Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Oceanaire Seafood Room

Brickell continues to be a hotspot for those searching a step back from the SoBe scene. And since Miamians are such foodies at heart, we need a good variety of restaurants along with our lounges to truly fulfill our cravings. The Shops at Mary Brickell Village provide just that; a haven of gastronomical choices tantalizing diners with a steakhouse, sushi, Mexican, Italian, Irish, Chinese or simply a relaxing Burger and Beer joint. There's one place in particular in this culinary pleasure palace that you need to check out if your taste buds are screaming for a superior seafood dining experience: The Oceanaire Seafood Room, located at 900 South Miami Avenue, Suite 111.

With over 12 locations across the United States, The Oceanaire Seafood Room is part of a team whose philosophy is based on only serving the freshest seafood in season, and who puts sustainability in the forefront of its menu offerings. While there are signature plates available in all Oceanaire restaurants, they also offer regionally inspired dishes that satisfy the unique palate preferences of the locals. I was very excited about visiting Oceanaire and getting a taste of their raw bar and the chef's famous Mexican Jerk Grouper I had heard so much about.

With Executive Chef Kareem Anguin

Executive Chef Kareem Anguin, originally from Jamaica, describes his cooking with great passion and excitement. A graduate of Johnson and Wales University, Chef Anguin has developed his own fusion of signature flavors founded on his Caribbean roots. He opened The Oceanaire in Brickell in 2006 and quickly ascended the ranks. Chatting with us for a while, he explained how the fish is flown in daily and how the menu can change quite frequently depending not only on what's available, but also what will be most ecologically sound for the environment. He went on to describe some of his signature dishes, and the careful detail he puts into their preparation.

Fresh Bread
Medley of Cut Vegetables
We started off our adventure with a perfect glass of Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast in California, recommended by our attentive waiter based on our preferences. Within a couple of minutes, a basket of fresh bread and a medley of cut vegetables including carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes and fresh olives were placed on our table. As I bit into the welcoming prelude, I was looking forward to the chef's tasting about to commence. The first dish we savored was Tuna Tataki topped with mung bean sprouts and kewpie mayo, and generously bathed with ponzu sauce and yuzu juice. The flavor fusion was insane! The tuna was meaty and tender, with a contrasting combination of rich flavors that came together in a perfect balance; culminating with a mild kick at the end.

Tuna Tataki

Selection of Oysters
Hydroponic Arugula Salad
Still reeling from the delicious Tataki, I fell in love with the next course: a sampling of West Coast Oysters that were right up there with the best I've had. The first one I tried was the Hama Hama Oyster. It was extremely hearty, with a firm texture that tickled my tongue. The next one was an Eagle Rock that had a deep, slightly sweet flavor and a creamy, butter-like texture. I loved it! The last one we tried was a Calm Cove, whose plump meat was very fun to shuck. It started with a slightly salty flavor, then became somewhat sweet and finally ended with a fruity aftertaste. Oh, how I absolutely enjoyed all three, and the cocktail and french sauces served on the side were divine! I was able to see for myself why word on the street is that their raw bar is incredible! Next, the chef sent out a Hydroponic Arugula Salad that was tossed with Avocado, Pomegranate, Feta Cheese, and Candied Pecans. The Arugula was crisp and fresh and the fusion of  textures from the crunchy pecans and pomegranates, to the crumbly, grainy feta cheese worked magic together. The play of sweet and salty was both refreshing and satisfying to the palate.

Grilled Jerk Mexican Black Grouper
At this point, I was walking on air, or at least my taste buds were, and I couldn't wait to sample the star of the show: the Chef's very own Grilled Jerk Mexican Black Grouper. This phenomenal explosion of flavors was sitting atop citrus sweet potatoes slowly cooked in orange juice, and crowned with a dabble of pineapple chutney. I slowed down and took my sweet time with each bite to savor every moment I had with this perplexing dish. It was amazing! I didn't know what sensation I would experience next: sweet, salty, or spicy, as each flavor touched my tongue. All I could say is wow!

Tres Leches
After I literally indulged in every last bite from my plate, our waiter brought us dessert. One look and I immediately recognized the familiar favorite: Tres Leches. Only this one was created with their very own recipe, that made for a sweet, creamy treat, topped with a rich, thick cream. I can just imagine my mother's face dipping her spoon into this heavenly delight.

At the end of the evening, all I could think was that this was one seafood adventure I will repeat very soon. If you haven't been to The Oceanaire Seafood Room in Brickell, what are you waiting for? The grouper is waiting for you! For more information, you can contact them at 305-372-8862 or visit them online at http://www.theoceanaire.com/Home.aspx.

To thank you for being a loyal reader....

I know you'll also want to try one of their incredible hot appetizers so we got a sweet deal for you! To thank you for being a loyal reader, when you stop in for a meal at Oceanaire and mention Adventures of the Foodaholic, you will receive a complimentary Fried Red Chili Calamari, served with Warm Asian Vegetables.*  Yummy!

(*One per table)

Oceanaire Seafood Room on Urbanspoon

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