BEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANT - 2004
Ever had shad roe? Honestly, the closest we ever got to it before was in the Cole Porter song. Then one night we saw it on the Oceanaire menu, alongside Florida sushi-grade black grouper, Alaskan dayboat halibut, Columbia River spring king salmon, diver-caught Maine scallops, Chesapeake Bay crab, California white sturgeon "Molassol" caviar, and had to have it. That's right, we surveyed the seafood of the whole world and settled on this little seasonal enthusiasm from the American Atlantic. How is it? Pretty good! Very rich. Kind of livery. But what the heck, it was an experience. Then we had oysters, all kinds of oysters: Elegant, well-balanced golden fellows plucked from Pleasant Bay in Cape Cod; fat, succulent winterpoints from Maine's Mill Cove; luxurious, mineral-tinged bluepoints from Long Island--those were Queen Victoria's favorite oysters, we've read, she had them shipped from New York to Buckingham Palace. But we'll bet she never, ever got to pick between so many delicacies from so many oceans on a single night. Frankly, if we had to pick between all the machinery and power of empire, or all the machinery and power of Oceanaire, we'd pick the latter. What Minnesota lacks in seaside and sea power, Oceanaire makes up for in seafood.