BEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANT - 2010
Demand for seafood is rising faster than high tide, as it's an extremely healthy, tasty, and nutritious protein. But its increasing popularity has stressed the oceans' stocks, and poor fishing methods have caused serious ecological damage. Worse, consumer information about sustainable seafood tends to be fast-changing and confusing. Fortunately, we can find some relief at Sea Change, James Beard Award-winning chef Tim McKee's new restaurant in the Guthrie Theater. McKee's team has done its homework so you don't have to, serving only seafood caught with the proper respect for each species and its environment. And because diners will perhaps always be motivated less by ethics than by taste, we're luckier still that McKee's second-in-command, Erik Anderson, pulls off the latter with aplomb. His kitchen turns out some of the most exciting flavor matches in town. The rock shrimp with linguini, for example, is tossed in a delicate sabayon that's creamy, tart, and air-kissed with the brininess of sea urchin. A fatty fillet of arctic char is cooked to skin-crackling perfection and is cleverly paired with white-bean puree and artichoke giardiniera. But Sea Change is more than just a great place to eat seafood; it's one of the best restaurants overall in the Twin Cities. The not-fish offerings stand up to the rest of the menu and include a particularly wonderful grilled duck with orange, cherry, pistachio, and lentils; the cocktails and desserts are first-rate; and the dining room itself is a looker. If you haven't already, it's time to dip your toes in these waters.