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Nov 22, 2013 08:03 AM

Oceanaire Room

Hi all,

I wanted to share a recent dining experience that was really stellar. Last night, I went to the Oceanaire Room. Our waiter was extremely knowledgeable and shared a lot of information about the menu with my picky DC and me. Apparently, they only keep fish in the building for 36 hours before getting rid of it. The environmentalist in me didn't love the waste, but it means everything is so fresh.

The bread was fresh and delicious. We were in a bit of a rush, so only ordered one course. I had the Nantucket Bay scallops served "dirty" - with caramelized onions and blue cheese. DC had the Fish Stew. We shared the mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach. All items were really great. Fresh, well prepared, and delicious. It definitely was not cheap (at all) but it was overall a really wonderful dinner experience that I look forward to repeating.

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  1. I've always loved Oceanaire since we lived in DC and frequented the one in the Penn Quarter. I've only been to this Boston location a few times, but it is good seafood and it's fresh. Not cheap, but very good! :)

    1. How could anyone do that to a nantucket bay scallop? sooobbbb

      Anyhoo, thanks for the report and glad you had a lovely meal. Oceanaire is not mentioned much here compared to Legals and Atlantic Fish.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Bellachefa

        blue cheese and onions on a scallop does not sound appealing... is this a thing?

        1. re: Beachowolfe

          I don't know - I wanted to try something different and it was delicious! I often eat scallops, but usually prepared in only one or two different ways. To be fair, it was only a little bit of cheese - but I found it fun and different.

          1. re: addiez

            that's all that really matters!!!

      2. Every meal I have had at Oceanaire (at least 5 of them) has been excellent. However, I always walk away thinking it is about 10-15% overpriced even taking into consideration that seafood is often overpriced in restaurants and that Oceanaire is essentially a seafood focussed version of Abe & Louie's/Grille 23 etc. Pretty hard to get out of there for under $80-90 per person if you have a drink or two like I often do. But I will say that I have yet to eat something there that I was disappointed with.

        9 Replies
        1. re: Gordough

          oceanaire, chart house, mccormick & schmick's and morton's all belong to the same chain now. as does rainforest cafe.

          my last dinner dinner at oceanaire was in march and nothing but the bread and relish tray were edible. we barely touched anything we ordered and the bartender never once inquired as to why not. we both left starving.

          painful and expensive, but a lovely room.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            I've never had anything but very fresh seafood at Oceanaire, even after the changeover. It feels counterintuitive that one of the best seafood restaurants in Boston is part of a national chain, but that's the reality of it. In my experiences, Oceanaire runs circles around places such as Legal or Atlantic Fish. I don't love the steakhouse portion and general approach at Oceanaire, but they do have a wide selection of well prepared, fresh seafood.

            Island Creek and Neptune are great, but it would be really nice to have something like Marea in Boston.

            1. re: black_lab

              previous visits my meals had been ok, but this last one was one of the worst meals i've had in along time. add the egregious wine mark-up and i am NO rush to revisit. i also hate feeding corporate monoliths when we have much better places owned by local chefs and owners.

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                I hear you, but what are the much better places for seafood? I am aware of the few referenced in my post, but would be thrilled to find more.

                Also, I'd be eternally grateful to find a seafood place with great food, and a good winelist without significant markups in Boston. I do like that Oceanaire has a decent selection of wines by the glass.

                I'd prefer to support local places as well, but I'm just not aware of too many seafood local places better that Oceanaire. It sounds like you had an experience there unlike any of my meals. Hopefully it hasn't taken a step back very recently. I have been there since the change in corporate ownership and subsequent meals were still good.

                1. re: black_lab

                  besides neptune and icob, lots of good restaurants such as craigie do a good job with fish. I once told a waiter at craigie that Chef Maw should open a seafood restaurant. That niche is not yet really filled.

                  1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                    agree on both points. for the land that cod built we are definitely lacking in seafood restaurants, but i have never been disappointed by a fish course in any of our "better" places -- from highland kitchen to hamersley's.

                  2. re: black_lab

                    Lineage does great seafood but is not a "seafood restaurant"

                    1. re: black_lab

                      Rendezvous' summertime bluefish is awesome. As has been every sea-centric dish I've had there. Lovely wines by the glass as well.

                      1. re: digga

                        I agree about Rendezvous, though my experience is with the seafood tapas on Monday, that bluefish is amazing.

                        I've also had wonderful seafood and fish dishes at Oleana.