Wild Sea Oyster Bar & Grille

Last Activity: Oct 28th, 2014

wild sea front

Wild Sea Fort Lauderdale

Location

620 E Las Olas Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
954 467-0671
What's Nearby

Critic's Rating

Rating3.1
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review: 02/26/13

Information

HoursWed, Thur 5pm-10pm, Fri,Sat 5pm-11pm Sun 11am-3pm (Brunch)
Dress CodeNeat Casual ParkingStreet Metered, Garage
CCYes AlcoholFull Bar
OutdoorYes ReservationsYes
DeliveryNo
Happy HourWed-Sat 5pm-7pm 50% off drinksand 50% off Blue Point Oysters

Pros

Beautiful Decor
Great Location

Cons

Wildly Overpriced
No Fixed Menu
Too Much Fruit in Recipes

Critic's Review

If you've ever stayed at the Riverside Hotel, or eaten in one of their restaurants, you know that the one thing that's consistent is the mediocrity of their offerings. Mediocre rooms, mediocre service and mediocre food. Wild Sea breaks the mold. Wild Sea is a beautiful restaurant.

Unfortunately, Wild Sea doesn't break the mold of wildly overpriced hotel restaurants who hire nobody chefs and charge the highest prices in town.

They have an oyster bar upon entry; oysters are $3 per and clams are $2.

Wild Sea Oyster Bar at the Riverside Hotel

Wild Sea Oyster Bar at the Riverside Hotel

Around the corner is a stylish, modern bar with a marble counter and good, well-placed TVs. The bar space is comfortable and could easily support a decent standing-room only crowd, if they ever had a crowd, which they don't.jump-->

Wild Sea Bar

Wild Sea Bar

From photos I've seen; portions are very small, while prices are very big. $47 for a non-prime bone-in filet. Don't count on the menu here or on their web site; the menu changes regularly. So it's a total crapshoot.>

I ordered some oysters, one of each to get a look at the sizes and differences; 6 oysters is $18.

Wild Sea Oysters

Wild Sea Oysters

As you can see, all of the oysters here are small, unlike the hulking Blue Points or Gulf Coast Apalachicolas that we're most used to. The sauces were the standard mignonette, an indian cocktail sauce and shredded horseradish. I thought the indian cocktail sauce was the best; sort of a yogurt/cucumber sauce that paired well with the briny oysters. The Oysters were fine, but didn't do much to diminish my hunger. Small oysters might be good for snooty conversation but they're not much for eating.

The new summer "fixed price" early bird menu illustrates perfectly why I can't stand the people who own this restaurant. The menu is only available from 5pm to 7pm, and actually costs more than the regular menu. So either they are stupid, or they think that we are stupid; either of which just makes me want to go somewhere else. It proves that they couldn't care less about offering anything close to affordable for people in the neighborhood.

They claim to have live music nightly, but the music is actually at the Golden Lion, the hotel bar next door.

The 28yo chef here was previously a Sous Chef at a French restaurant in Las Vegas. The "head" chef is a career hotel chef who briefly ran the kitchen at St Regis before Ritz Carlton took them over.

What we have here is a seafood restaurant with no chowders, crab or lobster.

The people who own the Riverside Hotel know full well that there are limited wealthy, frivolous people in Fort Lauderdale, yet they've still opened a restaurant that is too high end for the clumsy, mid range hotel. The uber-wealthy aren't going to be staying at the Riverside; they should have a menu that suits the kind of people who pay $260/night for a room; not the type that are staying at the Ritz Carlton or in South Beach. The kind of people who stay at the Riverside and who think that Big City Tavern is fine dining aren't going to want to pay the prices here.

Wild Sea is typical, delusional Fort Lauderdale. It's easy to build a fancy restaurant with money. But without skill and talent, opening a great restaurant is nearly impossible.

With Buckhead opening a seafood restaurant at the old Jackson's Steakhouse location in a couple of months, Wild Sea will have formidable competition and they'll have to do better than this menu to compete. Meanwhile, it's a beautiful bar and a nice alternative to the other, bustling venues nearby for a drink.

