Last night, I went to the Oceanaire and felt a bit like a Beverly Hillbilly. Look, I’m no stranger to fine dining, but every time a waiter says, “Pardon my reach” I start wondering why no one at Chili’s ever said that shit to me before they reach across my fajitas and graze it with their arm hair.
I get a lot of invites to try stuff out, and up until last week I always ignored them or replied dismissively with a story about my childhood or someone else’s made up childhood. But you know what? Damn it, Drake is right, you only live once. I decided I’d take this offer up and swing by to try the place out, and I’ve gotta say I regret not trying this place sooner.
When we walked in, there was a reservation all set for us so we were seated right away. I don’t suppose we would’ve had to wait too long either way since there were a few empty tables, but still a decent crowd for a Thursday night. The place has some hazy blue mood lighting, which is one of the most Miami things since cocaine. The decor is classy, and the ambiance makes me want to do businessy things, like I just wanna pick up my phone and be like, “Yes, sell those objects.” We were actually seated next to a couple of guys not too much older than me talking about commerce. I knew they were talking business because they used words like “synergy”, “touching base”, and “solutions”.
The place has some hazy blue mood lighting, which is one of the most Miami things since cocaine.
The menu was pretty big, and their wine list was impressive. I wasn’t in the mood for wine, though, so I did my best testosterone impression and ordered a raspberry mojito while my girlfriend opted for a pomegranate martini. Our server was pleasant and gave us the rundown. I just wanted something in my face since I hadn’t eaten anything but a small Tropichop eight hours prior. She brought out a cold plate with olives, carrots, cucumbers, and some other shit I don’t care about over ice. Alongside that came bread. My initial reaction was, “This bread is tight.” Yes, I was hungry as hell, but that bread felt like a godsend. We had some scallops brought over in a mushroom sauce. I’ve said it before, I’m not big on the texture of scallops or most mollusks in general. Plus, I mean, it’s a bottom-feeding sea floor dwelling sea thing. With that said, it was flavorful as fuck! My girlfriend explicitly told me to do it justice by pointing out that she thought they were phenomenal, so take her opinion at whatever worth you want. Don’t worry, you don’t have to value it, you’re not the one dating her.
Next, oysters. We received a plate of the freshest oysters I’ve seen since I saw a baby oyster being born. These things were so fresh it was my stomach acid which killed them. They serve it with a vinaigrette and cocktail sauce, and I opted for cocktail since it has a funny word in it. Hehehe… tail. It turns out those oysters were brought in from Massachusetts on first class airfare.
What did the oysters look like?
A jumbo crab cake with a mayo-mustard sauce of their own creation came next. I fucking love crab cakes. I mean, I love cake, and I love crab, so when you make a cake out of crab it’s like making cotton candy out of dreams.
After having our palates teased, the waitress brought out a little teapot and a tray with two rolled-up white towels, then walked away. We looked at each other, and I broke the silence by asking, “So, is this, like, tea, or hot water we pour on the towels?” She shrugged, just as confused as I was. Then we laughed for a solid five minutes about how the server would react if it were in fact tea and we poured that shit over the fresh towels she just brought out for us. Then she came back and poured the hot water of the towels and we felt uncivilized.
The next thing to come out was their mahi mahi. I ordered it because I haven’t had mahi mahi in what must be years unless you count fish tacos, and nobody counts fish tacos. It was buttery and delicious, but it didn’t blow me away or anything. The moment of blowing came when she brought out the chef’s apparent specialty, and what must be a house favorite. It was a grilled jerk grouper with citrus sweet potato and pineapple chutney. I’m not even fully aware of what chutney is, just that it’s Indian and you’re supposed to quickly bobble your head as you say it. Indians are known for their tech support and love of spontaneous dance numbers, but it should really be chutneys.
Indians are known for their tech support and love of spontaneous dance numbers, but it should really be chutneys.
Let me tell you, when the server brought that out, I told her, “Tell the chef I don’t even need to try it to know it’s awesome.” I fucking love jerk anything, except maybe people. Before I could even try the damn thing, the executive chef Kareem Anguin comes out, presumably to watch me eat it. He’s a nice dude, asked me what I thought about the food so far, told me a bit about the oysters and where they attended college (Wellesley College, apparently), and made me confident in the fact that an authentic fucking Jamaican man prepared a Jamaican dish. When I did bite into the jerk grouper, the Israel-Palestine conflict ended. ENDED. I don’t know what the culinary parallel to the word “cacophony” is, but that’s basically what happened in my mouth. It felt like there was a hint of cinnamon or nutmeg or something in it too, I can’t put my tongue on it, but the best way I can describe it is it tasted like Jamaican Christmas.
Go back a sec, what did the scallops look like ?
As a side, we had potatoes au gratin with cheese and bacon. You can’t go wrong with that shit, honestly. Bacon, cheese, and potatoes with absolutely no seasoning whatsoever will taste like God’s love. For dessert we ate a tres leches which was entirely too large after all that mouthsex we just had earlier, so we took that home and I’m going to devour it later.
As far as service is concerned, you can’t really go wrong with Oceanaire or any of its local competitors like Trulucks, Chop House, Area 31, etc. because that’s their bread and butter. Though when it comes to the quality and taste of the food? Oceanaire trumps the pack.
I wanted to end it with “Oceanaire drowns its competitors in its wake” instead, but holy fuck that’s cheesy.
People who would enjoy it
People who would not enjoy it
- 900 S Miami Ave
- Miami, FL 33130
- (305) 372-8862