Oceano Bistro, Scape, and Firmoo glasses giveaway

Hey... Lookie there~

New addition to my room!  :D  His name is... Seal!  I just made it up 2 seconds ago.  :D  Haha~

Last week, there was a full-out "let's go out to eat" day! :P  In my 2-hour break between classes, we headed towards Clayton to Oceano Bistro.  I've seen the restaurant so many times, especially when we eat at Cityhouse Creperie & Coffeehouse next door.  They share windows, so patrons can peer awkwardly into the other restaurant or make faces at another ;)

Anyhow, I almost walked past Oceano Bistro, because the door was camouflaged!  Two enormous doors guarded the restaurant, and they were so big that I thought it was a wall.  Haha, imagine me walking past the restaurant and then making an about-face turn to walk back to the doors XD

Ooooh :)  I wuv open kitchens!!

The hostess asked if we preferred the interior or near-window seating, and *of course* I chose the window!  As the restaurant filled up with hungry diners for lunch, the window seating quickly filled up also.  I think natural lighting just makes everything look, taste, and feel better ^_^

I spy Cityhouse Creperie!  Har har har~  These tables were filled up while we were eating :3

When Daniel and I saw "chowder" in the soup menu, I instantly knew it was calling for him :P  He ordered the seafood chowder, which sounded super yummy, appetite appeal increased with the help of our waiter.  When the waiter walked away, we both started talking about how smooth and soothing his voice was!  He could probably just recite the menu specials and calm down a baby in the process :P

Seafood chowder

Daniel's seafood chowder was placed on the table, and our table immediately smelled like seafood!  Wow @_@  The cup portion literally came in a cup, haha~  and it was garnished with the same orange color, probably the harissa!  It was very cute :3  One bite, and it was POW!  SEAFOOOOOD!  Lots of clam and squid flavor.  Daniel really liked it ^^

Cute little coffee cup bowl

Bread was served with a pretty oil concoction.  The waiter was about to walk away (gahh I forgot his name D:), but when I asked him what it was, he said it was an oil mix (75% vegetable oil, 25% olive oil) with the orange part being harissa.  Cool!~  ^^  The waiter also made sure to emphasize that the bread was from Companion bakery, which was right down the street!  I love when restaurants use local foods (not that I'm a super locavoire or anything), but it's cute to think that restaurants are helping one another out instead of trying to eat each other up!  Nom nom!

Anyhow, we both really liked the harissa addition, and even though it's weird thinking of dipping bread into vegetable oil... it was still yummy ^^

Crusty bread with oil mix

 Ooooh, and then our lunch was served :3  Daniel ordered the salmon, since we *were* at a seafood restaurant and all..  I think the grilled Atlantic salmon was gorgeous!~  Haha, I sound weird, but sitting under the soft light of day just made everything beautiful.  The salmon dish consisted of grilled salmon (look at those sear marks!) and a potato cake wrapped in bacon, topped with fennel and Granny Smith apple slices, all drizzled with a sauce.  The menu touted a fennel and apple "salad," but I don't think you can call that a salad :P

Grilled Atlantic Salmon with bacon-wrapped potato cake

The salmon was too charred for me, and although it was great, it was a far stretch compared to the King Salmon from Bristol's Seafood Grill (but that one definitely has a heftier price tag!).  It was slightly bitter because of the searing, but Daniel gave it a thumbs up~  Mind you, neither of us are too picky ;)  The potato cake was more of a mashed potato mixture wrapped in bacon.  It tasted just like mashed potatoes!  I thought the whole dish was kind of a random jumble of stuff: salmon, mashed potatoes, bacon, apple, and fennel-- but hey, if it's delish, it works!  Om nom nom ^^

My risotto came out at the same time, and goodness gracious-- look how PURDY it is!! :D  It's a colorful risotto, thanks to the addition of the corn and herbs, and the orange harissa (?) also made it look better than just the risotto alone :3

