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Tweaked

Ocean Prime - Finally, a Steakhouse Comes to DC - 14th and G Street NW Downtown

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Ocean Prime.  Looks like another expense account steak and seafood chain is opening up just blocks from the White House, at 14th and G in the old Ceiba space.

"OCEAN PRIME is much more than just a steakhouse or a seafood restaurant. OCEAN PRIME is an extraordinary dining destination."

"We deliver more than just in amazing food and drinks: We create remarkable experiences."

"Stylish attire suggested."

I'd yawn, but I can't work up the energy.

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I'm looking forward to the day where every commercial space from Pennsylvania Ave NW to McPherson Square is occupied by a law firm, lobbying firm, or overpriced steakhouse/seafood joint. The streets will be flooded with bloated old men in poorly tailored business suits.

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My brother works for them in Columbus. He's been sent to open/train the kitchen staff in many of the new cities: NYC, Philadelphia, Denver, LA, SF, Boston, Dallas, IIRC  He told me the location of the DC spot at Christmas and I could only think it wasn't a great choice given all the other nearby steak houses.  They seem to do ok with their model in other cities, though (at least they keep opening them!).  Cameron Mitchell has some more unique offerings in Columbus that I like (The Pearl), but the OP location is in Columbus out in the burbs at a mall, so when I go back there, it doesn't make the list. He wasn't sure if they were going to send him here or not to open.  He usually spends a month at the new location when he does. 

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Currently in the middle of a soft open, the official opening date is October 6. Everyone is very friendly, but there is a definite nightclub vibe going on, enhanced by the hostess attire. So far I have observed conservative menu choices and huge portions, and expense account pricing.

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In that same neighborhood, we now have The Oceanaire, Mastro's Steakhouse, Occidental Grill, Fogo de Chao....and now Ocean Prime. How much overpriced protein can pack into about 3-4 blocks?

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51 minutes ago, Kibbee Nayee said:

In that same neighborhood, we now have The Oceanaire, Mastro's Steakhouse, Occidental Grill, Fogo de Chao....and now Ocean Prime. How much overpriced protein can pack into about 3-4 blocks?

And Joe's Seafood. 

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57 minutes ago, Kibbee Nayee said:

In that same neighborhood, we now have The Oceanaire, Mastro's Steakhouse, Occidental Grill, Fogo de Chao....and now Ocean Prime. How much overpriced protein can pack into about 3-4 blocks?

They can hang banners from the street lights "Welcome to the Steak District!"

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DC will never be a great food city until there are more than a scant handful of interesting and thoughtful dining choices in the long stretch downtown from Foggy Bottom to Metro Center (and, say, from M Street down to the Mall)

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Trying to get some perspective on this.  In the earlier 1980's I leased the first Ruth's Chris in DC on Connecticut Ave. and the first Morton's in Georgetown.  Several of the DC institutional steakhouses have closed,but overall there are more steakhouses now in downtown than there were in 80's,and 90's (at which point I lost track).  There are also substantially more people working downtown, including more lawyers and lobbyists.  OTOH there appear to be fewer established steakhouses in Tysons than were there say in the mid to late 90's stretching into the mid 2000's.  During those decades I also dined/took clients out at quite a bit at those type restaurants (more lunches than dinners)  and try as I did, I couldn't seriously distinguish the quality of one over the other.

In fact that they are still around at the same locations for over 30 years and those corporations have opened more of the same in the city and area since then says something about their popularity as a food type...and there are customers then and now who will continue to visit them

Anyway its a big "steak city" but so are many other cities, and they are all part of a corporate dining phenomena that is and always has been simply different than fine dining or cutting edge dining, etc.  It is what it is.  But yeah, to quote Tweaked from the Opening Post...."I'd yawn but I can't work up the energy"   I don't believe these places detract from the rest of the dining scene.  They simply fill a need that really isn't addressed in this forum. 

At least that is my $0.02 on the matter.

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8 hours ago, DaveO said:

Trying to get some perspective on this.  In the earlier 1980's I leased the first Ruth's Chris in DC on Connecticut Ave. and the first Morton's in Georgetown.  Several of the DC institutional steakhouses have closed,but overall there are more steakhouses now in downtown than there were in 80's,and 90's (at which point I lost track).  There are also substantially more people working downtown, including more lawyers and lobbyists.  OTOH there appear to be fewer established steakhouses in Tysons than were there say in the mid to late 90's stretching into the mid 2000's.  During those decades I also dined/took clients out at quite a bit at those type restaurants (more lunches than dinners)  and try as I did, I couldn't seriously distinguish the quality of one over the other.

In fact that they are still around at the same locations for over 30 years and those corporations have opened more of the same in the city and area since then says something about their popularity as a food type...and there are customers then and now who will continue to visit them

Anyway its a big "steak city" but so are many other cities, and they are all part of a corporate dining phenomena that is and always has been simply different than fine dining or cutting edge dining, etc.  It is what it is.  But yeah, to quote Tweaked from the Opening Post...."I'd yawn but I can't work up the energy"   I don't believe these places detract from the rest of the dining scene.  They simply fill a need that really isn't addressed in this forum. 

At least that is my $0.02 on the matter.

Good post.

