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BEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANT Minneapolis 2003 - Oceanaire Seafood Room

Oh, the good times we've had at the Oceanaire Seafood Room. The oysters as fresh as mermaids newly broken through the surface of the sea, the cocktails as potent as sea spray whipping over a yacht's prow, the matchstick fries as crisp as the sound of a snapping sail. Of course, there are people who go to the Oceanaire for its chef-driven seafood creations, things like Greek Isles #1 bluefin tuna seared with wasabi and soy or sesame-crusted, pan-seared Cavicucho (a California sea bass). But for us, the siren song of that oyster bar catches us every time. Adorable, bewitching little jewels like the Kumamotos, a mineral core of deep ocean resting on the tongue; the Chatham Bays from Cape Cod, blowsy and Atlantic; the crisp and chill of the New Brunswick Caraquet. Is it only at the Oceanaire that the obscure names of seaside towns take on the heart-thrilling romance usually attached to French Champagne--which Oceanaire has as well? Getting past that oyster bar is hard. It's like being five years old and going to the amusement park, and while you suspect there are other things on the other side of the carousel, you think, "But why would I ever leave the carousel?" And that, basically, is how we feel about the Oceanaire Seafood Room: It is a carousel of delight, sparkling in the night, a seaside carnival that makes grown people feel like dazzled children. And that's more than a restaurant generally supplies.

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