I was recently a guest of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants at the North Phoenix location of Ocean Prime. I had eaten there once when it first opened, but it had been years. I was looking forward to some great seafood in one of my earliest excursions back into a restaurant after the pandemic. My husband and I went for drinks and appetizers and then ordered an entire meal. I've since returned twice for happy hour (select appetizers available at half off and $5 off specialty cocktails). I highly recommend Ocean Prime Phoenix if you're looking for some great flavors, fresh seafood, and a wonderful atmosphere. It's now one of my favorite happy hour spots.
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Ocean Prime Cocktails and Wine List
One thing that sets all Ocean Prime restaurants aside is the use of fresh ingredients, a great craft cocktail scene, and an impressive wine list. Ocean Prime Phoenix is no exception.
Our Cocktail Options
There are several great cocktails that feature top-shelf liquors. We both decided to order cocktails to start the evening. My husband opted for the Prime Manhattan with Woodford Reserve. He thought it was expertly made.
When we returned for happy hour together, he order the Tequila Cocktail made with Corzo Silver Tequila and house-infused agave nectar and also enjoyed that one.
For our dinner, I ordered the Berries & Bubbles. This is my kind of cocktail. It has Belvedere Citrus Vodka, marinated berries, fresh lemon, and Domaine Chandon Brut. I could have sipped on these all night. This is not only delicious, but it is a fun cocktail. And it has bubbles, which everyone who knows me knows that sparkling wine is my favorite.
The cocktail menu also includes an assortment of bourbon, rye whiskey, tequila, mezcal, and Scotches—plus great after-dinner options, including ports, cognacs, and an espresso martini.
The Wine List
The wine list is very good and includes wines by the glass as well as by the bottle. You can also opt for about five wines by the glass using Coravin. This gives you a chance to try exceptional wines that would normally cost hundreds of dollars for the bottle. Those include a Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon and a Toscana, Gaja Ca' Marcanda.
I ordered wine with my dinner when I went with my husband. I'll go into details below, but I ordered a fish entrée, so I opted for a white wine, which I don't often drink. I wanted something I don't usually see on the menu, and when I spotted a Sancerre Pascal Jolivet from Loire region of France, I jumped at it. It paired beautifully with my Chilean Sea Bass.
On the other trips I've made for happy hour, I opted for a glass of sparkling wine by the glass. I'm always impressed when restaurants have several options in sparkling wine by the glass. Ocean Prime didn't disappoint. You can get Prosecco, the Domaine Chandon Brut, a glass of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Champagne, or the Mumm Napa Brut Rosé. I love a sparkling rosé, so I opted for the Mumm Napa.
Ocean Prime Appetizers
After spending time oohing and ahhing over my bubbling cocktail, we decided to place an order for appetizers. Both of the additional times I've returned, I made a meal on the appetizers. During the first dinner, we ordered the Point Judith Calamari served with a sweet chili sauce and the shrimp sauté, served with Tabasco Cream Sauce and delicious bread. I've been craving that calamari since then. I'm believing it has become an obsession.
When I went back for happy hour, I decided to try the sushi that is on the menu. There are six options, including a Prime Roll with tempura shrimp and beef carpaccio. The Ocean Prime Ocean Roll is delightful, with #1 Tuna, salmon, hamachi, and avocado with chili garlic oil.
I really enjoyed the Ahi Tuna Tartare with the lovely ginger ponzu. The crispy wonton strips are built into the presentation.
There are great shellfish offerings as well. The jumbo shrimp cocktail is fresh and delightful. If you like oysters, you can get those on the half shell, and choose from either East Coast Oysters or West Coast Oysters.
There is also a selection of salads and soups. These are big portions, that make them ideal for a happy hour. The lobster bisque is filled with butter-poached lobster. The Ocean Prime Shellfish “Cobb” is gorgeous and a seafood feast on a plate.
Ocean Prime Offers Great Main Dishes
If you're in the restaurant to enjoy the entrées, you have some amazing main dishes from which to choose. I ended up taking most of my main course home with me the first night because I filled up on the appetizers. Those great appetizer options are why I keep going back for happy hour!
But, when you're ready for the main course, you can select either prime steaks or seafood. I asked our waiter what was his favorite dish on the menu and he immediately responded that it was the Chilean Sea Bass, served with whipped potatoes and a champagne truffle sauce. Of course, I had to order it and it was cooked to perfection.
If I can ever eat more than appetizers, I'm going to try the sea scallops served with parmesan risotto. I am a huge fan of scallops and when they're served with risotto, that might possibly be my favorite combination in the entire world.
My husband is a steak lover, so he eyed that prime steak menu. All steaks are seasoned and broiled at high heat for that perfect char. He ordered the New York Strip with a Béarnaise sauce. If you prefer, you can get it with shrimp scampi on the top.
You can also order any of the steaks with a lobster tail. The guests at the next table, celebrating an anniversary, ordered the filet mignon with lobster tail. It looked divine. There is also a bone-in filet and a ribeye available and you can add black truffle butter or a Maytag blue cheese crust.
If You Go to Ocean Prime Phoenix
Ocean Prime Phoenix is in High Street, at Loop 101, just across the street from the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. I recommend making reservations for either dinner or happy hour. We were fortunate the last time we showed up to get a great seat in the lounge for happy hour.
The staff at Ocean Prime Phoenix is really friendly and has a nice balance of attention to detail without hovering. Although I can get the same great food in the Lounge as I can in the restaurant, there is definitely a more casual feel in the lounge.
The restaurant is open from 4 pm to 9 pm Sunday through Thursday and from 4 pm to 10 pm on Friday and Saturday. Happy hour is Monday through Saturday from 4 to 6:30 pm in the Lounge at Ocean Prime. For wine lovers, Monday nights are worth a visit, when selected bottles, normally $99 or less, are on special for half off. There is nothing to keep you from trying out the great flavors at Ocean Prime Phoenix. Be sure to check on Wander for more great Arizona restaurants and suggestions for what you can see and do when you visit Arizona.