judge by the breadbasket: ocean prime
Written by: The Boston Food Journal
I promise you this - I would have been content just eating from the breadbasket at Ocean Prime. Sure, I may be slightly biased as I’m deeply rooted in my Italian culture and thus a hardcore ‘carbie’. Either way, the warm, handmade soft pretzel sticks were unlike anything I’ve ever had before (and I would know, because I had four of them). I constantly say to my family and friends ‘you can always tell how good a meal will be by the breadbasket’. In this case , my mantra has never been more true.
You may or may not know that renowned restaurateur Cameron Mitchell’s dining concept, Ocean Prime, is new to Boston. The installation in Boston’s Seaport District is one of 12 other restaurants located across the United States. Operating with the idea that ‘the answer is always yes’, Ocean Prime focuses not only on delivering quality food but also on providing a top notch dining experience to guests.
I decided to kickoff my dining experience with a cocktail (naturally). Ocean Prime has a diverse wine, spirit, and specialty cocktail offering, so the decision was not easy. After much deliberation, I ordered the Berries & Bubbles, per the recommendation of my server Alyson. The drink was a citrus vodka base and was embellished with house made sour, Domain Chandon brut, and marinated berries. More impressive than the sweet taste of the cocktail was the presentation. When served, the drink was poured over dry ice, which created an eye-catching display of bubbles and smoke. When they named it Berries & Bubbles – they meant it!
Choosing an appetizer was no easy feat either. Ocean Prime offers a variety of diverse mid-course options ranging from soups, salads, sushi, intricate hot plates, and cold fish from the raw bar. I ordered the Prime sushi role and the fried calamari. Both dishes were unique and thoughtfully constructed. My favorite of the two, the fried calamari, had an Asian inspired twist and was fused with chili sauce and candied cashews. Delicious!
Now, to the entrée! The menu at Ocean Prime is very diverse, and was designed to please all palates. If you couldn’t already tell by their name, they offer fresh seafood options as well as top cuts of filet, rib eye, New York strip, and Kansas City strip steaks.
I chose the seared sea scallops in a citrus vinaigrette, which were served over a bed of Parmesan risotto. This dish was truly a ten out of ten. Being from Maine, I certainly know good, fresh seafood when I taste it. The scallops were delicious and perfectly cooked – they melted in my mouth. The risotto was a great pairing; it did not take away from the main but gave the dish sustenance and extra flavor.
Now, I bet you think that I would be completely stuffed after this extravagant three-course meal - and you’re right! However, I obviously did not let that stop me from perusing the dessert menu (the diet starts tomorrow after all…). Because I couldn’t decide which dessert I wanted most, Alyson was kind enough to bring out a sampler of three ‘top seller’ desserts: the ten layer carrot cake, the chocolate peanut butter pie, and the crème brulèe. Good things really do come in threes! Each dessert was spectacular, but I had a particular interest in the carrot cake. I brought half of it home and happily fulfilled my midnight munchies later that evening.
All in all, my dining experience at Ocean Prime was top notch. Between the enchanting restaurant ambiance, quality food and drink, and attentive service, I cannot wait to go back for round two.