Oceana has been on my wishlist to try for a while, so when The Big Taste came around and Oceana had a $35 dinner menu with a few items to choose from, it was a good opportunity. My theory with The Big Taste, is that this is a restaurant’s opportunity to shine – to showcase good food and good service – to make you want to return. I can’t say that I want to return any time soon to Oceana.
Upon our arrival, another lady was waiting to check in and be seated. We waited for the host to get that sorted out and bring the lady to her table. The host was then distracted on the way back… by the time we were finally greeted I’m sure 5 minutes had gone by. There was a coat rack right at the front door, but we weren’t offered to use it. As we were walking to our table the host explained that since we were a group of 3 at a 4 person table there’d be an extra chair for us to put our coats on. OK… it’s winter, and we’re wearing huge coats.
Service wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t prompt or super friendly. Our server was nice enough, but oddly abrupt. It was kind of like she didn’t want to be there. The food was just meh. I ordered the kale salad because I hadn’t eaten enough veggies in the last 2 days. I was expecting it to be way better than what I could make at home, but neither C1 nor I were impressed. It was too simple – basically a bowl of kale and a too tangy vinaigrette that made your mouth pucker. Maybe my expectations were too high because I had an awesome kale salad once before at a restaurant… C2 had the lobster bisque and she said it was okay, with just 3 little bits of lobster in it.
For a main we all went for the Scallop & Jumbo Shrimp Capri, with garlic & olive oil sauteed scallops and jumbo shrimp tossed with Kalamata olives, capers, and fresh tomatoes in a white wine butter sauce served over linguini. There was a fair serving of seafood in the pasta, so that was nice. There was a nice heat and some decent flavour to the dish with the olives and capers, but it was nothing to write home about. It was definitely a dish that we all could have made at home with little effort.
For dessert I chose the Pear Flambé. I’m not really sure what I was expecting, but it was served simply as vanilla ice cream with the flambéed pears on top. The pears were nice – don’t get me wrong – great flavour and good texture, but it was too simple, just served on ice cream (not housemade ice cream, I’m sure). I think the pears would have been amazing served over a puffed pastry filled with a vanilla custard. Now that, would be decadent.
All in all, it was a fine meal for $35. But neither the food nor the service were enough to get me coming back any time soon, which is disappointing. I really quite liked the decor and feel of the restaurant – warm and cozy, but updated and modern.