BEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANT Minneapolis 2002 - Oceanaire Seafood Room
It's the oyster bar that hooks us. Glistening little puddles of just-shelled mollusk on scrappy little disks of shell that sat oh-so-recently in the world's inlets, bays, and estuaries. Sweet Wellfleets, subtle Blue Points, delicate Kumamotos from the West Coast. Snare a seat at that oyster bar and you'll know why those birds poking around ocean surf always look so happy. That's good eating. You know what's nearly as good? The improbable-sounding Alaskan halibut "T-bone" (market price, which, when we checked in, was $26.95), a vast cross-section of the fish cut so that a T of cartilage runs down the center. Order it cooked medium, "dirty" (dusted with Cajun spice and sluiced with butter), or simply grilled. Not only will it be the freshest piece of halibut you'll see this side of a fishing dock--Oceanaire usually gets fish the day after it's caught--it's Western cuisine's answer to the purity of sushi, done king-size, and with flair. They know a thing or two about hooking critters at the Oceanaire, both the ones with gills and the ones with Visa cards.