From the outside looking in, Beebo, a sprawling new seafood restaurant in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn appears to have a lot to offer. There's a beautiful tile bar as you enter for cocktails, three large dining areas and a raw bar showcasing the catch of the day. You can tell a lot of thought and love went into making this place and a lot of money.
But looking at the menu, you get the feeling that maybe they are trying too hard. Some of the best seafood restaurants in the city are the simplest. Beebo darts full force in the opposite direction. There are dishes like champagne battered oysters with saffron aioli when fried oysters with a wedge of lemon would suffice; a shrimp and lobster egg roll when diners would be better served with a fresh lobster roll with lots of diced celery and mayo.
And it really is the simpler dishes where Beebo excels. Fried calamari ($11) is nice and crunchy served with a trio of tasty sauces. A crispy sea bass ($22) served whole lives up to its name and is a delight to eat. A broiled lobster ($25), while heavy on oregano, is perfect for drenching in butter. But then there are dishes like the "Angry Lobster" ($25). I have never met a lobster this angry and hope I never do again. It was swimming in a sea of habanero oil that literally set your mouth on fire. Plump coconut shrimp ($30) arrived with a marmalade sauce that tasted like it had just come out of the jar. And then there were the mussels served in a flavorless green muck.
Desserts are also hit or miss. A berry brownie pizza sundae ($9) is inventive and delicious, while the chocolate ravioli ($9) was tough and salty.
Beebo has great potential. But its menu needs to be more consistent and its staff better trained. It had better act quickly because in this environment diners are not prone to giving second chances. Beebo deserves one. Let's hope it can get its act together.
Review By: Thomas Rafael; Jan 23, 2011