The Oceanaire Seafood Room is a restaurant in the Brickell area that somehow manages to preserve its intimate feel in a neighborhood known for packed dining rooms and long waits. Although it is located near restaurants with hour-long waits such as Burger and Beer and Dolores, every time I have visited Oceanaire, I’ve been sat right away. This may be because of the large capacity that The Oceanaire is able to fill, but I also suspect that the menu is not as diverse as people would hope and is close to the border of being almost boring. Yes, the seafood is fresh, sustainable, and of good quality, but I fear that diners in the area try to look for some sort of pizzazz when eating out. Thus, the long waits at every other place in the neighborhood.
As mentioned previously, the menu is somewhat unexciting and overpriced. You will find your typical seafood offerings such as Oysters, crab cake, shrimp scampi, and branzini ‘a la plancha.’ In no way am I claiming the food to be bad, but I just consider it to be safe. On my most recent visit, I was able to savor the Tuna Tataki, a perfectly rare seasoned slab of fish that allowed you to taste the impressive quality of the item presented. Sprinkled with a slightly sweet sauce, it made for a satisfying bite.
If you insist on coming, Happy Hour is the way to go. Available Sunday through Friday from 4pm until close, the Oceanaire offers $5, $6, and $7 bites and discounted prices on beer, wine, specialty drinks, and martinis. This way, you get amazing value for your dollar and manage to indulge in extremely fresh seafood offerings and more. Within the $5 range, I recommend the Fish and Chips, a Guinness beer battered fish served alongside matchstick fries. Although not the best Fish and Chips in the area due to a lack of seasoning, the price is hard to argue with. Out of all the Happy Hour bites, my personal favorite is the Red Chili Calamari, a crispy offering of squid rings seasoned and fried to a crispy exterior and served with a somewhat spicy red chili sauce.
Drinks include a various selection, but I would definitely recommend the specialty martinis. Go for The Oceanaire, the restaurant’s signature drink composed of Absolut, Senior & Co. Genuine Blue Curaçao and white cranberry juice. It may not be the best Martini you’ll ever have, but it makes for a great conversational cocktail at a great price. Just like everything else, at The Oceanaire, it won’t blow you away, but it’s a safe drink that allows you to bask in the ambiance created by the nautical themed décor. For a great Happy Hour in the area, you can’t go wrong at The Oceanaire. Just don’t go in looking for innovative takes on seafood dishes.
900 South Miami Ave. Suite 111 Miami, FL 33130