Order the seafood tower ($68 market price) bedded on ice and layered two silver-tray-tiers high. Brimming with eight plump Louisiana oysters, eight sweet and meaty colossal Gulf shrimp, jumbo lump crab and a 1.25- to 1.5-pound Maine lobster, it’s not for dainty landlubbers.
Condiments include zingy cocktail sauce, champagne mignonette, spicy mustard, and pure lemon, but for some spark, dip into the knock-your-socks-off “atomic” sauce spiked with freshly grated horseradish.
3101 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix
The full seafood feast costs $125, but it’s served in a silver bowl, feeds four to five, and is so pretty it can be used as a centerpiece. Of course, what’s in the bowl is more important.
This substantial symphony features a 10-ounce Australian coldwater rock lobster tail that’s medallion-cut and presented in-shell; a full pound of Alaskan Red King crab legs fat with snowy white meat; six sweet, succulent, Canadian snow crab claws; and four Mexican white Gulf shrimp. Classic cocktail sauce, warm drawn butter and fiery remoulade sauce accompany the masterpiece.
Chef Robert Nixon arranges each creation atop a mound of glittering ice, accented with sheer cheesecloth-wrapped lemons and shiny serving/picking tools.
Craving extra shrimp or even some ahi? He’ll gladly make you a custom sampler, and there’s also a half-size bowl that comfortably feeds two. In fact, during the Valley’s summer months, it’s not uncommon to see couples stopping in for a dinner of nothing more than a romantic seafood indulgence, paired with a chilled bottle of bubbly.
15045 N. Kierland Blvd.,
The Ocean Club has an ocean’s worth of seafood to select from, so management must have figured, why not let diners dream a little dream? You can create your own aquatic fantasy from raw bar favorites, including lobster, snow crab claws, slurpable oysters on the half-shell, Alaskan king crab legs and claws, shrimp, and scallops (price varies depending on the size and scope of your feast). There’s even caviar, which seems oh-so-appropriate in the Club’s sultry but sophisticated atmosphere.
Then, depending on quantities ordered, the chefs build a multi-tiered tower, bowl or platter shimmering with ice. It seems like the kitchen has fun, too, adding random accents such as seaweed and colorful kelp, and sometimes dry ice billows fog amid the wrapped lemon halves and complementing sauces.
To keep the seafood theme going, other light (off-ice) temptations include escargot, luxurious oysters Rockefeller, crispy vanilla battered shrimp, sautéed sea scallops and golden, crusty crab cakes.
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