Great seafood restaurants in Philadelphia aren’t very easy to come by. That is why when we want to dine in style, we head to 15th and Sansom Street. Ocean Prime is a modern American restaurant and lounge from the renowned restaurateur Cameron Mitchell. Whether we stop by for happy hour or dinner, never does this restaurant disappoint.
Stunning settings and a vibrant energy, an impressive menu of seafood and prime cuts of steak, signature cocktails, a Wine Spectator-honored wine list and truly genuine hospitality make Ocean Prime Philadelphia an ideal place to socialize, talk business, celebrate and indulge.
Originally called Mitchell’s Ocean Club, the first location opened in Columbus, Ohio in 2006 and then the first “Ocean Prime” restaurant opened in Troy, Michigan in 2008. Now there will be 13 locations in the United States, the latest in Washington, DC set to open in October 2016. The atmosphere is exquisite and service is divine with General Manager Frank Hess running the show and Executive Chef Rory Baatz heading the kitchen. Take advantage of the great deals at Ocean Prime’s 5 & 10 happy hour this summer or try their dinner service.
We recently enjoyed an exclusive dinner held in the private dining room upstairs called the “Manayunk Room” overlooking the main first floor of the restaurant. We started with a Cucumber Gimlet made with Bombay Sapphire Gin, muddled fresh cucumber, and hand squeezed lime make for the most refreshing summer cocktail. The handcrafted cocktails here are inspired, the bartenders infuse spirits, prepare fresh purees and mixes, cut citrus to order and hand squeeze juice into our award-winning cocktails. And don’t neglect the beautiful selection from the raw bar here featuring Shrimp Cocktail, as well as a selection of East and West Coast Oysters.
One of the most unique menu items offered at Ocean Prime is the sushi. For our first course we tried the Prime Roll with tempura shrimp, cream cheese, scallion, and beef carpaccio and the Vegetable Roll with soy paper, asparagus, avocado, daikon, mango, and sesame lime vinaigrette. Needless to say the Ahi Tuna Tartare may have stole the show with its ginger ponzu, avocado, and sesame seeds blending together the sweet and salty taste.
For the second course, we watched some Bubbling Berries cocktails smoke and bubble like a witch’s cauldron as they were poured into chilled martini classes over dry ice. Made with Belvedere Citrus Vodka, marinated berries, housemade sour, and Domaine Chandon Brut this is by far the most dramatic drink. We loved the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with sweet corn cream, Sonoma Cheese Ravioli with golden oak mushrooms, and “Surf N Turf” with sea scallops and slow braised short ribs.
For our entrees we ordered the 14 oz. Prime NY Strip topped with Garlic Shrimp Scampi and Chilean Sea Bass with whipped potatoes and champagne truffle sauce since Ocean Prime has the best of both steak and seafood. The steak was absolutely enormous as were the garlicky buttery shrimp it was topped with. The sea bass was so tender it sliced like butter with a fork and obviously with slices of truffle on the plate you knew it would be delicious.
If you can save room for dessert we’d suggest it! If not, come back another time for a glass of wine and indulge your sweet tooth. Of course we always have room for a little something sweet so we couldn’t miss the signature 10 Layer Carrot Cake that will surely tower over your expectations. The Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake and Creme Brulee are nice a traditional favorites. If you’re a chocolate lover you have to order the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie with peanut butter mousse and bittersweet chocolate ganache or the Baked Alaska with pound cake, vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream under toasted meringue and fresh raspberries.
No matter what you select, Ocean Prime is sure to execute it perfectly with precision, skill, and service that is unparalleled. GM Frank Hess has told us that when it comes to his customers his answer is always “Yes”, no matter what the question. How else should fine dining be?
Interior and exterior images from OceanPrime.com.