Oceana (St.Thomas) – Almost Flawless From Start to Finish

DSC_2747Our recent visit to Oceana was close to flawless from start to finish. This restaurant is an annual visit for our group and the visit to the beautiful setting was the culinary highlight of the extended weekend. Our servers for the evening were exceptional. They explained the evenings specials, at both ends of the long table, were helpful with suggestions, when one in our party explained her allergies, they were quick to check with the kitchen on each of the dishes, they delivered the food efficiently, checked in and were a part of our fun.

We started the evening with a small gift from the chef. An Asian soup spoon was delivered to each of us. Each was filled with a gelee made with blueberry and kobuchi (Japanese tea). It was a very playful start to the meal and set the tone for the menu’s light options.

For my appetizer I ordered the special of the evening, the Lobster Bisque. The bisque was served with a dollop of crème fraiche and a mini-triangle of grilled cheese. This version offered a delicate flavor from the lobster; it was not overwhelming; and was offset by the tang of the crème fraiche and a slight crunch from the grilled cheese. I really liked the Lobster Bisque.

I also ordered the evening’s special for my entrée, Swordfish medallions with fried sweet potato gnocchi plus slices of cucumber and mango. I was a little hesitant ordering swordfish and mentioned my anxiety to the server about dried out fish. She was very confident about the chef’s ability. She was absolutely correct. The swordfish was perfectly prepared, moist on the interior and the texture indicated its ultimate freshness. The gnocchi added just a little crunchiness but it was not a significant flavor component. The mound of thinly sliced and slightly pickled cucumbers were a great addition. The entire dish was elevated by the sweetness of the ultra-thin slices of mango. This modest addition created a beautifully wonderful composition.

The table ordered almost all of the desserts to share. My favorite was the Chocolate Molten Cake, which ranks as one of the top five I have ever eaten. The other outstanding choice was the White Chocolate Panna Cotta, which was served with sweet berries; the combination was outstanding. The Creme Brulee was slightly undercooked, a little runny, but the flavors were perfect and the topping was minimal, which is my preference. The last dessert was the Apple Pie. It was also delicious with crispy apples complemented by a crust with great buttery flavor.

Overall, our venture to Oceana was nearly flawless and I cannot wait to return next year for another creative meal.

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