I went to The Oceanaire a few years for my birthday and loved it. A huge cavernous restaurant with high ceilings, and dark wood furniture – reminiscent of a high end steak restaurant. The seafood was outstanding and best of all at the end of the dinner they wheeled over a gigantic Baked Alaska and lit it right in front of us. I felt like I was in a scene from the Love Boat.
Fast forward to Tuesday night when I walked into a newly renovated space that reminded me of a Miami seafront restaurant with pastel colors, brighter more contemporary lighting and art deco glass ornaments surrounding the bar area and restaurant tables.
I took myself to the bar where almost every seat was taken up and sat down right in front of a large mound of crushed ice laden with seashells. White jacketed waiters worked their way around the restaurant treating every customer as though they were their own and service seems to be top of mind with all of them. I ordered a glass of Sancerre. Perfect for seafood.
As I waited for my friend I took a better look around at both the restaurant and clientele. It was a Tuesday night and almost every table was filled with diners. There seemed to be a lot of large parties dining in the restaurant and in the two large private rooms. Enormous plates of the biggest lobsters I have seen lit up everyone’s face as they were delivered to the tables. It seemed the clientele was very much the financial district and business crowd.
I really like what they have done with the place. It’s not a drastic difference but as I had time to really take it all in I realized how much more open it felt and less cluttered – especially around the bar area. The high ceilings, marble walls and “vault” kitchen area really does give it a wow factor.
My friend arrived and our waiter gave us both the bar menu (Happy Hour 4-7pm) and the main large menu that is updated every day with the daily catch. We thought we would get a couple of bar bites and then move onto something more substantial. Lots of fun things on the bar menu such as Ahi Tuna Bites, Red Chili Calamari, Truffle Fries and Oceanaire Tacos. I wanted all of them but we settled on Ahi Tuna Bites and Shrimp Tacos.
Three little slider-like bites arrived in front of us and were so cute to look at I couldn’t wait to try one. Fresh and fluffy tiny rolls filled with juicy, light bites of chunky seared rare tuna with a nice spice of ginger and hot sauce. One and half each – perfect.
Next up were the Beer Battered Shrimp Tacos. These are quite large and filled with succulent shrimp covered with sweet and spicy soy sauce. There was no scrimping on seafood with either dish.
After eating both of them I was surprisingly full and honestly couldn’t bring myself to eat anything else, which was such as shame as some of the dishes wafting their delicious aromas as they came by me were mouthwatering.
Our other friend joined us so we stayed for another glass of wine and enjoyed the company, the people watching and talk of going back again for another Happy Hour. Our wine check was much much higher than our food check this particular evening!
Ladies if you are single this might not be a bad place to go for a cocktail after work – just saying the ratio of men to women is very high! Also, the Happy Hour is superb for cheap, fantastically filling and tasty eats! Of course, do not forget about their extensive dinner menu offering fresh seafood daily and Baked Alaska.