By Alison Bailin Batz
Photos By J. Martin Harris Photography
After more than a year of anticipation, Ocean 44 has opened its doors. And the 12,000-square-foot ultra-luxe seafood restaurant, located in the former Harkins Camelview Theatre adjacent to Scottsdale Fashion Square, and owned by the lauded Mastro family, was worth the wait.
“This is different than anything we have done in the past,” says co-founder Mike Mastro, who owns Dominick’s Steakhouse and Steak 44 along with his brother Jeff, father Dennis, and partner Scott Troilo. “The atmosphere is second to none, featuring dramatic and intimate dining settings. At the core of the Ocean 44 experience is our chef-sourced, highest-grade, sustainable, fresh seafood from around from the world, enhanced with unique and interesting appetizers and side dishes that go beyond the traditional seafood menu.”
The concept marks the Mastro’s first foray back into a seafood concept since their massively successful Mastro’s Ocean Club in 2007. Leading the culinary program is Siegfried Hohaus, who helped launch Mastro’s Ocean Club before the family sold the concept, and Mark Lupino, the executive chef for the family’s current brands.
Much of the menu is served a la carte so guests can mix and match. To start, there is a raw bar menu as well as shellfish and appetizer menus. Offerings in these categories run the gamut from iced whole Maine lobster (MP) and Prince Edward Island mussels ($27) to New England lobster rolls ($29) and crispy shrimp deviled eggs ($18). There are also non-seafood highlights on these menus including prime steakhouse meatballs ($10-$14) and wagyu beef tartare ($29).
“For main course offerings, there is an a la carte fresh fish menu as well as a lobster and crab menu, and all items are sourced from sustainable fisheries when available,” Jeff says.
Standouts include pepper-crusted bigeye tuna ($49), twin whole live Maine lobsters (MP), New Bedford sea scallops ($44), and Shetland Island salmon ($39).
“There are also several options for meat lovers, including nearly a dozen steaks from the Steak 44 menu,” Mike says.
Several of Steak 44’s potato dishes and side items also made the Ocean 44 menu, but there are some Ocean 44
exclusives, too, notably Maine lobster and browned butter noodles ($36).
“The wine and cocktails are also a point of pride as we feature more than 40 wines by the glass and 750 by the bottle as well as all of our most popular signature cocktails from Steak 44, along with some new options,” Jeff says.
Visually, the massive-yet-intimate space similarly impresses – especially the glass expo kitchen where guests can watch the culinary team at work – and the large bar with modern, sleek finishes.
Ocean 44 is open for dinner 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday, 4 to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and 4 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The bar stays open later nightly.
Ocean 44 is located at 4748 N. Goldwater Blvd., Scottsdale; 480.867.0044; www.ocean44.com.