Best Seafood Dallas 2003 - The Oceanaire Seafood Room
13340 Dallas Parkway
Dallas, TX 75240
Readers' Choice: Aquaterra Grill
"Think of us as a power steak house with a seafood center." This is how the top brass at Oceanaire want you to think of their restaurant. They're referring to the beefy, two-fisted portions that in some cases--in true oxymoronic fashion--contain shrimp. Chilled shellfish is delivered in two portable ice mountain versions ($35 and $65) embedded with all manner of water crawlers, including lobster, crab and shrimp as well as shelled critters that do nothing but suck and make expensive jewelry--the freshest, richest stuff we've tasted in a city. Jumbo lumpmeat crab cakes are bumpy, ugly barnacle-like nodes of sweet brackish crabmeat chunks laced with just a puff of bread crumbs glued in place with a mayonnaise dressing and packed into balls before they're baked with a little bay butter. This allows the delicious crab flavor to easily pierce the thin starch draperies--a welcome maneuver in a town where chefs seem determined to smother crab flavor in a blizzard of sticky bread crumbs. Whole fried fish is delicate, moist and greaseless, while Chilean sea bass, resting on a mattress of bacon-studded wilted spinach basking in a beet purée, is brilliantly buttery--a flawless twist on a fish that has become a cod-like staple for high-end fishmongers. Great Key lime pie, too.