|Potato pave with paddlefish roe and creme fraiche (foreground) for first tastes at Sea Change|
Chef Jamie Malone has had quite a year.
Since she was named one of Food & Wine Magazine's
best chefs of 2013, there's been a ton of renewed interest in Malone's restaurant, Sea Change, and in sustainable seafood in general. Malone recently became a member of the chef's culinary board for the Norwegian Seafood Council and took a trip to Norway to eat, cook, and learn about the unique aquaculture of the region.
She's returned with a new Nordic-inspired menu, available for just a few more days at Sea Change, that pairs some of the most gorgeous fruit of the sea with classic, clean flavors. We were fortunate to sample the menu last night and see Malone's interpretation of Scandinavian fare.
|Savory custard to amuse your bouche|
The evening got off to an impressive start with a miniature version of Malone's famed chawan mushi,
a few silky spoonfuls of savory, smoky custard decorated with just-seared scallop, chives, and a little yuzu for some acidity.
|Red King Crab with sea beans|
The first course was perhaps the best of the night. The base was a bowl of the sweetest Norwegian Red King Crab with mellow black garlic, which always looks so much more aggressive than it tastes. To that, Malone added a few snappy sea beans, a pairing also seen at Isaac Becker's Burch
, and fresh cucumber.
This was followed by a dish of salmon belly with apple broth and diced beets, which sort of mimicked both the color and texture of the fish. The flavors were classically Nordic, with a little brine, sweetness, and a delicate finish.
|Roasted halibut with fennel, olives, and orange|
The third dish was the most pristine filet of roasted halibut I have ever had the pleasure of eating. The salty salad of olives, fennel, and orange was a dynamite complement to the fish, but the hazelnut puree underneath was overwhelming in flavor and portion -- the only misstep of the night.
To break up all the fish fun, we were presented with a bread course. This is something new to Sea Change, and they're baking the whole spread in-house. Mini brioche buns, cracker-y flatbreads, and soft sourdough knots were served with an incredible uni (sea urchin) butter, a sharp anchovy one, and a fascinating, tangy sourdough butter.
The fourth course was the most familiar fish of all: Norwegian salmon, dressed up in a Germanic preparation with sauerkraut, bacon, whole grain mustard, roasted shallot, and a thin wisp of rye bread.
The menu closed out with a crumbly date tart served with crystallized ginger, subtle house-made honey ice cream, and spongy squares of cornmeal pound cake.
Whether you have a play you've been meaning to see at the Guthrie or just have a hankering for Nordic food (don't we all, all the time?), you only have two days left to get in on this special five-course menu. More details are available at Sea Change's website
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806 S. 2nd St., Minneapolis, MN