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Really like Oceanaire

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I was pretty happy with a rest. week meal there last March, esp. their wonderful hash browns. A friend and I talked about going back to the bar for those and finally did that last nite. The bar itself was quite crowded so 3 of us took a little table in the area cuz we wanted the option of their bar menu. The table wasn't nearly big enough but that was our only complaint. Lots of glasses of wine for only $7, I got a nice pour of Riesling served in a big glass and when he came back to pour a glass for my friend, he finished off the bottle in mine. Espresso martini and pom. margarita were also enjoyed. One friend started w/ lobster bisque which she liked (didn't taste it) while two of us split the wonderful spinach salad with bacon and cheese. Which elicited the comment "if all salads were this good, I wouldn't have to eat meat". We also got the chili shrimp and those were tasty as anything, 5 shrimp for $9.99. We then moved on to the crabcake sliders, one is $4.99 and they're $4 for each additional. Not a bargain but since Oceanaire's cakes are 95% crab, it was worth it. We split the "small" side of hash browns ($4.95) and they were as good as we remembered them. Crisp on the outside, moist on the inside. We asked for some sort of mayo type thing on the side and he brought a delicious garlicky aioli. We also had some of their good bread and butter. Server was really nice and lots of other people took care of us. A good batch of snacks in a gorgeous room.

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, I stopped into KFC for the first time in probably 8-10 years. I was in Allston and needed a quick snack so got their $.99 mini chicken sandwich. It was surprisingly good, or maybe I just needed a fried food fix but it was a good way to spend a dollar. I'm going back for chicken and a biscuit. Well, maybe I'll hit the Highland Kitchen Mon. fried chicken first but I do love that stuff.

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Highland Kitchen
150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

Oceanaire
40 Court Street, Boston, MA 02108

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  1. Recently had dinner at Oceanaire for the first time (after lunch on several occasions) - the good news is that the crab cakes are the best outside of Baltimore I've ever had, the basic martini was large and well-made, the wine pour was a generous 8+ oz that balanced the $12 per glass sticker shock for basic NZ Sauvignon Blanc. The asian black cod and the scallop specials (at nearly $40 each!) got raves all around the table, as did the sides of french fries (shoestring w salt, pepper, and vinegar - really good) , spinach, and brussel sprouts - all small and all large enough for four to easily share.

    The huge small hash brown was too thick and didn't have enough crispiness this time - it has been awesome before. The oysters were fresh but not pristine and there were shards in a couple of them.

    Two of us bit for the $30 2-lb steamed lobster after the server assured us TWICE it was local and hard-shelled - one was hard, one was really soft - told server, who got manager, who offered to sub the fresh King Crab legs instead at the same price (would have been $55 otherwise) - they were good and impressively fresh (not nearly as salty as the Russian frozen ones from CostCo or H Mart - not really so shocking, but still nice), but I'd still take a hard or soft-shelled lobster all things considered next time. The manager made the nice save, but the server remained quite absent/surly for the rest of the meal - (this earned him a tip of exactly 15% pre-tax vs. a usual 20%+ of total when service is good or better)

    Baked Alaska dessert is monstrous and not at all the genuine article (it's chocolate mint ice cream on a brownie, all topped with marshmallow fluff sauce and flambeed with rum at the table) - but we ate it all and enjoyed the show any way.

    They have high standards and seem to stick to them well in terms of ingredients and service. We will be back - probably to try the bar menu next time thanks to your tip and report. Otherwise, this can quickly be a big budget meal.

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    Oceanaire
    40 Court Street, Boston, MA 02108

    1. I know it isn't the main topic of the thread, but... Wow, the KFC in Union Square? New management or something? Because any time I tried it (I finally just gave up), it was the most disgusting one (foodwise - cleanliness was fairly OK) I'd ever eaten in. Limp, super greasy chicken, etc. If you really like fastfood vs more restaurant style fried chicken, head down to Kenmore and try Popeyes on Brookline Ave, which i think is much better. Doesn't hurt that I also prefer red beans and rice with extra hot sauce to any KFC side ; )

      1 Reply
      1. re: psora

        Yep, Union Sq. Allston. I only had the sandwich so can't comment on the sides, but it was a good piece of crisp chicken, not greasy, on a fairly boring roll w/ some iceberg lettuce and a thousand island type dressing. So not exciting but done fairly well and it did hit the spot.