As my first serving of risotto in the United States (my first experience being in an Italian restaurant in Taiwan, which was AMAZING *relives the moment for five seconds*), the dish made me pretty happy.  The Lemon Crab risotto definitely had the lemon flavor, but the only crab to be found was the little tuft garnishing the risotto.  And the meat was pretty loose and stringy, not that much flavor-- boo...  That would make it go down a star on a Yelp review if I ever get to writing those, but I saw the risotto (no crab advertised) by itself being sold a la carte, so that would be nice to order :)

Lemon Crab Risotto

I'm glad we finally stopped by Oceano Bistro!  The dinner menu is about the same, although the prices definitely soar upwards, so I think lunch is a good time to sample what their menu has to offer!  :)  The food is not only flavorful, but I think they try making it look good too!  They also sell *seafood* (and normal) sandwiches!  Very tempted to try a salmon BLT... doesn't that sound great? :D  Ooh yeah, they also have brunch on Sundays, but I haven't heard much about that~

Oceano Bistro
44 North Brentwood Boulevard
Clayton, MO 63105

 Ahhh~  I'm typing this post up while I'm waiting for photo printing at the Art School, and I think it probably looks very strange that I'm just staring at food pictures the whole time.  It's pretty relaxing-- reliving my meals at restaurants, not far from therapy for me, I think!  Haha~  So silly ^^  Yes, so if I ever fall into a depression in the future, just take me out to eat and then tell me to go write up a blog post.  It'll save me hundreds of dollars from seeing a psychiatrist :P

And if you *do* take me out for therapy (probably needed in the start of the next school semester-- end of break, sunset at 4:30pm, eternal cloudy and rainy skies, cold temperatures D:), look for restaurants that are brightly lit by the sunnnnn!

But then again, Scape was a fun place to check out too (it was a very dimly lit restaurant!).  They are only open during dinner hours and Sundays for brunch.  I saw this place next to Crepes etc. last time we ate there for lunch, and I was really excited to finally see what this place was about!~ ^^

When we stepped in, we were met with three business men in suits.  Then Daniel and I looked at one another and said in unison, "Out of place~"  XD  Not the businessmen, but us!  It's really funny; the places we go to sometimes have older / classier patrons, and that's definitely not us :P

Welcome to Scape!  I spy Elaine's favorite water beverage on each table :)

Yep yep, each table is decorated with candles and a bottle of San Pellegrino natural mineral water.  I think the stuff tastes weird, but both Elaine and Sean really enjoy it.  Maybe the flavored ones (they come in lemon, peach, and other fruit flavors) will taste better! 

I called in for a reservation, but when we were eating, the restaurant was mostly empty.  Most people were there dressed up in a group.  Wonder if they were there for business meetings?  We were seated at a side window table overlooking the street :D  So happy!  The window was framed with white Christmas lights and the trees on the sidewalk were decorated with similar lights.  Super cute :3

It was pretty dark inside, so dark that it was near impossible taking pictures-- *apologies for blurry pictures!* 

Fancy pantsy table setting-- Each seat's utensil arrangement was different :O

Table next to a window-- da bestest!!  :D

Refraction and physics makes everything better ;)

We sat next to these flowers, super pretty ^^

Outside, Maryland Plaza was decorated with festive lights!

Inside, candles lit up each table

Bread came without announcement; one of the waiters slide a basket and a plate of butter onto the table, nodded, and left.  The basket had a folded black napkin, and after a few seconds, my curious hands found their way to the napkin to unfold it.  Inside, there was... bread!  (haha, now that I think about it, what else would it be?  =_='')

The triangle of butter was so large and pristine, that I thought it might have been cheese :P  There were regular white bread slices as well as cute little triangles of sweet bread.  The sweet version was really special-- much like a scone, scented with cranberry and orange (may be totally wrong on that!) ^^  The texture was dense too, so think of muffin and scone mix rather than plain bread.

Nom-licious cranberry scone with a giant triangle of unsalted butter

I ordered a bowl of French Onion soup, and I didn't know what to expect.   I've seen Rachel Ray make it on television before, and it seemed so grand-- reducing ten onions until caramelized for a soup!~  And I've had the Campbell's condensed version, which was *okay*, but nothing special. 

