- Reporters Desk
By Gretchen Williams, Cuisine Writer
Sunshine and saltwater bless the Mediterranean and San Pedro in equal measure. The sea and shore provide for a creative and delicious cuisine, now being served on 7th Street, as well as in Marseille or Palermo. Sebastian’s Mediterranean Cuisine is a new and fresh approach to the dishes of the region, borrowing from the flavors of Spain, France, Italy and Greece, Turkey, Lebanon and the Middle East.
No passport is needed to taste the best that the Mediterranean has to offer here! The enticing aroma of excellent coffee greets the diner. The warm and welcoming room is in the heart of the re-blossoming Pedro restaurant district, in a great lineup with the classic The Whale & Ale Pub and the new French La Buvette Wine Bistro set to open soon.
Sebastian’s splendid appetizer list invites a tapas approach, ordering a variety of dishes to share. Papas Bravas are indeed brave potatoes, yukon golds roasted with garlic and served with potent homemade aioli and lots of parmegiano reggiano. A trio of hummus covers the territory, made with garbanzos, black beans and roasted red peppers. The falafel are a Middle Eastern favorite, moist and flavorful and served with salad of mixed baby greens, tomatoes and red onion. Verdure Arrostito is a brimming dish of roasted vegetables, marinated with herbs and served with lovely tzatziki, Greek yogurt with cucumber, garlic and mint. Calamari Fritti is the traditional deep fried treat, served with spicy Arrabiata sauce and lemon. Chim chim shrimp seems a bit over the top at $11 for four shrimp, but the sauce is worth the price of admission — rich, garlicky and wonderful! The best deal on the menu is the zuppa di mare for $10 — cioppino just loaded with mussels, shrimp and calamari in a tomato broth packed with flavor.
Tabbouleh salad is an interesting take on the Lebanese dish, using Israeli couscous in lieu of bulgar wheat, with tomatoes and parsley, mint and scallions. Luscious feta cheese and kalamata olives, red onion, tomato, cucumber and bell pepper dressed with very good olive oil and red wine vinegar comprise the classic Greek salad. Homemade Caesar dressing and toasted croutons crown a crisp romaine lettuce salad, with fresh parmesan over all. Salads are $11 and all serve two generously.
The grill serves a fine selection of kabobs, from the prime beef to heavenly chicken to salmon, marinated with herbs and grilled to perfection. All are served with rice or those signature roasted vegetables, and a choice of salad. Lamb chops are the splurge of the menu at $19, juicy and grilled to your desire; with salad and veggies — a scrumptious bargain! The Italian page of the menu is fascinating also. Spaghetti scoglio is an authentic Sicilian dish, with Manila clams, mussels, calamari and shrimp on pasta in homemade marinara sauce. Eggplant parmigiana is a deconstructed take on the Italian favorite, layered and sauced and baked with cheese, but with a light touch, nothing breaded or fried. Lasagne is also a signature dish, baked with care and love. Tiramisu is made in-house. Do not miss this phenomenal dessert, or the tart lemon sorbet.
Sebastian’s Mediterranean Cuisine is at 309 W. 7th St., San Pedro.