To be precise, the Ocean Room was booked all evening on the night we were there. So, we ate in the Lounge, just outside the restaurant. It was a bit more casual, I'm sure, but the menu is the same. Our service suffered only slightly in that they rushed our meal just a bit. Given that we didn't have advanced reservations, I didn't take offense to that. And otherwise, our service was great! Very attentive, if a bit less experienced than a seasoned waitstaff, and dedicated to our full enjoyment of the meal.
The wine menu is voluminous. And pricey! Lower end bottles are probably three times retail, and upper end bottles more like five. I was able to find a nice Italian Tuscan for under $80, though, and unless money is no issue, this is not the place to splurge on that library first growth bordeaux you've been craving.
My date started with The Ocean Room take on a Caprese salad. Heirloom tomatoes with burrata cheese, drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. Magnificent! Delicate, subtle yet pleasing in texture and flavor. I started with the French onion soup, which was presented in a manner that was unique for me. The croutons were aligned like a row of sushi in a bowl, which was then surrounded by the pouring of the soup into the bowl by the server. There was no crock, no impossible cutting of half-inch cheese topping fused to another half-inch soggy crouton. The presentation allowed the croutons to remain crisp throughout the consumption of the soup. Flavor was wonderful. This was followed by a wedge salad, topped with apple-smoked bacon bits and house-made bleu cheese dressing. The dressing proportion to salad was perfect to allow sufficient flavoring of the entire serving without overpowering any one bite, and the bacon, while scant in portion size, was seasoned boldly to allow perfect blending of flavors without overpowering of any one ingredient.
For the main course, my date had the seasoned flounder with beans with a side of lobster mac and cheese. The flounder was delicate, flavorful, moist and tender. The lobster mac and cheese was a showstopper! Big chunks of lobster meat combined with an al dente macaroni and a cheese that neither wilted under the flavor of the lobster nor overpowered the dish. I'd say it was the star of the night, although my ribeye steak was a close second. The cut was marbled like a ribeye should be, but was far from fatty. Perfectly prepared to medium-rare temperature, the steak was tender, juicy, and had flavor to spare. We topped off the meal with coffee and a chocolate meltdown cake. As warm caramel was poured over the cake, the outer chocolate shell melted away to reveal a brownie ala mode. So rich and decadent, we couldn't finish it. Total bill with tip: $330
I've had the pleasure of eating at dozens of other five star restaurants. This meal was easily in the top five meals I've ever had (along with the Four Seasons in Toronto, and the Penrose Room at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs). Kudos to The Sanctuary for sharing the master chefs behind the Ocean Room with the rest of us.
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