Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Oceanaire Seafood Room

Looking for a premier seafood experience in the Twin Cities? Look no further than the Oceanaire Seafood Room. Located in downtown Minneapolis, beneath the Hyatt hotel, the Oceanaire offers not just excellent quality seafood but an entire dinning experience meant to satisfy the Sea Captain in us all. The service is stupendous. My wife and I had the opportunity to celebrate our anniversary there and I cannot even tell you the number of people that wished us a Happy Anniversary! I simply mentioned this fact when I made reservations and we were treated to a special dessert, custom anniversary menus and the like. Now, I haven't had that service elsewhere in a long time. Aside from the rich wood interior that makes you feel like your sitting in the hull of some schooner, the food is fresh,fresh,fresh! Now, on to dinner: We opened the night with two glasses of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label from France. This particular drink is dominated by Pinot Noir, but is balanced well with a Chardonnay all combined to make a fantastic Champagne. Now, its not the Le Grande Dame, which is the premier bottle of the Veuve collection, but it was still fantastic. For an appetizer, we picked from the various selections of the oyster bar. Heres what we got:
  1. Kumamoto - Oregon
  2. Barron Point - Washington
  3. Eld Inlet - Washington
  4. Jorstad - Washington
Now, you will notice that they are all from the west coast. My wife and I prefer west coast oysters to east coast. That's only a preference though, both types are excellent. The difference is this: west coast oysters are smaller and have a delicate melon undertone to their flavor, whereas east coast oysters are bigger and saltier tasting. The trick to get the best flavor out of oysters - eat them on the half shell with no seasoning or sauce. Just pick up the shell and toss 'em back. If you want to expereince them as they are intended don't order Oysters Rockefeller or dip them in any of the sauces provided... it will just ruin the flavor. The entrees: I had the South African rock lobster tail. I've had my fair share of lobster in Maine, but I hadn't tried a rock lobster. This was the same kind that one would find off the coast of Florida. Essentially a little firmer than a Maine lobster, it lacked nothing in flavor. Broiled with some herbal butter it was rich but not overpowering... all that lobster should be. My beautiful bride had the Yellowfin Ahi Tuna. This could be prepaire two ways and she elected for it to be lightly pan seared and served raw - sushi style with some wasabi in the side. Two words describe it Fin Tastic! LOL! One of the best parts of the meal brought me back to my childhood in a new way. We ordered a house favorite of Summer Squash Fries. They were prepared like shoe string onion rings: cut into thin strips, battered and deep fried. They were served up with a roasted red pepper mayo. What a delight! They reminded me of the onion rings I used to get at the same steak house mentioned in my last post. The only difference was that these were more delicate due to the soft texture of the summer squash. However, that was only enhanced by the crunch of the batter. They were fantastic. Dessert was on the hosue. Another nice little treat for our anniversary. It's called baked Alaskan, although why I'm not sure. It was a mound of cherry icecream, wrapped in meringue, all stacked on top of a brownie sitting in a creme anglaise. The presentation was magnificent. The waiter brought this out with a saucer of Grand Marnier which he lit a fire and poured over the top. The result, a beautiful blue flame in the dimmer light of the evening and a toasted meringue that looked like a beehive made out of roasted marshmallow! DE-lightful! :-) Disclaimer: I highly recommend this restaurant, yet a dinner like the one described above will run well over $200.00. To some that's not much, to others its enough to make the Oceanaire an annual trip only - like on your anniversary if applicable!
Link: Oceanaire Seafood Room Minneapolis

1 comment:

Andi said...

OH dear Lord, I'm salivating as I type (could be dangerous). It all sounds delicious, but I'm especially interested in the Summer Squash Fries. Wonderful!