This past weekend we celebrated my friend Leeann’s birthday at Oceaniare Seafood Room. If you recall, Oceanaire was on my list of places to go for Houston Restaurant Weeks so I was excited about this pick! We had a larger group so we were seated in a semi private area to the side of the main dining room. The restaurant printed up personalized menus with “Happy Birthday Leeann!” for everyone. They even put a ribbon on one and gave to my friend as a souvenir. I thought that was a great touch!
Setup: Oceanaire is actually inside of the Galleria mall. The Galleria is always a zoo, but with the current construction going on at the mall, it is really a fight to get in that place and find parking. There is a valet station conveniently located right outside of Oceanaire that takes credit cards! I parked in the underground garage right beneath the Oceanaire, which was also convenient and free! This was my first time actually inside Oceanaire after passing it a million times from the street and inside the mall. I sat at the bar area while waiting for the rest of the group to arrive. It is a really cute area and apparently has a great happy hour that I will be trying soon! The dining area is also beautiful with high ceilings and somewhat scenic views of the galleria area (i.e. cars zooming by on Westheimer).
Service: I try to give waiters serving large groups a pass, because it ain’t easy! We were seated in a nook area and my seat was closer inside of the nook near the birthday girl. Our server never seemed to make it all the way to our end of the table. We were like the orphan children! The other end of the table would probably say the service was impeccable, us not so much. When it came time for the three courses to start rolling out, it seemed that there was a hold up! It felt like we waited forever for our first course and then in between courses. Again, I TRY to give passes for large groups, but there was a point that we almost fought over the last piece of bread!
Drinks: I skipped cocktails at Oceanaire, but my friends indulged for the sake of this blog, thanks ladies! Both ordered second rounds, so we can say they were pretty good.
Food: This is a picture heavy post because I was with a large group that liked to share. Those are the best groups! We all ordered and then ate family style, trying a little of everything. I will go for fewer words here and let the pictures speak for themselves. I think for the most part all of us found something that we really liked. I will note my favorites below.
Oceanaire definitely gets my recommendation for Houston Restaurant Weeks! Great portions (other than the braised short rib), the $35 price plus plenty of good menu options!