Surf the tidal wave of Zagat-endorsed extraordinary cuisine and excellent service with today's Groupon to Oceanique in Evanston: $35 gets you $75 worth of buttery seafood, fresh produce, fine wine, and more. Chef Mark Grosz rotates Oceanique's menu regularly to support his eclectic visions of seasonal produce and dancing sugarplums.
A combination of traditional French and contemporary American flavors, the freshest seafood pairs with local produce in Oceanique's decadent dishes such as Maine lobster steamed with roasted red onion (with seasonal beets and greens, basil potatoes, and a saffron-basil essence, $36). Bathe your tongue in the cool bath of chilled New Zealand oysters (with Osetra caviar and chive cream, $20), but don't swallow the emerald shrimp in the shellfish crown that marks chef Grosz's monarchial reign over Chicago seafood.
Options for valiant vegetarians and meat-eating maidens are equally succulent. Try the quail roasted with foie gras (with peach, bacon, apricot, and spinach, $35) or a harvest-time feast of eggplant with heirloom carrots and tomatoes (dressed with basil, corn, and two colors of asparagus, $22). Wash down your gourmet harvest of the land and sea with wines by the glass ($10+) and half bottles of red or white delights ($28+). Oceanique's wine cellar is remarkably devoid of cobwebs and houses nearly 900 carefully selected wines from which to choose.
Located in a charming 1920s Spanish-style building in Evanston, going to Oceanique is a more convenient drive for Maine lobster than heading to the coast of Maine, and by going the extra mile outside the city, listening to the mix CD you made or discussing Buffy continuity, will also prove your devotion and win the heart of your date. Warm-colored linens swoop from the ceiling, where rustic chandeliers tempt high-society acrobats to swing above the colored tile floor onto a pillow of caviar.
- The food is always wonderful. the bluefin tuna and the lobster are both standouts...They are friendly and the rooms are lovely and cozy. The service is always wonderful...AND, there is valet parking... – paulaz, Citysearch
- From the moment we walked in the door, it was first class all the way...The most succulent, tender meat I have ever had...Desserts were decadent...Our glasses were never empty... – rebeccahaag, Citysearch
- It has a relaxed unpretentious nature and serves consistently high quality fresh seafood and outstanding desserts. I have been there many times and have never walked away unsatisfied. A wonderful place for a date night. – hklt, Citysearch
Fans of both seafood and oxymora have long marveled at the seemingly paradoxical existence of the jumbo shrimp. Passionate oxymoron collectors know that many such examples exist within our language. Get paradoxical with this list of the oxiest of morons:
- deafening silence
- killer bee
- awesome ballet
- teenaged son who has any idea what time it is
- boneless ribs (open-flame glazed in our special wasabi-ginger volcano sauce, with your choice of dessert drink or souvenir T-shirt, only at O’Grizzly’s!)
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Oceanique's culinary history sparkles with the brilliance of a reef. The restaurant, after all, celebrated 25 years of fine dining history in February 2014 after gifting itself an interior renovation in July 2013. Now the space boasts cream walls, rectangular tables, and modern light fixtures to juxtapose the classic French cuisine that gave the restaurant its swagger. While the ambiance may have changed, Chef Mark Grosz still peppers his menu with the evidence of a culinary education acquired in France and under Jean Banchet at Le Francais. The eclectic dishes, which change daily, might pair butternut squash with salmon or drizzle rhubarb-mango chutney on foie gras. Beyond the signature seasonal fish dishes, they can devote full plate space to organic, ultrafresh produce, such as butternut squash and fiddleheads.
Even with its complex array of ingredients and tastes, the menu strives to remain approachable. Time Out Chicago writes that "while the multi-ingredient preparations border on overwhelming, Grosz somehow manages to balance flavors while completely flipping off subtlety." What results is a laid-back dining atmosphere lubricated by a choice of more than 800 wines and several vintage seawaters.