Wild Sea Dining Room

Wild Sea Dining Room

Wild Sea Oyster Bar & Grille on Urbanspoon

Showing 25 Comments

Comment Policy Add Comment
DavidReply
This place is a bunch of nut jobs. On their FB page they say "25% off and complimentary valet", so I asked if that was for everyone. Instead of answering, they deleted the comment and blocked my account!
Laurie JReply
Everyone is blocked from Wild Sea's page. You're not allowed to dilute their fantasies about how great their career hotel chef is.
AdministratorReply
Only people who don't tell them how great they are.
Claudia JeanReply
The trick is that Guests of the hotel get 25% off. They know that no locals are going to pay to eat at this place.
AdministratorReply
As I've said, this is a hotel restaurant and NOT a neighborhood restaurant. The idea is to convince people that it's a better hotel than it is by having a fancy restaurant. It's not intended for "us".
AdministratorReply
Wild Sea will be serving Lunch starting on Oct 15; We have the menu. They have a wedge salad with 5 salad dressing choices, none of which is blue cheese.
M.R.Reply
They block any criticism on their Facebook. They hire magazines to do stories about their big hotel chef. The owners are just pretending to have a good restaurant; paying people to tell them how great they are.
I have only bad things about this place. Never busy and the food is not good, especially for the high price. I guess it will stay in business only as long as the tourists go to it. Because the locals all know better!!
JanisReply
We tried to have brunch on a Sunday -when we called we were told reservations were not needed. When we went to the restaurant; the hostess asked if we had a reservation which we did not. The restaurant was empty but we were told without a reservation; we could go to the bar and wait for a table. It would be 10-15 minutes for a table. I don't need to be manipulated to buy a drink and this technique is inexcusable. We left and won't return.
KyleReply
I say that we lobby to convert Wild Sea to a Fort Lauderdale Gift shop, where you can buy old posters and bathing suits from the 70s.
AdministratorReply
I put up the menu from last Friday night. Way too much fruit to want to try it. Why is there orange in the baby bok choy, or cherries in the salad? Oysters with peach? Shrimp with coconut, grouper with peach, pork cheeks with cherries.

Why do wealthy restaurant owners hire amateur chefs which just cause them to lose all of their money? Don't wealthy restaurant owners ever eat out? Don't they know that this is crap?
AdministratorReply
Wild Sea now offering a "Summer" fixed price menu for just $55. What a clown act.
I can't believe this place is still open a year later!!!!
AdministratorReply
It's owned by the hotel, so making money isn't as important as trying to pretend that it's a high end hotel. It's something to advertise on their website to sell rooms.
JasonReply
One fake review on Yelp. I thought they had a filter? Yelpers probably can't afford the place.
LaurenReply
Since when does going on yelp mean your on a budget?I wrote the review....and I love the place. I've seen them fixing some of the issues (oysters not being cold enough the first week, they even started making cocktail sauce) I hope they make it, I for one don't mind paying a little more for good food (yes I think it's good) and atmosphere.
AdministratorReply
Great, so the one who posted the fake review on Yelp is defending it. Your rabid defense of this restaurant proves your lack of objectivity.

It looks like the filter finally figured out that Lauren's review was a plant.
basterReply
so just go to big city. Everyone who tries to do good food with ingredients that you don\'t get or understand goes out of business. This is why the food culture in this town is a good 10 or 20 years behind the rest of the country. I bet for you parmesan truffle fries are haute cuisine, but in restaurant in real city people are into food. Yeah i agree the night you were there the fish selection was a bit boring, but changing the menu daily means the food is the best and freshest the market has to offer.
Rita JeanReply
Why can't anyone figure out how to make good food that doesn't cost $30 for a small entree with no salad? THAT is the question?
RobotReply
Because good food and good presentation is not the same thing. People who spend these kind of prices on a meal a), typically know little to nothing about food and 2), it costs a fortune to have good line chefs spend the better part of their day creating art forms of food for these people. Your question has nothing to do with this article. They didn't build the place to serve good food, its for pretty food and charging for it. We're selling "special" here, not food.
AdministratorReply
I don't think that the 2 are mutually exclusive. The truth is that it's easier to teach presentation than how to be a great chef. You can hire a chef who can assemble ingredients a lot cheaper than you can someone who knows how to make great food. So in a way you're correct; in that they're tricking people with presentation and gimmicky claims of fresher food into believing that the food is worth top dollar.
AdministratorReply
I've written 850 reviews, so why do you have to guess at what I consider "haute cuisine"? The truth is that this restaurant epitomizes what's wrong with Fort Lauderdale. Instead of being a nice place to get good food, it has to try every gimmick in the book to charge the highest possible prices. You can't feign sophistication.

If restaurants want to continue to take advice from people with associate's degrees in marketing that's their business; they are free to lose all of their money. Its my job to point out how it measures up and whether I think it will fly.

I've been right a lot more than I've been wrong.
HeywoodReply
850 reviews? You must take yourself and your opinion very seriously.
JohnReply
The 850 reviews have helped me, and I take them much more seriously than Yelp, Zagat, etc.

Thanks!!!
AdministratorReply
Don't most people take their opinions seriously?