I’m not surprised that Chef Jamie Malone from Sea Change was named a semifinalist in the James Beard Awards category for “Rising Star Chef.”
She and her team were superstars when we ate at the raw bar two weeks ago.
For a couple of months, my oldest son Seth (7) had been asking to go with my wife and me when we go out to eat. We typically go out either Friday or Saturday night, and our kids get a babysitter. Seth wanted to be with us.
He loves fish and shrimp and seafood, so he asked to go to a seafood place. We made our reservation for the raw bar at Sea Change at 5 p.m. on a Saturday.
To my surprise, there were a fair number of families eating there, well-dressed young boys and girls eating dinner before a trip to the Guthrie, perhaps.
Raw bar chef Holly Carson was amazing, taking us on a tour of the menu, explaining things to Seth. She proved, once again, that sitting at a bar in a restaurant is the most fun way to eat!
He tried everything—the incredible langostines with hot olive oil, chiles, and rosemary, the extremely popular shrimp cocktail elevated so brilliantly with a little preserved lemon and habenero cocktail sauce. He loved the tuna poke with a bright burst of fresh nori (seaweed)—which reminded him of a sushi roll taken apart.
Chef Malone brought out a breathtaking dish that made Seth beam with joy: a bowl filled with ginger cotton candy, a cup of lobster bisque that was out-of-this-world, and then a cheddar grits dish topped with popcorn dust, and popcorn kernels. Absolutely delicious.
And guess what: the non-fish dishes at Sea Change also blew me away. The duck was perfect— served with a rich, dark roux and andouille rillettes. It seems sacrilegious to order a meat dish at Sea Change, but I hereby give you dispensation. Do it.
For dessert: no surprise that the seven-year-old loved the chocolate cremeux, with brownie, and more chocolate, and a little more chocolate. I’ve written about Niki Francioli’s desserts before; I really think they’re in the top tier in the city. They are fantastic.
The joy of sitting at the raw bar is the chance to interact with Chef Carson and Chef Malone. It was an unforgettable experience for us, and for our son. And it goes to show that some of the best chefs in the Twin Cities are also some of the nicest people.
Sea Change Restaurant & Bar
806 S. 2nd St., Mpls.