The headline quote is that of Leonard Beck. And, who is Leonard Beck? I Googled the name and presume that this quote is from the artist and not the Youth Director at the Tallmadge Community Church, but that is not the point. The point is that this past weekend I did kiss the sea on the lips at a truly spectacular seafood restaurant...The Oceanaire Seafood Room in Washington D.C. The Tampa Bay area should be so blessed to have a seafood restaurant this good. I should mention that Oceanaire has a presence in Orlando, but we were in the Nation's capital.
The decor is woody with a vintage ocean liner feel. We were there for the food, not the comfortable and very pleasant surroundings, and we were not disappointed. From the front door to the table and back to the door, the staff was friendly and professional. Our server appeared promptly with menus and allowed us a few minutes to decide on a beverage order. We chose a bottle of an exceptional Sauvignon Blanc, the Oyster Bay 09. This was a crisp white that paired well with my oysters and our other seafood selections.
My dining partner has not been a fan of oysters ever since a shucker in Apalachicola told her that they were still alive at the point of shucking, so she opted for the Caesar Salad. I chose from a variety of oysters from British Columbia and Prince Edward Island. All twelve of these oysters were perfectly shucked and presented with that "kiss of the sea" that Beck was referring to. I swoon at the memory!
For our entrées my bride chose the incredibly delightful Fish and Chips while I enjoyed the Cioppino, probably the best San Fransisco fisherman's stew that I have ever tasted. It was loaded with perfectly prepared scallops, mussels, shrimp, and fish in a tasty broth with just the right amount of spice and came with a toasty bread that was vital for sopping up any remaining broth that the spoon could not accommodate.
We really didn't need dessert, but as the light of my life has pointed out, "Women are blessed with two stomachs...one for food and one for dessert." Any gentleman thinking 'cow' right now should keep that thought to himself. Trust me on this. So, we ordered the unbelievably decadent cheesecake and an accompanying glass of Fladgate First Estate Port...another perfect pairing.
With a well deserved 20% gratuity, our total for the evening came to $190.00. As we waddled out of the Oceanaire we couldn't help but think that this was money well spent. I can only hope that the Oceanaire in Orlando is as good since Orlando is a lot closer to the paradise that is SOG City than D.C. We have that to look forward to in the not too distant future.