Tim Demaj is no nervous newbie on the dining scene. In his nearly 15-year career as a restaurateur, he’s owned Italian eateries, steakhouses, pizzerias, and bars, many of which are still thriving. So it’s no surprise that his latest establishment, Sea Flame, has the kind of polish that can only come from a steady hand behind the scenes.
A sleek marble bar dominates the 100-seat space; Far East-inspired lamps hanging above it lend exoticism to the atmosphere. Shimmering wall hangings create privacy between the tables. “I wanted to have a modern look, with a good atmosphere and a nice ambience where you could sit down and enjoy your meal,” Demaj shares. He’s succeeded, so much so that it’s easy to forget you’re in the same shopping center as an Ann Taylor Loft and Paper Source.
The menu, too, suggests city chic rather than strip-mall suburbia. “I live in Scarsdale, and I felt a need in the area for a good steak and seafood restaurant,” Demaj explains. “I designed this place myself, and we serve Prime meat, which we dry-age for about thirty days, so it becomes very tender. We get our seafood on a daily basis from the market.”
Gobsmacking dishes abound here — colossal crabmeat cocktails, seafood towers, and tomahawk steaks for two. For the “oh, I couldn’t possibly” crowd, there are lighter options like Parmesan-and-panko-breaded chicken martini and Chilean sea bass with clams and mussels in a marinara sauce. All of which make Sea Flame a great spot for a night on the town with another couple.
During daylight hours, hungry shoppers and bargain hunters have ample reason to haunt Sea Flame: There’s a three-course weekday lunch for just $19.95. Intrigued, I simply had to sample it myself. I began with exemplary lobster bisque that whispered of the sea, brimming with chunks of silky lobster.
Next up was a filet mignon — no “petite cut” here, but rather an 8-oz portion — accompanied by sautéed broccoli and carrots. The meat lived up to its billing, fork-tender and cooked exactly as requested, with a nice exterior char. (Yes, it does feel decadent to be eating filet at midday; chalk it up to guilty pleasure, like splurging on jewelry at Lord & Taylor across the street.)
Skip the panna cotta, which was dense and not sweet enough, even with a drizzle of lush raspberry coulis. Instead, go for the tiramisù.
Soon, Demaj says, he will begin offering weekend brunch, with steak and eggs, omelets, waffles, pancakes, mussels and seafood, and other treats. An early-bird menu is in the works as well. The new offerings are bound to make Sea Flame a hot spot at almost any hour.
709 White Plains Rd
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