Pricey seafood good for a change of pace

Alana Profit

Located a stone’s throw away from the front doors of the new Guthrie, Sea Change has tried, and succeeded, at making a restaurant more sustainable by making environmentally conscious business decisions. They buy from fisheries that practice sustainable fishing, serve water in carafes instead of bottles, and the interior designers created the decor from wind-felled redwood trees.

Unfortunately, customers pay for the green decisions this restaurant has made. The meager portions leave much to be desired–Minnesotans need to build up their insulation layer, and these half-full plates just won’t cut it.

However, their “raw bar” is a rarity. They offer little neck clams, yellowfin and albacore tuna, oysters, bay scallops, shrimp, Alaskan salmon, and king crab with their own respective sauces, which is a refreshing treat here in the land-locked Midwest. They’re a little pricey and the clams and oysters only come in half-dozen quantities, but that’s the price Minnesotans pay for prime fresh fish.

For those who prefer their fish cooked, Sea Change has a lot of variety on the menu. For pasta with a kick, try the linguine with rock shrimp and sea urchin, the latter of which is an acquired taste, akin to raw oysters, but delicious for people who like it. The seared Yellowfin Tuna, dressed in a spicy crust and served with fresh citrus and sunchokes (think an artichoke flavored potato), meshes together seamlessly in terms of presentation and in taste.

Venture into a seafood restaurant on accident? Sea Change also has non-fish items on the menu. They take an old standby–fried chicken–and up the class factor by serving it with smoked country ham, onion, chestnut, and sweet potato. If your pockets are a little deeper, go for the beef tenderloin with the side of turnip and mustard green salad topped with sherry dressing.

The average patron will spend $22 for lunch and $32 for dinner, not including drink, tax, or tip, so this is definitely a special occasion restaurant, but the open-air kitchen in the dining space adds an element of showmanship to the experience.