Off The Hook, seafood restaurant in Astoria, Queens

Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!  

 Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Off The Hook is a raw bar and seafood place in the heart of Astoria, a bit off the beaten path. When we went for brunch there, we met with one of the owners, Bes, who explained to us that they opened this place two and half years ago with the idea of doing something different from the other seafood places in the area that were mainly Greek, proposing many different dishes focused on fresh seafood, whether served raw, fried, baked, etc. Opened 7 days a week, they get their seafood from the Bronx fish market, as well as from other local merchants. 

 Rum menu at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Rum menu at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

What makes them stand out besides a mouth watering menu is the deals they offer, such as the $1 Blue Point oysters for Happy Hour, as well as their extensive choice of rum from all over the US, but also the world (Jamaica, Martinique...). That is where I got my first oyster shooter, made with dark rum, lime and pickle juice. It was a bit sour, but I liked it and found it fun.

 Oyster shooter at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Oyster shooter at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

But before I talk about the food, let's talk about the place. Before entering, you can definitely guess the theme of the restaurant. Then, looking inside, I though originally that it was very small, but they have a dining room in the back, as well as a small courtyard that they were able to use on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as they were proposing a special menu and so were opened.

 Bench at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Bench at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

 Garden at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Garden at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

 Dining room at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Dining room at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

 Buoy at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Buoy at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

 Dining room at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Dining room at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

 Dining room at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Dining room at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

The bar is fairly interesting because you can notice some details in the decor, such as the net hanging from the ceiling or the shelves that are made with a buoy.

 Bar at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Bar at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

 Rum bottles at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Rum bottles at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

There are also the swings where you can sit and eat some food at the counter.

 Swings at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Swings at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Now, let's talk about the food. At Off The Hook, As I mentioned before, you can get raw, fried, baked, etc. For the raw bar, they have an impressive selection of oysters from all over. So, if you do not like the Blue Point, you have others from West coast to East coast. You can also go for clams or shrimp, or if you are undecided, order the platter! Although I like raw shellfish, I wanted to see how they cook dishes, so passed on the raw bar. The first dish I tried was the New England Clam Chowder, an all time favorite (sorry Manhattan Clam Chowder: I do not like you).

 New England clam chowder at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

New England clam chowder at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

 New England clam chowder at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

New England clam chowder at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

It was good, but not the best I had as I prefer it creamier and with less vegetables in it (there was celery, carrots and potatoes). However, the Hook's baked oysters was fantastic!

 Hook's baked oysters at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Hook's baked oysters at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Served in an escargot dish, it was made with gruyere cheese and some rum. I liked it, especially the sauce that, similar to escargots, I could not stop eating with bread (that was deliciously toasted) and in fact, Jodi who does not like oysters was also dipping bread in the sauce...This is definitely a dish I recommend.

 Hook's baked oysters at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Hook's baked oysters at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

 Hook's baked oysters at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Hook's baked oysters at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

The third appetizer was catfish corn fritters.

 Catfish corn fritters at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Catfish corn fritters at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

The fritters were sprinkled with confectioner's sugar and came with some agave syrup, making a perfect sweet and savory dish. I should mention that in this little basket, we got couple of corn fritters with no fish that were also very good. I definitely liked the crispiness of the fritters and the fish was perfectly cooked and moist. This is a perfect dish to share.

 Catfish corn fritters at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Catfish corn fritters at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

 Catfish corn fritters at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Catfish corn fritters at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

For her entrée, as Jodi does not like seafood, she went for the croque-monsieur. This is not your traditional croque-monsieur and is one of the dishes that they reinvent. It was made of a delicious brioche bread bought locally, Canadian bacon, cheddar, pickles and topped with citrus slaw. Quite an interesting take on a classic French dish. It is in fact one of the few dishes on the menu that do not have have seafood in it (They also serve French toast for instance).

 Croque Monsieur at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Croque Monsieur at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

My only comment on this dish is that they probably should serve it with a side of homemade chips, because yes, they make their own chips and they are so good you cannot stop eating them.

 Homemade potato chips at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Homemade potato chips at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

That's right, I got chips with my dish and guess what it was: the Maine lobster roll! Rested in a succulent top cut bun that has been toasted, it is made with butter, lemon mayonnaise and spices, with lots of Maine lobster that was perfectly cooked. I definitely appreciated the fact that there was just enough mayo so it did not overpower the whole thing, leaving the lobster being the star of the dish. I should mention that it was served with a delicious slaw.

 Maine Lobster roll at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Maine Lobster roll at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

The last food item I have to describe in this post is the homemade biscuit: served hot, it was crispy and flaky: a true delight.

 Biscuit at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Biscuit at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

To go with this sublime meal, I went for a glass of wine, a 2013 Cote Mas Sud de France.

 Glass of Cote Mas Sud De France 2013 at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

Glass of Cote Mas Sud De France 2013 at Off The Hook, Raw Bar and Grill in Astoria, Queens

We had a nice time and a delicious meal at Off The Hook: the food there is delicious and seafood lovers will definitely appreciate. I definitely liked the atmosphere of this non pretentious restaurant that has a concept truly unique in that area. Would I go back? Probably, but this time to try their dinner!

Enjoy (I did)!

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Off the Hook