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Ocean Prime - Tampa

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After suggestions from this board, we took my MIL to Ocean Prime in Tampa for her birthday last week. The food was fantastic, the service was great, and we really liked the concept. A brief recap on the food, my mil and I both had the house salad and my husband and fil shared the oysters (great presentation with dry ice). I had the small filet mignon as I don't eat fish, my husband had the trout, fil had the mahi mahi, and my mil had the scallops all got rave reviews. The sauces that you can get on the side were not needed and were just ok. For sides, we shared the mac and cheese, latkes, and steamed broccoli, again all great. We loved having latkes on the menu. Dessert was cheesecake, key lime pie, and chocolate peanut butter pie. The chocolate peanut butter pie was fantastic.

The one thing that we did not like was the music coming from the bar. The singer was horrible! He butchered many a song and the music was VERY loud. We could not hear the person on the other side of the table. We asked the manger to turn down the music which he did, but someone else turned it right back up. Finally, it was turned down again. The manager, Matt, was fantastic even offered us a private room because of the music problems. I am not sure about the weekend performers, but this guy plays on Tuesday nights and was just BAD.

All in all, we would definitely go back. We would request a table far from the bar area. Matt, the manager, and Kara, our server, understood our gripes and were more then accommodating. They are credited with making sure this special evening stayed exceptional!

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  1. My girlfriend and I go in when we can on Tuesdays just to hear this incredibly talented piano player. He plays a great mixture of music that appeals to everyone. We always have a few drinks in the bar then dinner in the dining room. After that we go back to the bar for more music and drinks. LOVE the Calamari and twice baked potato!

    If you think the music is too loud at Ocean prime then you obviously don't get out very often. We will continue to go back and highly recommend this place.

    7 Replies
    1. re: sweetgene

      My take on this is that they should not pipe the lounge singer throughout the restaurant. People in the bar area expect, perhaps even look forward to, the lounge singer; people in the dining rooms, in a "fine dining" establishment, don't.

      1. re: sweetgene

        Strange to have two people have totally and completely different opinions of the music.
        one says it was great and not loud and the other says he SUCKED and was loud.. on the SAME night. amazing.

        In Beth's defense the music was piped in... and could have been VERY loud.. as you were in the bar and it might have been set at a different volume level. I for one think and agree that loud music during dining is uncalled for. now when your just out drinking and having a good time... all bets are off.

        What this does tell me is that it's not a good place for an intimate dinner if you have to YELL to be heard across the table, that would pretty much ruin the evening.

        1. re: ghod

          Well, it is a loud restaurant, even without the lounge singer. So it would never be my choice for an intimate dinner.

          1. re: Miss E

            I have read the results of several different surveys by restaurant associations. Excessively high noise/music levels are at or near the top of most patrons' complaint lists. I like music, but I would rather separate the eating from the listing to music. Similarly, the intentional creation of high noise levels, through the use of hard surfaces, customer congestion, etc., mystifies me.

            I am not saying that Ocean Prime suffers from any of these problems, necessarily. (My impression from these boards is that Ocean Prime is a credit to the area and I look forward to going there.) However, noise levels at restaurants, in general, certainly are problem.

        2. re: sweetgene

          obviously, the lounge guy's music doesn't appeal to everyone. and i think that restaurants in general are too loud, especially when there's music involved. i love loud music, just not paired with my food. In other words, Beth had a valid point.

          1. re: sweetgene

            Wonder if they changed singers in the last 6 months?

            1. re: Bethheth

              Beth- my DH and I also felt the singer was quite terrible and obnoxiously loud. Glad I wasn't the only one who felt that way. As a matter of fact, the people next to us(a group of 3 30 something women) also requested that it would be turned down. Agree that the food was lovely but the singing almost turned us off the place. And this is coming from a 28 year old that enjoys live music, at least when its good and played at an appropriate time and place, lol.