Oceanaire’s shellfish platter for two

Restaurant Review: Oceanaire

A revisit to the ritzy seafood spot.

I’ve always loved the dining room at Oceanaire. The lights are low and cast a blue hue across a space finished in warm woods. The vibe is faintly midcentury Titanic: waiters wearing long white aprons carry silver trays packed with ice and filled with whole lobsters, colossal shrimp, crab legs, and fresh oysters. Wine stewards pop Champagne bottles. There is no recession, or talk of one, once you’re handed a menu. If you have to look at prices, you’d best make a reservation elsewhere. If you’re in the mood to indulge, order the Alaskan red king crab legs. I did and devoured all three meaty legs, already cracked in the kitchen and the shells removed, which were as fresh as the ones I’d eaten the week before at a crab shack in Juneau. They go for $59 a pound in Dallas, about twice what I paid in Alaska. A simple plate of grilled barramundi from Massachusetts was delivered firm but moist. The buttery, almost sweet fish flaked at the touch of a fork. Rainbow trout benefited from the late summer harvest: the pan-seared fish was served with fresh peach slices, toasted pecans, and a frisée garnish dressed in maple cider vinaigrette. Unlike most of the festive tables in the room, we skipped the signature baked Alaska and tried the house-made cheesecake. It was as rich as the clientele.

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