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Oceano Bistro

February 4, 2010

Ever since I’ve moved to St. Louis, I’ve been on the lookout for good seafood places, but I have to say I couldn’t really think of too many restaurants or exceptional seafood dinners that really stick out in my mind.  So when Clayton restaurant week rolled around last week, I decided to take this chance to check out Oceano with the hopes of changing that.  Yes I know we are smack right in the middle of the country, but if a place with a name like Oceano that flies in fresh fish from the coast can’t deliver, I don’t know if there would be any hope left…  

The restaurant was completely packed on the Friday night and very lively.  They have a very large open dining room, as well as a side patio and fun bar.  The service was incredibly friendly, and we were brought a simple basket of bread along with some flavored and seasoned olive oil when we sat down.  

Next up were the Bistro Mussels, the most anticipated dish of the night as we had heard they were a house specialty.  

We were each served a huge plate of Mussels in a white wine, shallot and tomato roasted garlic sauce.  This was such a classic preparation of the dish and it sure did hit the spot.  It was perfectly seasoned and I was glad the serving size was so generous because these really were exceptional.  

The Mussels were followed by the North Atlantic Organic Salmon, which was grilled and topped with an apple-fennel salad and came with a potato, arugula bacon cake.  

The organic salmon was nicely grilled and tasted very fresh, but was really able to shine because of its creative accompaniments.  The fennel apple salad was fantastic, added a great crunch, and helped me overcome my fear of fennel (I always avoided it thinking it would taste too much like anise).  Even better was the bacon potato cake.  There was just enough bacony goodness to make this dish taste like heaven without weighing it down. 

Finally we finished off with the Profiteroles and the White Chocolate Apple Bread pudding.  

I was much much more excited for the profiteroles, but they ended up being a huge flop while the caramel sauce of the bread pudding made this latter desert the more memorable one.  The profiterole choux pastry was just off and not puffy, and even the coffee ice cream couldn’t make up for this…at least it looked very pretty!

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the seafood at Oceano and would absolutely return for more.

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