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By  Isabel Salazar

Photo by Jonah Gouin

If you are a seafood lover like I am, you will be fascinated with Mare Nostrum (Latin for “Our Sea”).  This elegant restaurant seats 154 and the alfresco patio accommodates 60.  There is also an intimate private dinning room for parties of 16 or less.  In all, the space is over 8,000 square feet with a sleek, clean and modern décor.  The restaurant’s art work and photography is from international artist Javier Martin and was created specifically for this fabulous new restaurant.

The 25’ long seafood raw bar is well-stocked with sumptuous oysters on the half shell, crab claws (stone and king) and other specialties on ice. The seafood is flown in daily. I was very impressed by the 11-foot glass wine cellar in the middle of the restaurant.

Mare Nostrum offers full time sommeliers to assist customers in selecting the perfect bottle of wine to accompany their meal.  The wine list consists of over 250 selections from all over the world, with over 2,000 bottles in inventory.

The ambiance was amazing. The servers were polite, extremely attentive to detail with all appetizers within easy reach or served to you with a smile.  I liked that they were constantly cleaning up as the night progressed so there was never a pile of unattractive used plates to be seen. I also loved the significant space between each table.  It gives you enough privacy to speak openly without having to worry about your neighboring table listening in.

At Mare Nostrum you’ll discover the flavors and atmosphere of the serene Mediterranean. There was so much to choose from and you could not go wrong with anything. I must admit I tried a bit of everything.  I loved the sea bass that was cooked to perfection, simply prepared in a skillet. The paella rocks! as does the stone crab & oyster trays.

All in all, I tip my hat off to executive chef Glenn Bennito and the Mare Nostrum team for a job well done. They really did cover all the details.  I will be coming back here soon!

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