Restaurateur Q & A: Gorian Papa of Aqualis Grill
First-time restaurateur Gorian Papa opened Aqualis Grill in Fort Greene at the beginning of July. The restaurant specializes in seafood, prepared by chef John Tsakinis, formerly of Kellari Taverna. We spoke to Papa about his new restaurant.What was your vision for Aqualis?
The idea was that we would go to the Fulton fish market and get the freshest catches and best fish and bring it to Brooklyn. It’s a Meditteranean-inspired menu, largely Greek. What are your signature dishes?
The octopus, grilled sardines and grilled calamari are top sellers for appetizers. One of the main dishes is a Mediterranean sea bass, prepared with a lemon and saffron vinaigrette. It’s grilled whole and served whole. Will the menu change a lot based on the season?
The sea bass will always be there, cause it’s the best seller and it’s always around. Sometimes the red snapper is hard to get. But for the next two months it’ll be on the menu. When September comes around, we’ll refresh our selection. We also make two homemade sodas, rosewater lemonade and watermelon soda. Describe the atmosphere.
It’s casual dining — the back has two exposed brick walls. We’d like to keep the atmosphere casual and focus on friendly service. What are the prices like?
Most appetizers are about $7-$10. Main courses are $15-21. What do you think of the Fort Greene neighborhood so far?
The neighborhood is great and the people are great. It has a great vibe and energy. When the space became available, we immediately made a move for it. We’re the only ones here whose main focus is seafood. The feedback has been great. We have gotten a lot of assurances that we’ll be here to stay. Aqualis Grill, 773 Fulton St., btwn South Portland Ave. and South Oxford St., Brooklyn, 718-797-3494. Open Tues.-Thurs, 4-11 p.m.; Friday 4 p.m.-12 a.m., Saturday and Sunday, 12 p.m.-12 a.m.