LaBan Reviews The Oceanaire

Craig LaBan boards the Oceanaire Seafood Room for a meal basking in the retro vibe of grand old cruise ship.

And despite a “de-bell-able” offense with the lobster, LaBan finds the staff is hitting its stride with its more modern dishes.

The Oceanaire aims to serve it both ways, with a dual-concept menu that nods to unadorned chowder-house standbys, but also presents numerous dishes inspired by a considerably more contemporary feel. And it has a swimming chance with a chef like Anthony Bonett, a Striped Bass and Tony Clark alum who made his lasting lead-chef impression as a modernist at Opus 251.

One gets a quick sense of his skill with a dish like his almond-crusted halibut, a thick slice of luscious Alaskan fish posed over a zesty white gazpacho made from blended cucumbers and romaine. A sliced asparagus and roasted marcona-almond salad on top lends the final Spanish touch. A seared scallop special was equally stunning, the juicy white rounds paired with lentils and bittersweet candied kumquats scented with orange and cardamom.

Two Bells – Very Good

The Oceanaire [Philadelphia Inquirer]
The Oceanaire Seafood Room [Official Site]