For being known as The Land of 10,000 Lakes (fun fact! There are actually 11842 lakes that are 10 acres or more!), Minnesota is depressingly landlocked. Unless you're hankering for a good ol' Fish Fry Walleye, there's something to be desired in the area as far as seafood goes.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I was never a huge seafood fan. I love scallops--they're probably my favorite protein--but never got too fired up over shrimp cocktail or the oh-so-90's Chilean Sea Bass. My boyfriend, however, might as well be a pelican for all the seafood he eats. This means that over the last few years, I've had a crash course in just about every kind of seafood that's out there to eat. I've eaten eels, oysters, octopus, clams, shrimp, lobster... and that's just the short list. Granted, many of these delicacies have been served over a bed of rice with a dab of wasabi and a generous dip in soy sauce--but sushi isn't enough for his man-sized appetite for creatures of the sea.
For a long time, my favorite restaurant was Oceanaire. Yes, it was a chain, and this was long before I started to be somewhat of a foodie... but I truly enjoyed each meal I had there. I haven't eaten there in years--since I took my parents there for Christmas in December of 2004--but hoped that quality had remained the same. Unfortunately, it sounds like it hasn't. So, where can I go now, to have high-quality seafood?
The first place that comes to mind is Sea Change. This place opened in the summer of 2009, and until Bar La Grassa opened in November, seemed a shoe-in for Best New Restaurant of the year. The restaurant is located in The Guthrie Theatre, in the space formerly occupied by Cue. I ate at Cue once, and while I loved the space, didn't love the menu. I was excited to hear about Sea Change's arrival, and it's one of those places that I always have intended to go to, but never have. Has anyone been there? I'd love to hear reviews from friends.
I also think of places like Stella's Fish Cafe in Uptown. I've eaten there, but the atmosphere seems more "bar first, food second", and they wouldn't be high on my list of places to go for something fresh from the deep. Am I wrong here? Is there more to this place than drunken antics on a late Saturday night?
The last place I think about is Sea Salt Eatery. Sea Salt Eatery--the place just makes me happy. It's one of the more unique restaurants in Minneapolis. It's seasonal--only open from April to October--and located in Minnehaha Park, right near the falls. It's the most serendipitous little place, and most of the seating is located outside, so you're enjoying the beautiful scenery and weather along with your delicious meal. I can't tear myself away from the Crabcake Sandwich, while my geographically confused boyfriend (he's from Canada, but you'd swear he was southern with his love of creole, cajun, and seafood) can't get enough of the Crawfish Po'Boy. Better yet, all their seafood comes from Coastal Seafoods. It's like a double-dip of local goodness!
So, am I missing out on anywhere that I can take my lobster for his seafood fix? I'm looking forward to hearing about any new, out-of-the-way places!