Monday night, at Pointe Orlando, is not the most crowded of times. I planned my next Magical Dining adventure for the Oceanairre and wasn’t really sure where they were. After parking at the garage, took my ticket with me, and walking to the furthest side of the plaza, I entered a darkly lit restaurant with a jazz cover of The Police’s Message in a Bottle blasting. I was happily greeted at the reception desk. Arriving prior to my dinner companion for the evening and knowing she was running late, I accepted the invitation to be seated without her. On the way to the table, I was welcomed by two other people near the door. The place was dead. My reservation was for 6:45 p.m. and there were no other diners there. I asked if that was usual and was told that a few people were there earlier, but they are mainly busy on weekends.
As I sat waiting for my companion, I noticed the volume of the music, although an up-tempo (but not smooth) still jazz, was very loud. I only mention it because it seemed out of place. The volume and not the music. It was very distracting from the rest of the atmosphere. Physically, it was black with ocean blue accents and quite relaxing, but the music was jarring.
Once I sat down, I discussed my allergy (see FAQs) with the waitress, Anne, and I gave her my drink order. She assured me everything was made in-house and there was nothing on the menu I could not eat. Not prepared for so many options and getting tired of having surf and turf, I had to decide between three different fish that all sounded appetizing. Although the salmon did seem appealing, I opted not to have that because grouper cheeks are expensive, and (let’s be honest, I was there for an inexpensive way to sample a costly meal) cobia is not that common in the places I eat.
As I worked on my decision, I ordered… you guessed it… an Arnold Palmer and a Coke for the party that had not arrived yet. The drinks arrived, and mine was extremely sweet and just as jarring as the music was. Bread and a plate of mixed starters were brought as well. I waited to partake in those until my table was complete.
As I waited, the restaurant started to fill, and the music did not seem so loud as people became buffers and quiet conversation dulled the music.
My friend arrived, and she needed a moment to decide what appetizer she wanted. We were told the meals were a la carte, so she also had to choose if she wanted a side, served family-style. She opted for the calamari that came with a lemon basil aioli for her appetizer. I already knew I was getting the clam chowder. I try to have clam chowder at every place that I go and judge the site based on that. If you can’t make an acceptable chowder, I can’t expect anything else to be good. We placed the rest of the order and then began picking at the starter. There was a metal, iced oval bowl filled with peppers, olives, carrot and celery sticks, cucumbers, pickle wedges, and radish cubes. We also had some of the bread.
The appetizers arrived, and my friend was not too keen on eating hers, not because it was bad but because she didn’t really want it. She did eat the small, tentacled octopi out of it and left the rest for me to take home. I had my chowder that I agreed to have fresh pepper ground over when asked. The potatoes were diced tiny, and the bacon did add a smoky flavor as I was told when ordering. The pepper gave it a nice kick that would have been missing and was glad I asked for it. Overall, it was not the best I had, but it was good, and I would eat it again.
The entrees arrived while we were finishing our appetizers. My companion went with the surf and turf, filet cooked rare. I eventually decided on the cobia, also rare, because of the drunken cognac cherries. My friend was enjoying her food in an obvious way that didn’t require asking. Crusted with a thick layer of cashews, the fish only had one issue. Because the cobia was raw, it was tougher than a bread knife would allow easy cutting. I struggled a bit getting the knife to the bottom of the plate. Once I did and transported it to my mouth, it melted with a slight fish flavor only so much as to remind you what it was. I am not a big fishy tasting fish fan, and between the freshness of the dish, and the accompanying sauce, there was no issue with that being on my palate. We also got the mixed vegetable to accompany the meals. It was a combination of yellow and zucchini squash with onions and carrots tossed in a ginger sauce. I was not a fan because the ginger clashed with my meal and there was enough left to take home. Hopefully, it will be better on its own. Side note, we were going to have asparagus as the side, but I just had some two days earlier and didn’t want the same thing so soon.
There was a single odd incident that occurred while we ate. During the meal, I had my drink replace. I specifically mentioned it was an Arnold Palmer. In the past, I have gotten my drink refilled or replaced with tea, either sweet or unsweet. This time, it was either a Long Island or the spoon used to mix it was also used to mix coffee. I know those two tastes are unrelated, but it was off, and I can’t precisely place what it was. I asked for another, and it was quickly replaced and tasted correct.
Finally, we got dessert. We both asked for the mousse. My friend didn’t want it if it was darker chocolate. I was looking forward if it was. When it arrived, it was too much for her, so Anne (always pleasant and ready to accommodate) said she can get the sherbet instead. I liked the mousse. It was chocolatey with a slight bitterness quickly erased with the sweet and creamy whipped cream. My friend did opt for the double fruit scoops instead. The sherbet was the only thing they had in the place made somewhere else. I sampled some of it, and it was fruity for the berry-mixed scoop, and the mango tasted just as it should. If you are not a fan of mango, I would not recommend it.
When we left, our parking was validated, and we were thanked by many people for dining there.
I was impressed with the place and would like to return in the future. I will say this, they are a member of the Landry family, and I am a member of the Landy’s club. That does increase my chances of returning. The fact that they validated my parking only makes it more of a reason to go. I hate going to Pointe Orlando for the drive, traffic, and having to pay for parking. I will say it is easier to deal with than Downtown Orlando, but still a pain. With parking being validated, I will no longer consider that a deterrent for this location. As for the food, it was fresh and filling. I liked most of what I had and that which I didn’t I can get something else instead. They had more than enough options I would want to try, and the best part is they are tomato-allergy friendly.