The Oceanaire – Seafood

My fiancé, Josh, wanted to take me to a nice dinner for my birthday, and after asking around for advice on a great Washington restaurant, he was overwhelmed with the number of people who recommended The Oceanaire. After arriving, we quickly realized that his friends had recommended a wonderful place. Our waiter informed us that many of the meals were swimming in the ocean that morning (I felt a little guilty after hearing this bit of information, but I have to admit that everything was very fresh).
My one piece of advice to those who know that they will be visiting this restaurant is not to snack at all! While everything is a la carte, the side dishes are large enough to be shared, with leftovers.
The restaurant is large and the tables are close together, but the ambience is nice and appropriate for either a date or a group. We sat in the back room, an area with 8 tables, where approximately half were groups of 6 or more and half were on dates like us. This did not detract from our conversation, and it actually was a great way to see all of the various entrees available at Oceanaire.


Crabcakes at The Oceanaire
Crabcakes at The Oceanaire

I have to admit that I am not a “fish person,” but I do love crab cakes. When our waiter told us that theirs are the best in town I figured I would give it a try. They were delicious, with just enough seasoning to hold it together, but not overwhelming so you can’t taste the crab.
Swordfish at The Oceanaire
Swordfish at The Oceanaire

Josh ordered the swordfish, and was pleased with both the size of the cut and the taste. For our sides, we ordered the asparagus with a hollandaise sauce and the red potatoes.
Asparagus and whole red potatoe sides at The Oceanaire
Asparagus and whole red potatoe sides at The Oceanaire

We were lucky that we were warned about the size of the sides, because there were at least 25 stalks of asparagus and 15 whole red potatoes. The asparagus was perfect, and we found ourselves dipping everything into that hollandaise sauce! The red potatoes were plain but delicious, seasoned with rosemary and other spices.
I can’t forget the bread, which is how I often judge a restaurant. This sourdough was thick and tasty, not too much of a “sourdough” taste, which is what I prefer. It was crunchy on the outside but warm and soft in the middle.
We did not save enough room for dessert, even though it was a birthday dinner (those darn asparagus were just too good!). The tables on either side of us, however, ordered the baked Alaska, where the presentation is half of the appeal. It is a huge brownie, covered in ice cream, covered in marshmallows. The waiter lights alcohol on fire, pours it over the concoction, pauses as the smell of roasting marshmallows floats to all of the surrounding tables, then cuts the dessert into quarters and serves everyone, all while it is still on fire!
The wine list at Oceanaire is extensive, with bottles ranging from the upper twenties to the upper hundreds.
I have to comment on the bathrooms as well; they are very modern and even have a little pump with mouthwash in it. Josh tells me that the men’s room even has aftershave — I love when restaurants throw the little extra surprises at you!
There are only three options that are non-fish items, on the menu in very small print at the bottom of the page. I am sure that they are delicious but if you are looking for non-fishy food I don’t think this is the place for you.
If you are thinking of bringing children, I probably would have advised against it, until I saw a couple with a child come sit next to us. I wondered what he would order, but when I saw the French fries come on a huge platter, I realized that while the portions are huge, the food is good and will keep any customer happy, big or small.
In the end, Oceanaire gets two thumbs up from me. I may even try a fancier fish next time, although those crab cakes were just so good…
The Oceanaireweb site, 1201 F Street NW, 202-347-2277 [Washingtonian | WaPo | City Paper | Economist | Don Rockwell | Gayot]
Post by Amy

Posted in: Dining

3 Comments on "The Oceanaire – Seafood"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Looks like a wonderful meal. My husband went there during restaurant week a couple of years ago for lunch and really enjoyed it. We may make it there for dinner some night.

  2. Oceanaire

    Oceanaire, web site, 1201 F Street NW, Washington, DC, 202-347-2277 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Hobnob Blog | Washingtonian | WaPo | City Paper | Economist | Don Rockwell | Gayot] Has first-rate seafood, one of my…

  3. Hobnobblog says:

    The more expensive the restaurant the better the food?

    According to Tyler Cowen, an economist at George Mason University who also has a popular dining guide for the DC area (Tyler Cowen’s Ethnic Dining Guide), Receiving a Michelin star increases prices in a Parisian restaurant by 20 percent, controlling…

Post a Comment