Oceano Kitchen Pizza Lantana, FL
A sad thing happened in South Florida recently. Dak, the owner of Pizzeria Oceano decided to sell and walk away from the pizza world. It was with very little notice and as the only pizza reviewer whose opinion really matters down here, I can assure all our readers that he will be missed. We gave the new owner some time to get through the growing pains, and recently on a Friday night went there to try out the pizza.
The new owners Chef Jeremy Bearman and his wife used to work at One Door East in Fort Lauderdale. They renamed Pizzeria Ocean, Oceano Kitchen and did some upgrades to the exterior which you can notice right away. Now you can sit and enjoy the food without worrying about rain or baking in the sun. Another thing you will notice right away is that the prices have risen! But we will get to that later on.
After getting seated, which wasn't a problem, since the place was quite empty, we gave our order to the server. I ordered the Straight Shooter with no basil. This is their equivalent of a Margherita, with a price of $18. Yes, you read that correctly. $18 for an individual pizza in Lantana, Florida. Nope, not New York City, or San Francisco, but a pizzeria in Lantana, Florida is now trying to command $18.
One of the reasons for the exorbitant price of the pies, is that everything is "farm to table here". All the ingredients are fresh, and we suppose that comes at a higher price than usual. In our opinions, almost $20 for a regular pie, is just a bit too much.
My friend ordered a pie with Chorizo at the same time I did. Chorizo is a type of pork sausage made the way the Romans used to do it. My pie came out pretty quickly and I started to eat it. I lifted my first slice only to reveal it wasn't cooked properly. The crust was somewhat raw and had zero crisp to it. The same was true for the rest of the slices. The taste of the pie was very good though, the fruitful olive oil used was delicious, and sprinkled evenly over the slice. Although the crust wasn't cooked through, and contained too much flour/cornstarch, it still tasted better than a lot of places who do cook their crusts properly. What was somewhat lacking was sauce. As many of our readers know, I am not a huge fan of excessive sauce, but this pie didn't really contain much at all. What sauce it did have, was extremely fresh tasting, and had amazing potential. This pie also had way too much crust. You can see it in the below image. The plain outer crust took up more than 35% of the pie. Most people want the sauce and the cheese and not just the bread.
In case you are wondering how the Chorizo pizza was, I am not really sure. The pie didn't come out until approximately 20 minutes after I was DONE with my entire pie and I wasn't in the mood for more pizza. I get the whole cooked to order concept, but most people come to eat together and not 20 minutes apart. Hopefully the new owners can figure out a way to better their timing since I fear this will cause many discriminating customers from returning, and it would be a shame since Oceano Kitchen could have longevity. Please note that Oceano Kitchen in Lantana, FL changes their menu daily, so you need to check their website prior to going.
Not that I review other food, but the regular kitchen style food was excellent, so I do not think you can go wrong by sharing a pizza as an appetizer and getting other dishes as a main meal.
Here is a recap of the things I disliked:
The outer crust was almost as much as the actual sauce and cheese part of the pie.
Too much flour
Timing of the food servings
Not enough sauce
Here is a recap of the things I liked:
Taste of the sauce
Quality of Cheese
Freshness of ingredients
Regular kitchen food
I know it might seem like I was too harsh on the new owner, but perhaps I am just bitter that we lost Dak. His pie was some of the best I have had in the country. I wish the Bearman's (new owners) nothing but an amazing future and hope they find a recipe for success at this eclectic location. Although I am not craving the pizza like I used to, if someone asked me to meet them there again, I most certainly would happily return. Maybe by the next time I try it, the pizza oven will find the perfect temperature and the crust will shrink.
Oceano Kitchen in Lantana, FL gets 6 out of 8 slices.