Set in a former bank building between Boston's Financial District and Government Center, this cavernous space feels like the interior of a 1930s ocean liner (as their site proclaims), with dark wood paneling, brass trimmings, and a fabulously ornate ceiling and crown moldings.
I didn't realize until I sat down to write this post that this Oceanaire is actually one in a national chain (16 in all) - all known for their extra-fresh seafood that is flown in daily from around the world. In fact, our server Don (who was fabulous), informed us that they will not serve anything that has been in-house more than 3 days.
They have a wonderfully old-fashioned cocktail menu (like Sidecars & Harvey Wallbangers), plus an extensive collection of wine and beer. We started off with a basket of fresh bread with whipped butter (complete with their signature fish logo etching), and a plate of crudités. Because it was Restaurant Week, the chef also treated us to an amous bouche of toast points with a seafood medley on top.
Appetizers consisted of a plate of fresh, grilled calamari and a Caesar salad with nice, big Parmesan shavings (my favorite). Both were excellent, but soon overshadowed by the main event: (1) the "Black and Bleu Mahi-Mahi" - fresh fish in a peppery rub with sweet onion confit and Roquefort butter; and (2) Flounder stuffed with scallops, baby shrimp and Brie. My companion got the latter, and while I couldn't bring myself to try the scallops/shrimp combo, the flounder & Brie were divine (as was my Mahi-Mahi). We barely had room for the desserts: raspberry & lemon sorbet, and a slice of Key Lime pie.
I cannot say enough good things about this place. The ambiance, service and food were all spectacular. There was a lively bar scene (complete with raw oyster bar), large groups, and smaller parties alike (and where we sat, in back, was surprisingly quiet, given the crowd). Even Mayor Menino, who was dining at a table nearby, seemed to be enjoying himself.
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