Does Oceana Have a Racist Restaurant Week Back Room Just for Asians?
Oceana, the fancy seafood restaurant on 49th btw. 6+7th, is definitely not a Midtown Lunch… but this is way too funny not to post. On Sunday, Chubby Chinese Girl (the Midtown Lunch’er who came up with Cer Te’s Feburary Sandwich of the Month) had a restaurant week lunch at Oceana and was escorted through a practically empty main dining room to a back room that was filled with all Asian diners (6 tables in all.) Obviously (or not?) Oceana isn’t racist, according to this their Executive Pastry Chef is Asian and even CCG admitted that she enjoyed the service and the food. But the photo is kind of damning. (Hilariously damning.) There must be a perfectly good explanation for all of this, right Oceana?
We contacted GM Paul McLaughlin for comment, and he told us that the back room is actually the preferred dining area during lunchtime. It’s away from the kitchen and the bar, plus has giant windows on two walls of the room- including one that looks out onto the newly designed waterfall walk through between 48th and 49th Streets. As for why all the customers were Asian? He said that was just a Restaurant Week coincidence. According to Paul, Asian people come out in droves every year for their Restaurant Week menus: “Just counted my guests from Sunday, we did 191 lunches Sunday, 95 guests were Asian or have Asian names. That’s 49%.”
I suppose his story checks out… but that photo is still hilarious!