Guests visiting Ocean Prime for the first time quickly realize that they are in for more than just an average surf-and-turf meal. From the lovely surroundings to the attentive service and top-quality steaks and seafood, Ocean Prime delivers a memorable fine-dining experience.
Located in Denver’s historic Larimer Square, this is the 14th Ocean Prime location for busy restaurateur Cameron Mitchell. The two-level restaurant includes the vibrant Blue Lounge with live entertainment downstairs and an elegant linen-laden dining room veranda upstairs. The lounge is adorned with a multi-hued, LED-lit bar, stone and wood accents, and floor-to-ceiling windows on one side with views of bustling Larimer Square and the illuminated Denver skyline.
As you are led to your table, your server will explain some of the specials and details of the menu and the made-from-scratch-focused kitchen. It is obvious that the wait staff is well-trained; they are very knowledgeable about their products and can adjust the menu to satisfy special requests. They seem genuinely interested in quality service. As you progress through your meal, the team-based approach is superbly efficient and will refill your glasses, take bar requests, explain the various dishes, and quickly whisk away plates and utensils. They seem to take to heart the company’s slogan: “The answer is ‘yes.’ What is the question?”
Dining here is meant to be a slow, leisurely experience, so start with a glass of wine (a friendly sommelier can suggest wine pairings) or a cocktail. Their berries and bubbles libation made with Belvedere Citrus Vodka, marinated blackberries, and a house-made sour is presented with wafts of smoke emanating from a layer of dry ice secured below the liquid ($14).
Next, try one of their appetizers ranging from Sonoma goat cheese ravioli ($15) to oysters on the half shell ($19) to a humongous tiger shrimp cocktail with freshly prepared sauce ($20).
On weekends, they have a three-course surf-and-turf menu, which includes soup or salad and an 8-ounce filet with your choice of seafood and a side, all for $55 per person plus gratuity.
Sourcing is of critical importance for meal preparation, and the menu features prime cuts of beef seared at 120 degrees Fahrenheit to preserve the flavor. Other ingredients are locally sourced or flown in to ensure top-quality seafood.
The most popular entrée is the melt-in-your-mouth Chilean sea bass accompanied by whipped potatoes and Champagne truffle sauce ($45). Sides are extra, but many are big enough to share. The creamed spinach laced with bacon is a good choice ($12).
If you crave beef, then you can choose from their selection of New York strip ($44), rib-eye ($49) or a 6- or 8-ounce filet mignon ($36/$41). You can also accessorize your steak with options such as black truffle butter ($5), Maytag blue cheese ($6), or garlic shrimp scampi ($13).
You’ll want to save room for dessert as, like most other items, the chefs prepare them fresh and from scratch. A local favorite is the chocolate peanut butter pie with peanut butter mousse and bittersweet chocolate ganache ($11). My personal favorite is an extra-large slice of perfectly chilled baked Alaska with pound cake, vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream, and toasted meringue and topped with fresh raspberries ($13).
If you’re looking for an authentic fine-dining experience where you, the customer, are treated like a VIP, then book a reservation at Ocean Prime. Cameron Mitchell seems to have found the perfect recipe for sumptuous cuisine and excellent service at this scenic Denver destination.