Catch of the day: The Guthrie's Sea Change is a keeper

  • Article by: RICK NELSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 5, 2009 - 9:33 AM

Much of the food is sublime, due to both Tim McKee's prodigious culinary gifts as well as his deep talent pool, most notably chef de cuisine Erik Anderson and sous chef Jim Christiansen.

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stribmenotNov. 4, 0910:08 PM

Try the sorbet selection on the desert menu--your tongue will thank you! I can't say as how I was as impressed with the fish & chips as Mr. Nelson was though. Still working my way through the menu--more delights to come!

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tigerlilly66Nov. 5, 09 1:10 AM

For the dollar this is the best invest Tim Mckee and the Guthrie could come up with!Cost was a issue with having local farms involved thanks to Heartland and season ticket holders need there nice piece of cod now called Artic char with beans and celery. Everyone looks great in the room and your grandma and grandpa can have a good coversation about the weather in this room but the food doesn't come thru! Scallops that are past there prime and hang your hat on the beet salad? Come on people this is not a cattle drive nor should it be. Tim left the building that much is sure.

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freak00069Nov. 5, 09 5:32 AM

Cue was managed by Bon Appetite - a company that does food service for quite a few cafeterias around the area - including Best Buy's corporate cafeteria and St. Olaf's student center's cafeteria. **** The first and only time i ate there, munching on my $18 pasta dish, i couldn't help but think that i paid only $4 for the same thing when i ate lunch at Best Buy's cafeteria. Sure the venue was nice...but the food quality for the price was terrible. Not to mention the wait staff was totally unorganized and people were late to their show (or didn't even get served) because of poor staffing. *** I never went back, and apparently i wasn't the only one who had a bad experience there. I wish the new crew the best of luck trying to undo the damage Cue did.

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heffayNov. 5, 09 8:39 AM

It was like that during the Cue period as well, and it didn't get noticeably better under Sea Change. They should better plan around the showtime rush, as I'm sure a huge portion of their business is based on people going to catch a play.

There is also no vegetarian option to speak of across the menu, which I guess is understandable for a seafood themed restaurant. But even at Mannys you can feast fairly well if you're a vegetarian. It limits where I can bring certain friends.

The seafood was very delicious, but when you're spending that kind of money, you expect the polish to be well applied. Fortunately you can get even better food across the street at Spoonriver. Better food and service, (slightly) lower costs.

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jonkuskieNov. 5, 09 9:01 AM

Sea Change is really a unique place to dine. The most important thing to keep in mind is that this restaurant is located at the Guthrie's wonderful building. On a Friday night at 6pm (pre-show), the restaurant gets slammed with lots of folks who have to be out 15 minutes before the show. I would recommend everyone who wants to try out Sea Change and is NOT going to a show figure out when making a reservation what time shows are playing, and make the reservation for slightly after showtime. You can have full attention of the service staff and a much more relaxed and enjoyable experience. Lunchtime is also a great time to visit Sea Change! I have been to Sea Change on four occasions, two lunch and two dinner - and each were fantastic! Service was great for me - not overly stuffy, and a hint of unrefined, which lead to very friendly encounters with great staff recommendations. As for the vegetarians - Please either go to Spoonriver, or at least provide your server with recommendations of what you are looking for. Sea Change is a very accommodating seafood restaurant, and will cook vegetarian. However, they cannot "guess" what is going to make you happy (some vegies eat eggs, some don't - some want pasta - some don't - make up your minds!). If you simply tell the server what type of dish you want - the staff at Sea Change can likely whip up something tasty for you. Also - considering the quality of the food received, I find the pricing to be very reasonable. I do expect to pay more for oysters than risotto. I think Heffay may need a reality check.... Enjoy!

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heffayNov. 5, 09 9:32 AM

Fine. You can do much better at the other 2 restaurants at the intersection.

That being said, the base menu should have at least one veggie entree and appetizer. I've never seen a menu *without* at least one. And the staff was very accommodating in whipping up a pasta bowl, but you don't go to a fine restaurant to be served a hash.

I'm just providing recommendations for the restaurant to take into consideration some things they can improve, as well as a word of warning to people on more limited diets. They don't have to listen; it won't bother me at all. I'm glad you had a good experience there. But people should know what to expect when they go to a restaurant, and being critical isn't necessarily a bad thing. Knowledge is power.

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GertronNov. 5, 09 9:44 AM

Have to agree with your post. Went to dinner there last Sunday evening. Booked a 7:15 reservation to make sure that we ate after everybody left to see the 7:00 show. The place was still fairly busy but not hectic. Loved the food although the kitchen rushed the second course out before I had finished the first! Had four courses including dessert and only took an hour to dine. Would prefer a little slower pace!

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fedupmplsNov. 5, 09 3:19 PM

I've eaten there twice and the food was absolutely vile! The atmosphere is nice but that doesn't make up for having to spit things out in your napkin. I suggest getting a cocktail instead!

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apgoopNov. 5, 09 7:21 PM

This place has so many problems. Service, ambience, and food...the holy trinity of the restaurant experience. It fails in all three areas. The room is a ridiculous space, the service disconnected, and the food compares with a small airport cafe. Let's have some honesty in these reviews. Don;t waste your money.

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ballen2369Nov. 6, 09 9:49 AM

Hey Apgoop, "the food is like a small airport cafe"? Did you even eat at Sea Change? May be you would prefer Red Lobster. Let me tell you something, the food here is world class. I have not had crudo this good since I ate at Mario Bitali's Esca restaurant in NYC. Tim McKee is a gifted chef who is able to elevate simple sea food dishes into haute cuisine. The service is solid and the space serves its purpose. This is the best sea food restaurant in the Twin Cities, hands down.

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