BEST RESTAURANT WHEN SOMEONE ELSE IS PAYING - 2007
Readers' Choice: The Oceanaire
Oceanaire's menu is famously ever-changing, depending on what fish markets worldwide have to offer, and that element of surprise is part of the thrill of dining there. But the tab for the pristine, exotic, just-flown-in raw materials adds up fast, which is why we like going to Oceanaire when someone else's black AmEx will settle the check. That said, there's much on the menu that's worth the price: Specialties—all of them à la carte—can include Costa Rican dayboat mahi-mahi ($25.95, or $28.95 "blasted" with lime-soy glaze), sushi-grade Florida black grouper, "Black and Bleu" blue marlin steak ($28.95), or California dayboat swordfish ($29.95). Sides run the gamut from matchstick fries ($4.95) to asparagus with hollandaise ($11.95 on a recent visit, but price varies). The website is updated every day to reveal what's available for that evening. Oceanaire also offers an obscenely elegant wine list: As long as someone else is re-mortgaging the house for your dining pleasure, get your lips on the Verget Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru, a 1999 white Burgundy that could make Chicken of the Sea dance on your tongue. Sound expensive? It is. But as long as some other sucker has been hornswoggled into paying for this, you might as well have the meal of a lifetime.