Would we go back:
1300 Nicollet Mall
• Crab Cake $8.95 (shared)
• Caesar Salad $5.96 (shared)
• Chilean Sea Bass $22.95
• Turtle Cake $6.95
There is probably no better time to go to Oceanaire but Valentine's Day weekend. Where you can watch lobster after lobster go out of the kitchen and all kinds of couples making eyes at one another. But even in the midst of all that, this is my favorite restaurant thus far. I love seafood. If you love seafood and don't want to spring for a ticket to a coast, go to Oceanaire.
The Crab Cake was the best I have had in this city. The Chilean Sea Bass was the best piece of fish I have ever had. And the broth in Steve's stew was out of this world. The desserts are literally 1/4 of a cake-- large enough to share with four people.
You are going to pay a bit of money, but the portions are large, the fish is fresh and the experience overall is worth it.
We went back to Oceanaire, again for my Birthday. Again wonderful food. I had the Grey Sole stuffed with Crab, Shrimp and Brie Cheese--Amazing! This time we were surprised with a complimentary Baked Alaska lit at the table for my birthday cake and candle in one. I will be back next year.
• Seafood Stew $21.95
• Creme De Menthe Parfait $5.95
Oceanaire is a top Twin Cities restaurant for its outstanding selection and preparation of seafood. Since our original visit in 1999, we have been back twice: again for Valentine's Day weekend in 2000 and for a special occasion in July 2000.
The bread and relished tray (free!) has always been an excellent way to start a meal. Our Caesar salad was "just" good, though on a subsequent visit the BLT salad was innovative and delicious, especially the ripe tomatoes.
The cioppino, fish stew with the tomato base, I had was absolutely tremendous - unlike anything else I've ever had. The variety of freshness of the seafood was excellent. When I ordered my dish, I expected the tomato base to overpower the seafood, but it blended well and resulted in a fine entree. Of subsequent visit, I was not as impressed with a layered salmon in the pastry crust. The salmon dish seemed bland overall. But on the most recent visit to Oceanaire, a Maryland softshell crab almost melted in my mouth. The crab is served on a bed of Asian salad, which complimented the crab's sesame crust. This is an excellent dish.
You'll find that the portion sizes are humongous. Plan to take home part of your entree if you even consider dessert. And then, plan to take home part of your dessert. Salads and sides should be split; desserts should be shared.
There has been excellent service on each visit right down to the crumber.
$20 and up
February 13, 1999