Written by Salvatore DiBenedetto [@TheGrubfather]
Mediterranean cuisine is usually guaranteed to be one thing: Flavorful. Cardoon, tucked away in the back streets of Seaford, is certainly an “in the know” place. Without knowledge of it, chances are, you’d never find it. That adds something to the spot though and as I drove up to its canal-side location, I suspected there was something good happening here. Note: Though it boasts incredible canal views, Cardoon is open year round, serving guests in a comfortable yet charming dining room.
Cardoon’s interior feels larger than it actually is and plays really well on the Mediterranean perspective. The bar, which runs nearly the entire length of the restaurant is cranking out everything from beer to wine to craft cocktails. The outdoor area is gorgeous as well, bringing diners to a whole new aesthetic along it’s picturesque spot in Seaford’s canal.
The menu’s inspiration rides the coast of the Mediterranean meaning savory spices and technique shine through. Cardoon differentiates itself from a vast amount of water-side eateries on the Island through this culinary perspective. To get a better idea of this, don’t even look at the menu – just have your table dive face first into a trio of Cardoon’s dips.
When you’re starting your meal off, here’s some dishes you shouldn’t miss:
The lamb rib appetizer which comes coriander crusted and paired with a creamy yogurt.
The grilled octopus, a tender blend of confit fingerling potatoes, spanish chorizo, roasted fennel and shallots.
Each provided the depth I search for when eating Mediterranean cuisine. The ribs weren’t just flavorful but also aromatic. Really nicely done.
Also surprisingly notable… Cardoon comes through with a great burger featuring haloumi, pancetta, arugula, a slow roasted beefsteak tomato and ramp pesto aioli. Tender meat and rich flavor are one heck of a combination.
However if you’re scanning the entree menu, the grilled cornish hen “under a brick” is a staple dish canvased in shawarma spices, tzatziki, harissa & grilled pita. For those unfamiliar with the flavor profile of real Mediterranean food, this is a great introduction.
The bar, which spans nearly the entire length of the restaurant itself, features everything from cold beer and wine to mixed drinks. My suggestion is to find a wine you love and ride it through the rich flavors of the menu.
And most importantly, the dessert report. Well, Cardoon came through with a baklava funnel cake and that turned out to be the home-run of the entire feast. Hot, crunchy, oily goodness served up alongside whipped cream – bliss!
As the meal came to an end, I found myself already plotting my return to Cardoon (affectionately named after a Mediterranean crop that I myself grew up eating). The original menu, small town vibes and overall aesthetic have it high on my list for the area. Check it out!
A: 2479 Adler Ct, Seaford, NY 11783