When Scape's rendition of French Onion soup arrived in a hot iron (?) bowl, my mouth started to water.  CHEESE.  Yesssss..  Haha!  The onion soup was blanketed with a layer of bread soaked up with the soup as well as melted gruyere cheese.  Totally pristine. :)

The soup came with a shovel little spoon that looked like a shovel!  I thought it was funny until I realized how useful it was to break into the layer of cheese and bread.  The bread was softened from soaking, but the cheese was holding everything together.  Once down into the soup, there were definitely shreds of caramelized onion in there.  Ooh, so delicious!  I could just imagine Rachel Ray happily stirring up her pot of onions in the back kitchen, hehehe :P

French Onion Soup

As steaks are manly, guys who want to emit an essence of manly will order steak at fancy restaurants.  Or you can just be like Book and order steak every time it's on the menu XD  Hehe, so Daniel ordered a cute little 4 oz. Filet Mignon.  The steaks here are definitely some of the more pricier items!  He also got sea salt fries on the side~ 

Filet Mignon (4 oz. selection) with Sea Salt Fries

I think the steak and fries were standard-- good, but not POW AMAZING!!  His steak also came with a roasted or grilled tomato and a pat of bleu-cheese infused butter, which melted and melded itself beautifully onto his little chunk of meat.

Sea Salt Fries with good ole ketchup :D

Hehe, it looks like a shower cap *giggle giggle*

Super grainy / blurry, but see the juices coming out after one cut?  O_O

As for me, I ordered the Veal Parmesan, something I haven't had in a very long time ^^  A huge Parmesan-panko encrusted cutlet topped with melted mozzarella was served accompanied with a pile of simply dressed pasta.  I think the pasta was super delicious, even though it was only pasta with butter.  :)

One thing I would complain about is that the veal was pounded / rolled / whatever so thinly that I could barely taste the meat.  I felt as if I was just eating the breading!~  Yes, I *did* order it Parmesan-style, but my first veal experience at a Carrabba's chain-store location was much better than this one :o  I would be happier with a smaller, more substantial piece of veal.  Still yummy though-- happily, I am very difficult to annoy when it comes to food ;) 

Blurry veal Parmesan-- yums!

And afterwards, there will be dessert!!  :D:D:D  After being our usual decisive selves, I took the reigns and chose Apple pie a la mode.  It would be my first!  Anyhow, if they heard my comments about the too-thin veal, they really made up for it with the apple pie.  Oh my-- Lordy, lordy!  *exhale*  I'm not sure if you can really mess up an apple pie, but this was AWESHUMMMM.  The crumbles on top were nice and big, the apples were soft but had a slight crunch instead of being mushy, and the crust was flaky and not soggy at all. And what made the dessert 5.6 times better (random number XD) was the gelato on top!  Yes.  It's not ice cream, but gelato!  I emailed Scape a few days later about it, and they told me it was made in house.  Super creamy, and nice, cold, and delicious with a warm apple pie.  Wow, so good!  If there was ever a day where I could eat anything without suffering consequences, I would probably eat eight of these for dinner.  ^__^  NOM NOM!

Apple pie a la mode, served with 2 spoons for sharing!

I really enjoyed our experience at Scape-- the atmosphere was a fresh change from eating on campus or microwaving leftovers at home (hehe :P), and I liked how it wasn't too busy that night.  Our waitress was uber nice too!~  Everything is a little on the expensive side, but that's Maryland plaza in Central West End for you.  The apple pie was definitely my favorite part.  Wait, noooo, the apple pie *with gelato on top* was my favorite!  I definitely recommend you try that, although the other desserts sounded just as enticing :)

48 Maryland Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63108


Annnnd to close off this post, I saved the best for last :3  My friend, Danielle, is hosting another giveaway with Firmoo Glasses!

I don't wear glasses, but how cool would I look with glass-less frames?!  SO AWESOME, right?  ;)  Hehe, I'm entering, so you definitely should hop on over to Danielle's beautiful and inspiring blog to check it out ^^  Whoo!~