Ocean 44 is in South Scottsdale in the Old Town area across from the Fashion Square Mall. The restaurant is upbeat, cool and very chill. This restaurant is one of those amazing places where you just walk in the door and you feel magnificent because it’s such a great vibe and good energy and everyone is friendly and smiling and happy. You walk in and on the left-hand side, you see fresh fish, oysters and an exciting selection of delicious seafood on ice behind the glass window. From the get-go you get a behind the scenes look into the kitchen. Once you cruise past the kitchen you arrive into a spacious open room. High ceilings, gold twinkly lights, and ambient music that keeps up the positive energy.
Open Environment And Swanky AF
The beautiful white chairs all around the bar area create a very classy atmosphere and everyone seems relaxed. Everyone is dressed nice but not too pretentious. Like most places in Scottsdale, you don’t have to dress to the nines, at least in the off-season. But if you’re worried about your attire you may want to call ahead if it’s below 110 degrees outside.
Inviting To Everyone
Single diners have it rough sometimes. Most fine dining establishments would probably prefer that you not eat at the bar. When the bar staff is busy crafting complicated drinks, they may not be able to provide the attention a fussy diner may want. Ocean 44, on the other hand, has great service no matter where you happen to be sitting whether you’re by yourself or with a group of people. You feel welcome. So if you are traveling to Phoenix on business and want to venture outside the hotel, this is the place to do it!
What many males may not know is that as a female, many nicer restaurants in metropolitan areas ignore women. Especially 2 or 3 women who are dressed well and stop by to split an appetizer or two and have some wine. Because of the pay-for-play mentality that is common in some cities throughout the country, hosts and management often profile women assuming they’re looking for some type of benefactor for the evening rather than to enjoy a great meal. Ridiculous, I know but it happens. I only bring this up because Ocean 44, like their sister restaurants Steak 44 and Dominick’s have always been so welcoming. Ladies, if you’re coming into town and looking for a place that will treat you with courtesy and respect, try any of these three amazing establishments and you will be quite pleased.
The design of the restaurant is welcoming and friendly with high ceilings, and beautiful gold lights cascading down to twinkle on your amazing surroundings. There’s a beautiful atrium room with live trees that continues that airy energy that makes everyone happy to be there. Smiles are everywhere. Even when you look in at the busy kitchen staff, while you can tell they’re very focused on their work, everyone seems content, like this, is a wonderful place to work. The whole energy behind Ocean 44 is that whether you’re a diner or an employee, it’s a splendid place to be and good things are afoot.
Finally, About The Food…
There is no question that one of my absolute favorite foods on Earth is lobster. Preferably cold lobster with a really good mustard from France. I told the bartender how perfect those lobsters looked when I walked in the door and he recommended the escargot. Yes, the escargot. Many people view escargot as being a pretentious or outdated food and more importantly what do snails and lobster have to do with each other? Well, get this! Ocean 44 has paired escargot happily with Maine lobster in a truffle mornay sauce topped with caviar. Lobster, caviar and escargot? I’m in!
Go, Go For The Escargot
This beautiful dish is rich enough to share but you won’t wanna do it! If you have ever sat at a bar and dined alone you know that often people to either side of you will strike up conversations. Also, one of the tiny disadvantages of being a foodie with a blog is that picture taking takes time. Time for your dish to cool down. But not at Ocean 44; because of the presentation, every bite is perfectly hot. I was worried that the caviar wouldn’t taste great sitting on top of the truffle mornay sauce, but nope. It was decadent. The dollop of caviar was a sensational addition to this already amazing dish.
Having only one item at this amazing restaurant should probably be a crime. Plus, I had already ordered the iced whole Maine lobster that was served with a cocktail sauce made in house, with drawn butter, horseradish and a creamy mustard. This bright red delight showed up and was sweet, savory and delicious. The magicians in the kitchen did all the work for you, so everything was split open and easy to manage. Even with freshly manicure nails and a white blouse, this is a safe dish to order.
A Dessert Tree! In The Desert!
To continue with the French vibe, I decided to check out the beignet tree. When thinking about beignets, a lot of foodies think fondly about standing in line at Café du Monde, grabbing a paper bag full of powder sugared pastry, and dipping them gratifyingly into a café au lait. While these are not traditional beignets you’d find in Paris or New Orleans, they’re still amazing and have a gorgeous presentation. Dessert on a tree!
To recap, if you want a great experience from start to finish with delicious food, great staff and a wonderful environment, this is your space. Ocean 44 will not disappoint. Whether you live in town or are visiting, if you’re a foodie, this restaurant should be on your list.