I attended the soft opening of Uptown’s newest restaurant, Sea Level, on Tuesday evening, and now I’m so excited to see the potential of this farm-to-fork restaurant.
Sea Level is located in Hearst Tower in the former location of LaVecchia’s that closed three years ago as well as City Tavern before it. Created by the same owners of Growlers Pourhouse and the Crepe Cellar, the new concept will serve fresh oysters, fish, burgers and more.
The owners have been planning the concept for years and it shows in the restaurant’s décor, menu and attention to detail.
The Executive Chef, Chris Boyleston, is formerly of Stagioni, Customshop and Passion8 — so the resume obviously precedes him and he doesn’t disappoint.
Our table unanimously agreed that our favorite dishes of the night were the Corn Fritters, Shrimp Steamed Bun, Trout Risotto and Brownie with Salted Caramel Sauce.
The Corn Fritters were made with a sweet, fluffy batter, and the Shrimp Steamed Bun had the ideal ratio of chewy bun to crispy shrimp.
The Trout Risotto was rich but still tasty with an egg placed in the center of the dish.
The Brownie with Salted Caramel Sauce was ridiculously good — I would probably drink that salted caramel sauce if it were socially acceptable.
Although there were a couple dishes with kinks to be worked out, I’m fully confident that this place will do well.
The staff was friendly, the menu was inventive and — importantly — the food was reasonably priced. (I didn’t have a chance to check out the cocktails but heard something about a drink being lit on fire, so if you ask me, that sounds cool enough to be worth a return trip.)
The atmosphere of Sea Level is inviting and will make a great spot for after-dinner drinks or a beer before hitting up other bars along 5th Street. Some construction of the restaurant’s exterior is being finished this week including a front entrance directly on 5th as well as a beautiful patio that will be great for Uptown people-watching.
Next trip? Hitting the oyster bar for sure.
Sea Level will open to the public this Friday and will only be open for dinner through February. The restaurant will add lunch service in March.