I'm sure most of you have seen Alan's review of Starfish. I returned last weekend, this time with my kids in tow (my 8 year old discovered he likes Oysters -- go figure), and have to say that I was mightily impressed. On a weekend afternoon, it is very kid friendly by the way
The service was, as pointed out, excellent -- they are really good. As to the food, I agree with Alan on the whole but I'll add a few comments of my own:
1. The mussels, as Alan said, were quite good and I can only add I wish I could roast garlic as well as the chef can.
2. They offer up an astonishing array of oysters. It is best to sample as much as you can and allow the staff to arrange them in order for you (it really does make a difference). If you go whole hog as I did and wind up with a dozen different kinds, skip the condiments for the most part. It's a rare treat to experience as many subtle variations as you will here.
3. My son, a world-wise expert, considers the fries to be better than Jamie Kennedy's. They were pretty good -- apparently the secret is that the oil is also used to fry seafood cakes and so the frites have imparted to them a sweet shellfish-like flavour. Yum.
4. The chef trained uner Chris MacDonald at Avalon. If, as I believe, soups are generally a good reflection of a chef's potential for greatness, then this one is going to go places. I tried a white bean puree soup into which were placed perfectly poached oysters. The whole thing was drizzled with just the right amount of truffle oil. I consider myself pretty good at this but she is in an altogether different class.
5. The bar is a must see. As I was heard the story, the shells and the soil (red PEI soil by the way) were imbedded in an epoxy solution that cost an arm and a leg. Thew process was such that Patrick, the owner, had to babysit it 24 hours a day to ensure that imperfections were fixed before the compound settled. It's incredibly cool looking and, in fact, can keep little ones occupied for quite some time.
Anyway, a wonderful place with an amazing team. It is designed to last.