Early last year, we visited Ocean Prime for the first time. We were completely blown away by the experience. In fact, I believe it is one of the longest reviews I’ve written since I started writing them.
When we were invited to come back, hubby and I were eager to revisit the swanky Rittenhouse Square restaurant to see how it compared to our first time and to meet the new team members, General Manager Tricia Finke and brand new Executive Chef Jennifer Grosskruger.
It makes me very happy to see two women at the helm of the popular Center City restaurant. It was nice to see many other female employees, including a bartender, servers, and others. In fact, our server (Carol) was professional, friendly, and provided spot-on service. If service is of utmost importance to you, you will feel in very good hands at Ocean Prime.
The exquisitely designed bar and superb bar program — cocktail offerings and wine menu — continues to impress! Our alluring cocktail selections were very much to our liking.
You have to experience the Berries & Bubbles cocktail. Half the fun is having it prepared for you at the table which I filmed and shared on my Instagram (see below). I love the use of dry ice; it adds such dramatic flair. This luxe cocktail — featuring Belevedere Citrus Vodka, Marinated Berries, Housemade Sour, Domaine Chandin Brut — is well-balanced and irresistible to drink!
Hubby chose the Watermelon Elyx — made with Absolut Elyx, Uncle Val’s Gin, Fresh Watermelon, Lime & Basil — it was a refreshing and smooth. Very easy-drinking. The frozen watermelon cubes on top were a nice, fresh touch!
We don’t usually go crazy over bread baskets, but we loved the sourdough loaf and pretzel sticks that came to the table. Especially the pretzel sticks! And the housemade whipped butter was extra yummy.
Hubby started dinner off with a Caesar Salad which he topped with white anchovies. The salad does not come with the anchovies, but he’s a huge fan, asked for them, and they obliged his request. A classy accommodation of an ingredient that isn’t often available at most restaurants — what a treat!
I started off with the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli. What a sumptuous dish! This uber fresh pasta was exquisite; perfectly paired with savory shiitake mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, and creamy goat cheese in a luxurious white wine sauce. It was heavenly! I highly endorse this appetizer if you go.
Prior to our main courses, we both ordered a glass of wine as we do to compliment our entrees. With so many to chose from, hubby went with one of his favorites — 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon by J. Lohr — a full-bodied, yet smooth red that is superb when pairing with savory dishes. He seeks it out on wine menus and he was delighted to see it on the Ocean Prime wine list.
I spied the Mumm Napa Brut Sparkling Rosé on the wine list and determined that would go really well with my fresh-from-the-sea main course.
Soft & fruity, it paired exceptionally well with the stellar Chilean Sea Bass.
I’ve had my fair share of sea bass over the years, but this was the absolute best I’ve ever had. Cooked to perfection, with just a hint of sear; it was ultra-flaky and skillfully seasoned. Creamy whipped potatoes topped with a few shavings of earthy black truffles accompanied the dish; garnished with thinly sliced carrots and fresh sweet green peas for a pop of color, this dish was flawless in my eyes.
Since I selected the sea (ocean), hubby selected the land (prime). He chose the 16 oz. Kansas City Strip Steak. For the price, the cut of beef was extraordinarily hearty and flavorful thanks to the steak prepared with the bone-in. He asked for medium-to-rare and was elated when it was delivered just so — not that he had any doubts it would be! The OP signature rub adds another layer of flavor that ensured his steak nirvana. He just could not say enough about this beautiful steakhouse cut of beef!
As a side dish, we chose the decadently Smoked Gouda Tater Tots — handcrafted, oversized tots stuffed with melty smoked gouda and served with a creamy aioli. These are one of the most spectacular potato sides we’ve ever had. They were more like cheesy potato bombs! Forget the old baked potato, you haven’t lived until you’ve had these tots with your steak. This side is so very inventive & incredibly delicious! It’s a keeper for sure.
We were both quite stuffed at this point and couldn’t even fathom a dessert. But we know they nail desserts, too.
We’re happy to report that Ocean Prime continues to be one of the premier fine dining destinations in Center City. We can’t recommend it enough and we’re happy to continue to endorse it. So do consider Ocean Prime when you are looking for elegant dining in Philadephia with a chic setting, complete with superlative entree choices, amazing craft cocktails, and a world-class wine selection to boot. You just can’t go wrong!
Special thanks to Punch Media for arranging our visit and to Ocean Prime for their wonderful hospitality. As always, our opinions are our own.
Food enthusiast. Travel lover. Social media maven.
Independent Journalist. Food marketing/PR expert.