Would we go back:
818 South 2nd Street
• grilled octopus/ salsa verde/ spanish peppers/ pimentón $11
• warm roasted beets/ pancetta/ walnut/ blue cheese $8 (shared)
• ocean trout/ spicy lobster sauce/ pickled burdock/ braised butter lettuce/ nori $29
• hazelnut semifreddo / earl gray foam / berry gelee / small berry-filled tart $8
It is really nice to go to a restaurant and know that they are using ingredients that are sustainable. This is especially true in seafood. I have the hardest time keeping track of what to eat and not eat from the ocean. So it was relaxing to come here and know that at least to current knowledge the menu was made up of things that we could eat with a relatively clear conscience. Of course, I am not sure that there is anything out there that can be agreed upon by all that can be eaten with a clear conscience, but I digress.
We also went without our child which made the evening all the more relaxing. I can't actually imagine having brought him here. This is one of the restaurants that perhaps the occasional well behaved child could come to, but the average two year old is probably not a good idea.
I started with the octopus which was recommended by the waiter after I told him I was trying to decide between it and the mussels. He said you can get mussels anywhere, which is true and since I had never had octopus I thought this would be the place to try it. I enjoyed the dish. The various elements all came together to make a great dish. We then went to the beet salad which to be fair you can get anywhere as well and Steve was not all that keen on ordering it, but I am glad we did it was a charming version and again everything worked together to make it a very nice dish.
Ocean trout is another fish I had not had before, it was very nice. Reddish like salmon, but a much milder taste. The lobster sauce was heavenly and it all came together to make a fantastic dish. My dessert was also fantastic again many components coming together to make something better than each individual element.
Clearly if you are going to the Guthrie this would be a great option, but even without Guthrie tickets this is a great restaurant to dine at.
• bay scallops (raw) / parsley root vin/ lemon garlic $8
• seared yellowfin tuna/ spice crust/ jerusalem artichoke/ citrus $26
• Chocolate/peanut butter torte (crushed peanuts) / berry gelee $10
Tim McKee was recently named a regional James Beard award winner. Sea Change epitomizes the work it takes to earn such an award. Every course was exquisite. I am penciling them in the number one spot for the year.
Sometimes in the movies, a character will ask what makes life worth living. Then, there’s an interlude where the character starts making a list. Restaurants like Sea Change are on my list. The raw bay scallops with parsley root vin and lemon garlic were the perfect introduction to the fantastic food that was yet to come. This would make a perfect amuse bouche if the owners were so inclined. I thought I might be turned off by the slippery texture of raw scallops, but I overcame that quickly as the flavors mixed together perfectly.
The warm roasted beets appetizer was an offshoot of the standard beet salad with walnuts and blue cheese. The difference here was the beets were served whole and warm, and of course, the thinly sliced high quality pancetta. Brilliant.
The seared yellowfin tuna was tremendous. The server recommended medium rare, and I asked the server whether rare would be better. He responded that I could order rare if I wanted to, but medium rare was recommended. Medium rare was the right call because the tuna was not overdone, and the tuna was, for the most part, rare and delicious. The medium rare helped the crust develop.
The chocolate/peanut butter torte was an ideal ending. Sometimes when we go to restaurants, so much work goes into the appetizers and entrees that the desserts are not the same high quality. At Sea Change, the desserts are outstanding on their own. Yes, the price is slightly high, but still worth it.
$20 and up
March 13, 2010