The Oceanaire- Making Waves in Midtown
But Restaurant Week should allow places like The Oceanaire to market themselves to people who would not normally consider this place for their “big night out”. Lady Steakhead and I chose it for Restaurant Week as it was the perfect opportunity to sample what they had to offer without breaking the bank.
The first thing that struck me about this place was its size; the restaurant space is large and fairly spread out. Even when full, you never really get the impression that it’s very busy. One of the reasons I like the Lobster Bar at Chops is the frenetic atmosphere that they have going on. The Oceanaire is just a tad too quiet.
The Restaurant Week menu is fairly limited when compared to the vast selections of fish on an ordinary day. For $25, you get a choice of 3 appetizers, 3 entrees and 3 desserts. One thing I did not realize was that the appetizer portions for Restaurant Week were only ½ sizes…and that seemed to apply to my cup of clam chowder, where the cup wasn’t completely full. I remember thinking this was odd at the time, like the chef didn’t stick the ladle all the way into the pot. But then I learned it was a business decision. C’mon guys, would it really kill the bottom line to give a full cup? I also thought they could have offered a bit of a better selection for the menu. Again, you are introducing yourself to a potentially brand new audience. The marketer in me would say you should show your patrons the full power of what the kitchen can do. This doesn’t mean you have to offer the Surf n Turf (though that would be nice), but how about a sample of the crab cakes that I have heard so much about? LS had the shrimp and grits, which I would recommend (especially if you got a full serving).
For entrees, we each had the wonderfully prepared “Black and Bleu” Mahi Mahi and we finished it off with slices of Key Lime Pie and White Chocolate Mousse Cake. The entrées were full sizes, but the desserts were half-sized. However, the dessert portions are so large that the half order would easily be enough. (Between the two desserts, definitely go with the Key Lime.)
I really hope The Oceanaire succeeds. Midtown is severely lacking in this kind of upscale, destination restaurant. While I enjoyed my first visit here, I am not sure if I got enough from this visit to have it climb into my “special event” rotation. The Restaurant Week menu just didn’t provide enough of a feel for me. And the fact is, the prices make it difficult for me to tell you when I think I will return. Having said that, if anyone wants to take me on their company’s expense account, I would be totally up for giving it another try!