From the minute you walk to the front door of Ocean 44 you know that you are going to have a very unique experience.
It doesn’t matter that we are not near an ocean, we now have an up-scale, energetic and masterfully executed seafood restaurant in the heart of the desert!
The free-standing building on Goldwater and Highland greets you with a beautiful water feature, the perfect place for a Boomerang for the Gram because everyone should know you were here, and should be a little jealous. As you walk through the doors, you are immediately greeted with the glass enclosed kitchen with the star of the show, their highest grade sustainable seafood on display.
You will recognize right away the attention to detail that was put into the décor from the tables to the art, no stone was left unturned. You will also notice the attentive staff. From the hostess to the server, server assistant, and plenty of other well mannered, professional staff, everyone has the number one goal of making sure you have a dining experience like no other.
While the over 12,000 square foot restaurant offers diners several areas to feast including their well-known booths looking into their kitchen, their intimate dining areas, and two vibrant bar areas, Ocean 44’s Atrium is unlike any dining room in Arizona. With floor to ceiling windows and a beautifully crafted light feature, you find yourself in a Midsummer Night’s Dream dining experience. How romantic it feels to eat under the stars while sharing the most perfect meal and wine.
Now because Ocean 44 is apart of the Dominick’s and Steak 44 family of restaurants, I found myself walking in with the expectation of an amazing meal and similar atmosphere. I was pleasantly surprised with an energetic vibe from diners celebrating and enjoying their amazing feasts. There is definitely a spark in the air at Ocean 44 that sets it apart from its sister restaurants.
While the atmosphere is unique, the menu is familiar while also offering an extensive collection of traditional seafood options. The raw bar includes Daily Fresh Oysters, Iced Whole Main Lobster, Jumbo Alaskan King Crab Claws, Little Neck Clams, and Prince Edward Island Mussels to name a few. To get the most out of your experience, we suggest the seafood tower that allows you to sample a variety of raw bar options.
The raw bar is not the only place you can find creative seafood finds. Ocean 44 offers unique and interesting appetizers. We devoured the Heirloom Tomato and King Crab with fresh avocado and basil puree. We also very much enjoyed the Pacific Yellowtail Hamachi with white soy and tapenade. Both appetizers were fresh, light, and flavorful, setting the tone for our seafood journey.
Whether you enjoy the raw bar, appetizers, or both, you will have no issue pairing them with one of Ocean 44’s 10 Custom Cocktails, whiskey cocktails, martinis, craft beer or wine. For a refreshing option, we suggest the Basil Cucumber Limeade with Russian Standard, Hanson Organic Cucumber, Basil eau de vie, cucumber, and lime. For a bolder option, choose Walnut 46 Old Fashioned with Maker’s Mark 46, Demerara, walnut bitters, luxardo cherry, and orange. You can also choose from an incredibly extensive wine menu where you can sip by the glass or purchase by the bottle.
To continue our journey we went with a tried and true classic that of course had an Ocean 44 twist. The Shetland Island Salmon was perfectly prepared. The unique blend of seasoning enhanced this delicious fish while still keeping the traditional flavor. With over 15 side dishes to choose from it was quite the task to choose just two. We went with New Bedford Sea Scallop Gnocchi with brown butter, bread crumbs, and parmesan truffle. Talk about high level comfort food, the gnocchi hit all the feels with how warm and comforting it was. Our second side, the Corn Crème Crulee with sweet corn, cream, and turbinado sugar, was an experience in itself. As you break through the top layer of crisp brulee sugar you dip into a warm, sweet, flavorful corn.
While seafood was in the spotlight, we couldn’t resist the Petit Filet Mignon with King Crab Legs. The filet came out on a sizzling plate and was perfectly cooked. No need to use you steak knife, the filet was tender, perfectly seasoned, and melted like butter in your mouth. Not to be outdone, the King Crab Legs were so fresh and full of that yummy crab meat. They literally can be a meal on their own.
Now that we were in a state of euphoria from being spoiled with incredible wine, appetizers, and entrees, we obviously had to make room for dessert. The Triple Chocolate Bombe with chocolate mousse, white chocolate center, chocolate shell, and toasted almonds is almost too beautiful to dive into. The rich chocolate, soft mousse, and sweet center combined to make a mind-blowing desert. For a light and fresh option, I would also suggest the Triple Layer Key Lime Pie with fresh key limes, hazelnut graham crust, and lime “cavier.” This bright, zestful, fluffy pie smacks your tastebuds in all of the right ways.
From beginning to end, our Ocean 44 experience was one of a kind.
For the complete menu, more information and reservations, visit ocean44.com.