The Oceanaire: Banking on the Freshest Fish

Posted October 31, 2013 by Jen Dorman in Downtown Boston
You feel like you're dining under the sea at The Oceanaire. Photo credit: Jen Dorman.

A former bank is probably not where you’d expect to find the best seafood in town, but that’s exactly where you should go when dining in downtown Boston. The Oceanaire is located at 40 Court Street in the Financial District, inside the United States Trust Company Building—one of the few remaining buildings from the old Scollay Square.

Traces of history remain in the restaurant. For example, a large marble block in the center of the dining space indicates what was once the safe deposit vault area. But in this converted, historic building you can find some of the city’s freshest seafood. Top suppliers’ best fish is flown in every day from all over the world. Selections are based on market availability, so choices change daily. The expansive selection includes crab, lobster, shrimp, scallops, tuna, salmon, trout, haddock, mahi mahi, swordfish, and flounder, plus rare items such as wolffish and moonfish.

A friend of mine told me that the crab cakes at The Oceanaire are “unbelievable.” Since my friend is from Maryland, I figured she’d be an expert on the topic, so I decided to check it out for myself and made a Saturday night dinner reservation.

The restaurant was very busy when I arrived. Nearly every table was full, so I was pleased I’d made the reservation. There were a few couples on dates, as well as many families and groups of friends seated throughout the establishment. Despite the number of other diners, it did not seem crowded at all, thanks to high ceilings and a large, open feel.

The restaurant décor creates the illusion of dining under the sea. Glass art in white, neutral tones and yellow hues is arranged in the middle of the room, symbolizing coral and fish along the ocean floor. Circular blue and silver light fixtures hang from the ceiling like floating bubbles atop waves on the water.

The Oceanaire Crab Cake

Dive into delicious crab cakes at The Oceanaire. Photo credit: Jen Dorman.

Enjoying the décor, I sat down to read through the menu. It was difficult to make a selection with so many delicious-sounding options! The waitress was helpful, though, highlighting unique offerings and customer favorites. I ordered the Jumbo Lump Crab Cake as an appetizer, the Togarashi Dusted Hawaiian Moonfish, and a glass of wine. Both dishes were carefully prepared and perfectly cooked. The crab cake was loaded with quality crab meat and paired well with a spicy sauce. My moonfish entree, served with eel sauce and a wasabi emulsion, was full of flavor. I knew I’d made great menu choices, but I have a feeling you cannot go wrong at The Oceanaire.

The Oceanaire is the place to go in downtown Boston for fresh seafood. You can take their commitment to freshness and customer satisfaction all the way to the bank!



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