Though I'm not talking about them detracting from the dining scene; I'm literally talking about leaving work at 18th and I and not being able to find a place I'd like to have dinner within easy walking distance for love or money.  Hyperbole, but only just.

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What kind of restaurants would you like in that area?

I work close by and the area is primarily office workers during the week and lost tourist during the weekend, all in a high rent district.  The owners of Bad Saint or Izakaya Seki or Red Hen or any other small indepedent chef driven restaurant aren't going to be opening anytime soon.

how do the restaurants in DC's, lets call it central business district, stack up to say NYC's Wall Street or Philadelphia's business district?  (I'm not famaliar with either area so I don't know).

But within walking distance to 18th and I there is Kaz, Bombay Club, Taberna del Alabardero, Bindaas will open next year, Soi 38 is a short stroll, as is Woodward Table and Firefly.  but that's about all I could come up with :-)

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49 minutes ago, Tweaked said:

how do the restaurants in DC's, lets call it central business district, stack up to say NYC's Wall Street or Philadelphia's business district?  (I'm not famaliar with either area so I don't know).

Also, most world class dining cities have dead zones. Just ask resident of New York's upper east side. 

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13 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

DC is not a big steak city; it's a big *chain* steak city. Other than Ray's the Steaks, what do we have? One local steakhouse does not a steak city make. 

I'm not knowledgeable on the topic, but just how hard can it be to open a decent local steakhouse? The supply of high-quality prime meat, from Pennsylvania to Virginia, is pretty solid, and a high-heat cooking source is not an engineering challenge. Offer some interesting sides, like Ray's used to have, or even Monty's in Springfield....a solid wine list and a good mixologist....why is this so hard around here?

I look at Peter Lugar's in Brooklyn, and Oscar's Beef, Booze, and Broads in Las Vegas, and I wonder why that can't happen here....

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1 hour ago, Kev29 said:

Also, most world class dining cities have dead zones. Just ask resident of New York's upper east side. 

There are lots of good restaurants on the Upper East Side.

Sincerely,

Upper East Side Resident

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2 hours ago, RWBooneJr said:

There are lots of good restaurants on the Upper East Side.

Sincerely,

Upper East Side Resident

This is WIDELY OFF TOPIC....but when I saw this comment I looked up one of the most touristy, notable "restaurants" on the upper East Side.   Below is what I found in Google.  Frankly even as I find google's collection of this data to be intrusive...the presentation would be extremely helpful to a shopper/tourist/anyone contemplating going there right now.....  Don't try Serendipity.  Find another place to eat.....  Its way too crowded!!!

real time search results.jpg

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6 hours ago, Tweaked said:

What kind of restaurants would you like in that area?

I work close by and the area is primarily office workers during the week and lost tourist during the weekend, all in a high rent district.  The owners of Bad Saint or Izakaya Seki or Red Hen or any other small indepedent chef driven restaurant aren't going to be opening anytime soon.

how do the restaurants in DC's, lets call it central business district, stack up to say NYC's Wall Street or Philadelphia's business district?  (I'm not famaliar with either area so I don't know).

But within walking distance to 18th and I there is Kaz, Bombay Club, Taberna del Alabardero, Bindaas will open next year, Soi 38 is a short stroll, as is Woodward Table and Firefly.  but that's about all I could come up with :-)

I'll bow out of this thread and this discussion; I just find it depressing.

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I'm not sure why it's depressing.  To me it's an interesting conversation (in this thread and others on DR) about city rents, demographics, population density, local vs. national restaurant groups, throw in some city ordanaces about height limits, commentary from people who are or have been in the business (like our own DaveO)...it's a fascinating look at how a city ticks.

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With a title of Ocean Prime, this thread has gotten a little off topic. Let me try to bring it back. I had lunch here today with my sister. (Yes, that is my story and I am sticking with it!). I had the crab wedge salad which was 1/4 of a head of iceberg lettuce, a very generous portion of humongous lump crab meat, a little diced red onion, blue cheese and dressing.  Phenomenal! I could not finish it. My "sister" had the seafood salad. Not having tried it, it is a little harder for me to describe, but it had greens, shrimp and shellfish. Based upon how much of it she ate, it was really good. With 3 glasses of wine, the bill was $88 before tip. That does not seem that outrageous to me in this day and age! Extra points to whomever can figure out who had the two glasses of wine!

by the way, anyone complaining about the dining atmosphere in DC clearly has not been here as long as me!

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It doesn't matter what I ate, what matters is that I went with a person who selected it and paid the bill. It's nice for lunch, the fish and veggies very fresh. Nothing outstanding or particularly amazing but perfectly serviceable and I really liked the server. She was funny and really, I live to be entertained. 

They respect allergies and it's easy to speak without raising your voice. For a DC lunch place, that's not bad. 

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1 hour ago, NolaCaine said:

It doesn't matter what I ate, what matters is that I went with a person who selected it and paid the bill. 

Haha.   Oh come on.  Haven’t you been treated....and silently thought to yourself....”this place sucks!!!”  😎

OTOH long ago a client told me he wanted to treat me.  He took me to Gerard’s Place.

Oooh I liked that client....and worked extra hard on his behalf!!!!

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Haha.   Oh come on.  Haven’t you been treated....and silently thought to yourself....”this place sucks!!!”  😎

It didn't actually suck but then again, it's hard to mess up a salmon salad. 

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