1751 Sea and Bar
1751 has morphed out of Star Fish, a place we truly liked. The Pit Room guys purchased it, and they’ve brought their smoke with them. What better way to start than smoked oysters—medium-sized beauties served cold from a jar with horseradish aioli and saltines? The “1751” refers to the British Gin Act, and gin abounds, 150 varieties and myriad ways to drink them (equally impressive are fine wines at wine shop prices). Portions are large, and a plate of crispy calamari with Alabama white sauce was gigantic and as good as we’ve had. The smoked crawfish soufflé, however (a knockout at the earlier Star Fish), arrived with a paltry number of crawdads that seemed to have been murdered by salt. The fish proved better: a crispy snapper with mushrooms and snow pea leaves was deliciously jacked up by house kimchi, and a panéed halibut was fresh and simple. The coconut cake, despite being highly praised by our overly relaxed waiter, collapsed into crumbs—a major disappointment. 1751 is still getting its sea legs but we have faith.