May 31, 2010
I’ve been very remiss in writing about Blueacre Seafood, chef Kevin and Terresa Davis’s newest venture, which opened in mid-March in the former Oceanaire Seafood Room space in downtown Seattle.
We were lucky enough to be invited to one of the friends and family dinners offered Wednesday and Thursday before the restaurant set its revolving doors spinning open to the public on March 19.
Even standing catercorner to the restaurant (which is located at 1700 7th Avenue-cross streets are Seventh and Olive), you sense a sophisticated, big-city vibe. The space reminds me of some of our favorite seafood restaurants in Vancouver, B.C. (such as Blue Water Cafe & Raw Bar) thanks to its global presence and majesty.
Once inside, you see the bones from the space’s previous incarnation, the Oceanaire Seafood Room, which Kevin opened in 2001 then departed in 2007 to start the Steelhead Diner in the Pike Place Market.
Terresa, wearing her interior-designer cap, has opened up the space, revved up the colors, and covered the simple tables with silk screens of a black and neon-blue butterfly wings. Cool!
Food at the family-and-friends dinner, then on a subsequent Thursday-evening visit, was over-the-top excellent. No break-in, warm-up period for this resto! Kevin and his kitchen crew were spot on right off the bat, while waitstaff (unfortunately) needs a bit more fine-tuning and finesse before I can safely say they are up to speed.
What’s good to eat? In a word. . .everything.
While I was chowing down on the unctuous, sweet-salty salmon cheeks, chef Kevin came out for a chat. He confided that, “All the foodies order this dish.”
I can see the reason why.
Spencer was thrilled to see Red Chili Point Judith Squid on the menu. It was one of his “must-have” dishes when Oceanaire was still in business (chef Kevin originated the dish) and it’s good as ever. . .deep-fried squid in a tempura-style batter that chef Kevin spins his own way with a sweet-hot sauce and lots of serrano peppers, garlic, ginger, Thai basil, and orange zest.
I adored my Fin & Shell Fish Stew teaming with shrimp, clams, and mussels, along with chunks o’ flapping-fresh finfish and shell-shaped pasta amid a rich broth that sucked up every morsel of flavor and aroma after long simmering of lobster and shrimp shells. And don’t forget the rockin’ rouille! Leftovers were equally as good the following evening.
We split a piece of the Mud Pie with our tablemates. Good idea since it was so rich and yummy, a bite or two tickled our sweet tooths, while a whole piece (tasty as it was) would have been overkill.
The wine list is more lengthy than the one you’ll discover at Steelhead, made up predominantly (and blessedly) of Northwest boutique wines, with a few California staples (Mer Soleil Chardonnay, Roederer Estate Brut, Turley “Old Vine” Zin) thrown in for good measure.
As much as we love Kevin and Terresa’s first venture–Steelhead Diner–we embrace, applaud, and welcome Blueacre Seafood as a much-needed addition to the uptown Seattle dining scene.
Additional details from the official launch press release:
A passionate love of seafood has led owners Chef Kevin and Terresa Davis to this moment, bringing their vision of responsible, approachable, amazing seafood to fruition. Creating an affordable, all-American seafood restaurant adds something new and exciting to the downtown Seattle culinary scene, filling a need for locals and visitors.
The Davises feature wild seafood available from United States coastal waters, as well as carefully chosen and sustainably farmed freshwater species, oysters, clams, and mussels.
Farm-fresh meats, game, poultry, vegetables, artisanal cheeses, American spirits, wine, and craft beers on tap continue the American theme.
In addition to seating for 200 in the dining room, Blueacre offers three private dining areas perfect for everything from intimate gatherings to corporate events.
Lunch and dinner are offered daily, along with brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Happy hour takes place each day from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with a specialty bar menu and happy-hour drink prices.