I am checking things of my 2010 food goal list like crazy!
One of the restaurants on my list is Sea Change, the new (er) Tim McKee spot at the Guthrie Theatre. McKee won the James Beard Award in 2009 for Best Chef in the Midwest. It’s kind of a big deal. At least to food geeks like myself.
Sea Change focuses on sustainable seafood. They work with fisheries that use responsible methods in gathering and farming seafood. I love that we have a restaurant like this in Minneapolis, which doesn’t have the direct access to the ocean as our friends on the coasts. One can only eat so much Minnesota walleye.
We were joined at Sea Change with our friends, Willa and Arnoldo. This is them at the Brasa event a few months ago.
If you can believe it, they are even cuter now.
I loved our surroundings. Loved them! First of all, the Guthrie itself is just a really cool building so it’s no surprise that the restaurant inside is cool looking too. Hip decor, a really funky bar and an open kitchen make it very visually stimulating. What I liked even more was that although there were a lot of people there, I couldn’t hear the conversation at the table next to us and I could hear everyone at my table just fine – no shouting necessary. I get annoyed in busy restaurants where you are jammed in and can’t hear a thing at your own table. They had the acoustics worked out perfectly.
I thought the service was excellent. Our server was very attentive and helpful. He gave some tips on navigating the menu and some wine suggestions, but also gave us plenty of time to decide and of course, chat. I never felt rushed or that he was trying to turn the table over. We were there for about 3 hours. Granted, our reservation was after the show at the Guthrie had started, so the theater crowd had already left.
The most important part! Overall, I loved my food. I was very happy with everything I ate and it consisted of things I never make at home which made it such a treat.
Brette and I started with the mussels braised in Grain Belt (beer) with bacon and potato chips. I really enjoyed these and you knew the bacon was there as soon as the dish got to the table. The smokiness hit your nose instantly.
Willa and Arnoldo shared the grilled octopus with salsa verde, spanish peppers, and pimenton. I believe they enjoyed it. I had a bite, but I knew it wasn’t going to be my thing. I have a texture issue with octopus.
We all shared the special, which was grilled razor clams with chimichurri. I was the only one that really liked these. They were very different than regular clams. I found them to be very meaty and delicious.
For my main course I had the ocean trout with spicy lobster sauce, pickled burdock, braised butter lettuce and nori.
Ocean trout is very different than the lake trout we get here in the Midwest. It is more like salmon in color and texture. It is also very tasty! What made this dish for me was the lobster sauce. It had very sizable chunks of melt in your mouth lobster. I’m salivating just thinking about it. It was very difficult not to lift of up the plate and drink the sauce. I would definitely order this again.
Brette had the mackerel with escarole, pine nuts, saba and radish.
This wasn’t the prettiest dish I have ever seen. The fish is very gray, inside and out. Brette thought it tasted pretty good, but not spectacular. He really liked the pine nuts underneath it though.
Willa ordered the crisp skinned arctic char with white beans and artichoke giardiniera.
She was very happy with this dish, especially the white bean puree. And who doesn’t like crispy skin?
Arnoldo ordered off the “not fish” menu with the lamb tenderloin with merguez, falafel, onion and red pepper yogurt.
This was also a winner, though it was not medium rare as it was supposed to be. It was definitely medium – but still tasty. He definitely won for prettiest plate.
For dessert, Brette and I shared a peanut butter chocolate torte with a blackberry sorbet.
Peanut butter and chocolate is one of my favorite flavor combinations, so I knew I would like it. By adding the blackberry sorbet, it reminded me of a pb & j sandwich with chocolate. Yes, please.
Arnoldo ordered a goat cheese tart number – I can’t remember the actual title of the dish. Considering the plate was clean at the end, I think he liked it!
Overall, I think we all really enjoyed our experience at Sea Change. I know I would go back in a heart beat. I think it’s a great place to go for a special occasion or a nice night out with some friends. It’s definitely a good place to go if you’re a fan of great seafood.