BEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANT - 2000
Plenty of local chefs have the talent and skill to produce an exceptional meal of fish--Doug Flicker at Auriga, Philip Dorwart at Table of Contents 2, Lucia Watson at Lucia's, and Alex Roberts at Alma leap to mind. But only one restaurant combines expert technique with a mind-altering quantity, variety, and quality of flipping-fresh sea critters, and that restaurant is Oceanaire. The oyster bar is a Poseidonic dream, with half a dozen or more kinds of mollusks, identified by the bay or inlet they were plucked from: Penrose Bay, Sund Creek, Denman Island. The chef creations can be amazing: No one who tasted it could ever forget the sweet, rich triumph of Maine lemon sole served in a pool of lobster bisque, paired with piquant braised parsnips. The cocktail list of Singapore Slings and Champagne cocktails is endlessly amusing, and the cheap eats--fish and chips, lobster rolls--would do any Cape Cod beach shack proud. Oceanically Oxtraordinary: Oceanaire.