What sets it apart: Mix one part fine dining seafood restaurant with a fine dining steakhouse and a bar, and you've got the recipe for Ocean Prime, a chain located mostly in major U.S. cities. Its teriyaki salmon with shiitake sticky rice and soy butter sauce is pictured here.
Cameron Mitchell, founder and president of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, Ocean Prime's parent company, describes the chain as a "much more female-centric concept than" its counterparts.
The strategy appears to be working. It topped an enthusiasm index that the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland created for the study.
Expansion plans: Ocean Prime plans to open an outpost in Boston and one in New York.
Details on investors: Cameron Mitchell Restaurants is the restaurant's parent company.
Favorite menu item: "One of my personal favorite dishes is blackened snapper with cornbread stuffing," Mitchell said. "It's pretty darn tasty. I also like our jalapeno au gratin side dish."