Monday, December 8, 2008

Tampa Bay Sunday Brunch - Oystercatchers is just OK.

Madre turned a young 70 last weekend, so the Aunt and Uncle and I took her to Oystercatchers for a Sunday Brunch. Located at the Hyatt Westshore, it is detached from the hotel and sits right on the Bay, beautiful views of the water, bridges, Rocky Point. There is also an outside deck. The place recently went through a multi million dollar renovation, and from what was once a very authentic looking, Key West style, Floribean decor, is now a very City chic, modern, clean lines, modern furniture, a bit cold, something you might see in a Manhattan type upscale place. Still has the very large wide windows that give everyone a view of the water. Personally, I liked the Florida style, especially for a restaurant on the water that specializes in Seafood.

Valet parking, and walking in the place, we were greeted by two friendly female hostesses, who escorted us to the table near the windows, and also explained and pointed out the buffet brunch.

The place did not seem very busy at this 1230 time, there were plenty of empty tables, but by 130pm, more people had joined, but again, not too busy it seemed. As for the layout of the buffet, all the food items were layed out along shelves, there were some tables with food, but it was mostly scattered throughout the upper tier area of the restaurant. The desserts and waffles were in a whole other room, you had to walk through the bar, to a side room, where again, the dessert were just layed out along the sides, on was kind of like where ever they could find space, they would set down some food.

The seafood selection was best, all cold, snow crab leg claws, all ready cracked, ready to dip in hot drawn butter, huge shrimps, marinated mussles and large raw oysters(two of us found two bad oysters in the bunch). Eggs station was duck or quail eggs, i asked for an omelet, but got sunny side up duck and quail eggs...i'll take good old chicken eggs.

Pasta station was good but small, typical pastas, extraordinary was the spinach ravioli, when i asked for just oil and garlic as the sauce, there was enough garlic to feed the entire hotel in my small plate of pasta. I think I still taste it a day later.

Other than that typical roast beef meat for carving(which no one was tending, they would slice a few slices from time to time). Some other entrees sitting in a heated pan included a chicken dish, mussels, and a fish dish, then eggs Benedict's, all ready made and sitting in a heated pan, cheeses, a variety of salads, the Cesar was very drenched in dressing, some of the romaine leaves were soft and wilted, the Hearts of Palm were cut in large chunks, which you had to cut up again and were rather tough to chew. Bagels and Lox, Very small Sushi tray, they would only bring out about 4 rolls at a time cut up.

Desserts were ok, the chocolate moose with berries served in tiny juice glasses, when ordering banans foster, again they served it fresh, but in a tiny juice glass. I told them before we go there, that we were coming for my mom's bday. After we had already been up to get dessert, and served coffee, they decided to bring out a dessert plate, with desserts my mom had already picked from the buffet.

The service was spotty, when we first arrived it took over 5 min for anyone to come to the table, and I finally had to get up and ask someone. Dustin arrived, but again, it took sometime for them to get in the swing of things to pick up our dirty plates, by the end of the meal, they had things in synch, filling our Champagne Mimosas, and iced teas, finally clearing and setting new silver for us between trips.

All in all it was just ok, but for $45 a pop, I would expect one of the best brunch buffets, and to be honest, Vegas does a much better job at half the price, but this isn't Vegas.

1 comment:

Robert Payne said...

I've got to say that it is nice to see you giving a less than positive review. It is not easy to do because you never want to hurt people's feelings, but it is always good to get the cold hard truth.