Freeloading (Already) at Blueacre

Kasu marinated King salmon collars
Blueacre, the new offering from Kevin and Terresa Davis, and the muse behind Jason Sheehan's fictional restaurant wish list, officially opens at 4 p.m. today. I got a chance to try out the menu last night as part of a "friends and family" dinner. Yes, it was awesome to eat a ton of free food (only paying for gratuity and alcohol), but more than anything, it was a chance for owner and executive chef Kevin Davis and his crew to practice before their grand opening.

I'd be angry, too, if I was dismembered
While the décor is warm and friendly and a complete departure from the old Oceanaire, there are a few things on the menu that seem to be a direct nod to the old lady that once sailed in that space, particularly the potatoes Minneapolis, oysters Rockefeller and the actual physical appearance of the Blueacre menu. Steelhead Diner is also represented in Blueacre's upscale diner motif, the lump crabmeat crabcake, clams in purgatory and several other menu items that will look oddly familiar to fans of Kevin's first born.

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Artichoke crusted Alaskan halibut
Having free reign over the menu, encouraged to order as much stuff as my appetite allowed (and then some), I simply ordered what Kevin suggested. And it was a lot, even for my modest party of three. Here's a quick rundown of what we ate: We started with the red chili Point Judith squid with Thai basil, Serrano chilies, garlic, ginger and orange ($12.95) and the ultimate blue crabcake with miners lettuce and tangy mustard lime ($13.95) followed by kasu marinated King salmon collars with ginger nage (a reduced stock) and green papaya salad ($10.95), and fried green tomatoes with creole remoulade ($$8.95).

Fried green tomatoes
Main courses proceeded: artichoke crusted Alaskan halibut with nettle pesto, fennel and oil-cured olives ($28.95)--a favorite among the table, as well as chef Davis's -- a whole angry Dungeness crab ($2895), a beaming tower of crab parts and grilled bread with roasted garlic, basil, orange zest and drizzled with rouille (a thick roasted red pepper sauce). Our bellies were stuffed at this point, but we did manage to make a significant dent in the farm raised Texas redfish on the half shell ($23.95) which is grilled in the skin and topped off with citrus, garlic and fresh herbs.

Half of the seafood entrees, like the halibut mentioned above, can be ordered in half-portions for about eight bucks less. Nothing costs more than $28.95. The mostly-seafood menu is executed with finesse and a sense that the people cooking your food genuinely want to nourish you and create an experience different from any other place in Seattle.

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