michael Doyle, alongside Restaurant Director, Thomas Yagoda.
“I’m thrilled to be working with such an incredible team to open Toptable’s first restaurant in the U.S.,” says Doyle. “There’s no city quite like New York, and we’re proud to join its thriving dining community.”
Executive Chef Andy Kitko, formerly of Milos and STK, sets the vision for the menu inspired by the Pacific, Atlantic and Mediterranean waters, with an emphasis on sustainability and regionally sourced produce from the nearby Union Square Green Market. Highlighting the quality of the day’s catches, Kitko takes a simplistic yet flavor-forward approach in his seafood preparations, from raw bar items like ceviche and crudos, to whole grilled fish and composed dishes.
Shareable plates are central to the dining experience at Oceans, with offerings like Charred Spanish Octopus with marinated gigante beans and wild oregano, or grand plateaus such as the Oceans la Tour with three tiers of the finest seafood available. In addition to whole fish entrees, composed plates include Alaskan Black Cod with sake glaze, bok choy, edamame, shitake mushrooms and yuzu dashi, Dover Sole with almond caper brown butter, and Braised Short Ribs with coffee ancho chile sauce, celery, baby carrots, and horseradish gremolata. A seasonal dessert menu, from Pastry Chef Jennifer Costa, serves as the perfect end to any meal, with balanced offerings like a Panna Cotta with cranberries, cara cara oranges and white chocolate rocher.
Sushi plays a leading role at Oceans with an expansive selection of traditional and playful interpretations, and a special Omakase menu available at the restaurant’s intimate eight-seat sushi bar. Signatures include the Rocketman Roll with peekytoe crab, seared salmon and truffle miso sauce, and the Dragon Roll with crispy prawn, eel, cucumber, tobiko and kobayaki sauce. A variety of nigiri and sashimi round out the sushi menu, alongside a whole fish sashimi with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and lemon.
An extensive wine list, curated by Beverage Director Julie Van Zant, features over 10,000 bottles from around the world, with a focus on satisfying all tastes and expanding wine horizons. Oceans will also offer a creative cocktail program that showcases signatures, including the Pacific Rim with kombu infused arette blanco tequila, togarashi agave, lime, and yuzu, and updated twists on many of the classics.
Designed by Rockwell Group, the 220-seat restaurant is an inviting backdrop to complement Kitko’s menu. The open kitchen acts as the focal point of the restaurant, situated behind the large seafood display, where fresh fish are beautifully showcased. A custom herringbone wood-ribbed ceiling provides a unique design element, wrapping each corner of the space. White oak, hammered antique brass, leather and navy-blue accents add sleek and modern finishes, while floor to ceiling windows bring the energy from the streets of New York into the dining room. Several private dining rooms are also available for both intimate gatherings and large-scale celebrations.