(Editor’s note: We’ve dined at Ocean Prime in Manhattan and count it among our pleasurable city memories. Below is WAG senior travel and beauty writer Debbi K. Kickham’s impressions of dining at its sister restaurant in Boston: )
I just love going to a great steakhouse. Since I’m pretty preoccupied with eating healthy, I love that a good steakhouse will offer me a fabulous piece of fish, a baked potato and a side of Brussels sprouts or broccoli and cauliflower. You can’t get more health-conscious than that. Of course, there’s still plenty to indulge in as well. That was our experience at Ocean Prime, a superb steakhouse with 16 locations across the country, including Boston (my hometown) and New York City (for all of you WAG readers).
We visited Ocean Prime in the Seaport Area of Boston on a Saturday night and found it to be a hip, hoppin’, happenin’ place. From the minute we entered and encountered the boisterous atmosphere, well, we were hooked. We sat at a sexy table-for-two where Bill, my husband and sometime WAG collaborator, and I celebrated our 21 years of marriage. We weren’t the only ones in a celebratory mood. The place was filled with groups marking birthdays decked out in party attire – not to mention the singles thronging the bar area, where they ordered the house special, the Berries and Bubbles cocktail with dry-ice-smoke, and checked out one another.
We started with the terrific pretzel bread, which was accompanied by the house salad – a mix of lettuce, goat cheese, walnuts and sherry-vinaigrette dressing. It was scrumptious with the tangy, thick dressing coating every lettuce leaf superbly.
Then came the main course. Bill reveled in the excellent eight-ounce filet mignon ($49) and a side of Brussels sprouts that he shared with me. The roasted Brussels sprouts were worth the trip alone – sweet, savory and grilled to perfection. I couldn’t stop eating them. As an almost-vegetarian, I really appreciated that a simple vegetable could be prepared so perfectly. I ordered the special of the day – a delectable Alaskan halibut with fingerling potatoes, yellow-tomato sauce and wild mushrooms ($52). It was marvelous. I ate one half and brought the other portion home, where it was even more delicious the next day. I also ordered the shrimp scampi, which was excellent – beautiful shrimp complemented with a little butter and garlic that was not overpowering. Yup, these were upper-crust crustaceans.
For dessert, I surprised my Bill with a carrot layer cake – a mini mountain of carrot cake and cream cheese on a special plate that said, in chocolate, “Happy 21st Anniversary.”
Of course, there was so much more we could have indulged in, including oysters on the half shell, ahi tuna tartare, Chilean sea bass and black-truffle mac and cheese.
Ocean Prime has won awards too numerous to mention – everything from Travel + Leisure’s “100 Best Restaurants To Splurge On” to USA Today’s “Top Restaurants For Dining Al Fresco.” Its founder is Cameron Mitchell, who has built a diverse portfolio of varied concepts, ranging from multilocation, upscale destinations to single neighborhood favorites. Mitchell shares his story and the wisdom he has gained through the years in his book, “Yes is the Answer. What is the Question?”. In this book, Mitchell tells his rags-to-riches story, which any entrepreneur or restaurant enthusiast will love and learn from. With the voice of a natural storyteller, he reveals the highs and lows of a 25-year journey – from fundraising for his first restaurant to coast-to-coast expansion and his extraordinary sale of 22 restaurants for $92 million – after which he nearly lost everything, then rebuilt his empire again. Most important, Mitchell shares the company culture and values that he believes are the secret to his success.
So now you know what the answer is when your significant other suggests Ocean Prime for lunch or dinner – yes. Now what was the question?