I cant understand why people spend millions of dollars on restaurants and serve such incredibly lame food, went to Oceannaire last night, first time.
Place was just a juxtaposed mess. Before I get to the food, just some reflections on the space. Why build a very fancy restaurant with white tablecloths if you are going to pile in the middle of the table, Tabasco, Ketchup, an entire container of sea salt enough fot the entire restaurant, chowder cookies in the plastic wrapper's, stacks of side plates. It felt like a fancy Seafood Shanty. Why build an elaborate oyster and raw bar, display the shellfish in front of the customers, put stools at the bar so people could ostensibly SIT there BUT if they want oysters, they have to order it from a waiter not the oyster shuckers standing around twiddling thier thumbs waiting for the waiters to take your order......why....WTF.
SO we sat at a table.
Tried to go with two simple fish dishes, had a green salad to start which was just OK.
Waiter claims they fly in the fish dailym which prompted me to ask "even the Salmon ?"
Yes they were flown in today........So we ordered the Halibut T-bone and the "Shetland Island Salmon with Apple risotto and carrot broth"
Mind you besides the fact that the shetland islands are about 100miles from the coast of the south pole.......the food was just horrible.
Zero salt, Zero flavor, both woefully overcooked, the risotto was cooked, cooled, formed into a cake and fried like a crabcake I kid you not.
You could tilt your plate and the "carrot Broth" would not move.
Just a completely horrendous experience.
I know this is harsh but this is just a cavernous space with food no better than a Devon or Red Lobster.
Chowtalk, I live in Seattle and we have our very own Oceannaire as well. For some reason, Japanese tourists absolutely love the place. Locals not so much. Personally, I believe it's impossible to run a chain restaurant--regardless of the price range--with the same soul as an independent food spot that's a daily labor of love. Chains do provide a useful outlet for non-Chowhounds thus freeing up the really good Chowhound destinations for us.