Four of us celebrated a birthday Saturday at Oceanaire.
Overall, it was a lovely experience and I would happily return though not all of the dishes were beyond "good."
For me, service and atmosphere helped to compensate this.
For those who don't know, Oceanaire is part of an upscale chain that wants to do for seafood what Morton's or Ruth Chris does for steaks. Thus most dishes are served a la carte and portions are very large (which I actually don't care for because it limits the amount of tasting you can do since one dish is often enough to satisfy two or three people). The dining room is similar in atmosphere to a steakhouse with comfortable booths, tablecloths, and music, though a tad less masculine.
For appetizers my three New Englander companions had the clam chowder which they said was good with big pieces of clam. My BLT salad was somewhat disappointing. The bacon consisted of two strips across the top of the salad rather than pieces. The bacon was unfortunately cold (the entire salad must have been made in advance and refrigerated wholesale). Though the tomatoes did have some flavor they were not great and I found the buttermilk dressing boring.
For the main course I had a gazpacho stingily garnished with crab. It had a fresh, tomatoey flavor and nice texture. Companions had the Hawaiian marlin and the simply done (lemon and olive oil)swordfish. The winner of the evening was my BF who had a 2 lb lobster. The lobster was everything it should have been--delicate, mildly sweet, tender. I would definitely make a return trip for this.
Because of the birthday we received a comp baked alaska which was large enough to feed four--the meringue concealed blueberry icecream which I found to be a nice change. The brownie crust was dry and lacking in flavor.
I found the service to be professional and friendly. When our older dining companion sent back her properly cooked to medium marlin so that it could be cooked to well done and terrible our server did it with a smile.
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