Thursday, February 24, 2011

Review: Ocean Prime, Stephan Pyles, & Shecky's + a GIVEAWAY

Today was quite a day! It was the beginning of a what will prove to be an awesome weekend of pampering and indulgence. A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling guilty for delighting so much, but since we've had quite a few out of control weeks with sickness, lack of sleep, worry, etc...ultimately, I took pause, reflected on the MANY blessings we have and decided that it was ok to pamper and spoil myself and let others spoil me too! :D

OCEAN PRIME
It's was close to this time last year that I first reviewed Ocean Prime. Anyway, another lunch visit and again, I ordered the crabmelt and again Primo ordered the chicken. This time we tried the truffled deviled eggs. Again, I had the flavored tea (pear) and again, he had a white wine. The pear tea, divine and perfect! The truffled deviled eggs were better with the oil they had drizzled on the plate. I wanted more texture in them, but I like the crunch of relish in my deviled eggs. If you like amazingly whipped filled deviled eggs, then this dish is for you! Next up, entrees. At this point, I must say that my lunch was perfection on a plate! The bread for the sandwich was soft, yet firm in the right spots. The greens fresh, the jalapeno/corn tartar fabulous, the crab plentiful and flavorful, the tillamook cheese, melted extraordinarily. I smiled and the baby flipped with joy! And the lobster bisque was truly bisque! Thick, smooth, and surprisingly hearty. At the very end of eating it, I noticed it had a spicy pop. Nothing obtrusive, but a very complimentary spark of flavor. YUM! Primo was nice to let me have a sip of his wine to taste it with the bisque and WOW!! flavor amazingness

His chicken on the otherhand, the ENTIRE reason we went to Ocean Prime...the dreams of that meal for him...the sole reason for going there over some place else, so disappointing. *shaking head* The chicken, was dry and not juicy like it should have been. The asparagus was over blanched! The truffled mac & cheese...the pasta was too al dente and dry, the cheese not hardly melted and infused with the pasta, the truffles absent along with the flavor I had grown to love. There was supposed to be a hint of a lemon sauce...yeah, no. nothing. And then if the entree wasn't enough of a disappointment, our server went absent. Thank goodness for the assistant server, Matt's attentiveness. He was fantastic! Our main server, on the other hand, yeah...I asked for a flavored tea to go and it never came. It took a while for our bill to come and aside from his initial recommendation of food, that was it. He didn't check up on us after the meal arrived. Service matters folks and can totally make up for the lack of flavor in a meal. Oh well. The manager did give us his business card to have him personally follow-up with our meal the next time we go. That was nice, but man, coming by beforehand would've been better. It was the thought that counts.

SHECKY'S
Then, I met up with my sister for a Girls Night Out. We had so much fun at Shecky's last year that we wanted to go again. This year, Cointreau was the alcohol sponsor. Everyone was gifted with a mini shaker with measurements of different familiar alcoholic libations. We were also gifted with a plastic shot glass. In the goody bag was about half the stuff of what I received last year. Not to mention, the bag contents weren't really of note. The best thing I got were SEVERAL sample bags of those floss picks. I was also given a copy of a book called Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Since this isn't the type of book I usually read, I will be giving my copy away. All you have to do is comment here for a chance to win and tell me why you would like this book. Simple.  The vendors were really nice, but my favorite from last year wasn't there. There were quite a few bigger brands represented (Maybelline), but I just wasn't feelin' it. Even the free cupcake left an overly sweet taste in my mouth. The drinks were flowing and the music bumping, but I wanted an awesome shopping experience and great girl time. It just felt like I was being massed marketed to and spammed and there was no escape. No thanks. I'd rather have an old fashioned Girls Night Out, which is why after we left Shecky's with me only being there for about 45 minutes, we headed out to Stephan Pyles.

STEPHAN PYLES
I avoided paying for valet for stopping in there for a soda prior to the event and also making dinner reservations. They were surprised by our early arrival (by nearly an hour!), but they still accommodated us.  I wasn't that hungry, so I just wanted a salad. My sister opted for the Lenguado Ceviche (sole with smoked corn and sweet potato) and the Poblano-Asiago Soup with Yellow Tomato Foam. I ended up with Stephan's Original Southwestern Caesar Salad with Jalapeno-Polenta Croutons and Parmigiano Reggiano "Chicharron" and I bought Don a meal to-go because I love him and I wanted him to enjoy some of this goodness. This is what he had: USDA Prime Bone-In 21 oz Cowboy Ribeye (rare) with Red Chile Onion Rings and Pinto-Wild Mushroom Ragout.

The amuse bouche was really delicious. It was short rib with rhubarb, blue cheese, and a sliver of green onion. Oh wow, it was fantastic! My salad came plated with a cylinder shaped piece of fried parmesan, which had romaine lettuce flowering out of it. The lettuce was tossed in the caesar dressing. To the side in a neat stack was the jalapeno polenta croutons. I liked it pretty good and it was the right kind of heat. I didn't taste Sam's ceviche, but she said it was good. And then the soup...well, she was surprised by the heat. For some reason she didn't see poblano and instead read it as avocado. Quite a difference! It had a fair amount of heat and when she tasted it and claimed it too spicy for her to eat, I was not surprised she sent it back. The breads were delicious as was the butter. And Don, well he loved his meal! Our hostess, server, manager, and bread server were AWESOME! All went above and beyond! While the food didn't blow me away like I would have expected it to, the service did.

So there you go. Comment away if you want a free book!

**I was not paid or compensated in any way for any of the reviews. The opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way. I am, however, open to compensated reviews or even free meals. :D**

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