Review of Oceanaire for Miami Spice Lunch 2013

Friday, September 13, 2013

With Miami Spice in season it's time to plan our Miami food tour!

I started in downtown Miami at Oceanaire restaurant in Mary Brickell Village.  This seafood mecca in the heart of downtown is as sleek as a 1930's oceanliner with a moderne Art Deco streamlines yet as relaxed as dinner on the shore.

Oceanaire is known for fresh seafood flown in from around the world.  The raw bar is their prized feature especially the oysters. However, our discerning palate prefers the less "slimy" fare, for lack of a better word.

Visiting on a weekday at 12pm, the restaurant was empty. We were the first customers. But not to worry. As a former corporate employee, the lunch crowd of nearby businesses start lunching at 1pm, a Hispanic influence.

First the service was impeccable. The waiters were prompt, attentive and treated us like VIPs despite our noncorporate attire. Dressed fashionably and in no apparent rush, we probably looked like ladies of leisure.

For appetizer, my guest and I both ordered the mussels in white wine, garlic, shallots, thyme and butter. Fresh, light and flavorful, this was a satisfactory introduction.

While waiting for the main course we devoured the warm, flaky artisan bread. We went so far as to soak up the remaining mussel broth with the bread and left our plates spotless. [ I could not remember, nor did we care, if this was taboo. (Feel free to correct us by leaving a comment below). No other customers arrived yet except to for a fast lunch at the bar, so there were no witnesses to our possible faux pas.]

For the main course the options were salmon or another fish. Upon writing this review, I turned to the online menu to jog my memory for the name of the fish I ordered. The good news is that the menu changes and the offerings are an improvement. Unfortunately, I can not recall the type of fish.

Sadly, the fish was dry and begged for more of the red medley sauce to bathe in.  More memorable was the avocado capote and fried plantain mini omelettes. The dish was reminiscent of a meal in a nearby ethnic restaurant. Still tasty but not to the gourmet standards expected of the Oceanaire.

My guest ordered the salmon.  The portion was small (not uncommon for the Miami Spice menu) however the caramelized onions and bleu cheese exalted the King Salmon.

(Salmon on sea of white plate)

closeup of British Columbia King Salmon

For dessert, the mango sorbet, a popular Miami fruit, was the common vote. A refreshing finish to our lunch. 

The meal was filling and enjoyable.  Overall, my rating

Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Value: 4 out of 5 stars
Food: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Miami Spice Lunch: $23 plus tax and gratuity.

I do recommend this restaurant for aficionados of oysters, other high end seafood and where your only shoestring budget  is a childhood tackle box with your first fishing line. Oh and we learned that oysters ARE an aphrodosiac. Springtime oysters are the ones to eat for peak libido.   I've never been a fan of oysters but...

900 S. Miami Avenue
Miami, FL  33131

(Parking garage is located on 1st Avenue next to Publix--one block away)

Note:  This was not a paid review. I dined at the Oceanaire at my own expense~~ Christine

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