Had some oysters and langoustines last night at Sea Change's raw bar. (Actually, it's not really a raw bar at which you sit--it's the hot grill for the entire restaurant--with the salads and sauces plated elsewhere.)
We had to give the hostess a deep glare and a gruff "Oysters and apps don't constitute a dining experience?" in order to be seated at the raw bar itself; in stating that the raw bar space was reserved for "full-dining," she tried to relegate us to the bar-bar, around the corner, with four televisions blaring taco bell commercials. If I wanted to eat oysters that way, I'd go to hooters. (well, I wouldn't, but you get the point.)
The oysters from washington were fantastic (though expensive, of course, but it was a sort of celebration). Prince Edward Island's oysters didn't have great oceanic taste structure, and the British Columbia ones were wonderfully, but just too, briny.
The langoustines, doused with hot olive oil, with speckles of rosemary and chile, were of high quality and preparation, but, with a trip to coastal seafoods, this is not something you couldn't re-create in five minutes. Rosemary is a pungent flavor as well--something along the lines of lavender and thyme might work better, but they were good. Not $15 good, but good.
The main problem with Sea Change continues to be the manner in which they position themselves within the dining realm. They should absolutely encourage people wishing to eat oysters and drink a few glasses of wine at the "raw bar," as opposed to trying to shun them into an inferior experience.
Though the service, by Ruby, was great this time around--this is an absolute 180 degree difference from what I've experienced in the past, which has led me to relegate myself to just the raw bar, as opposed to the "full-dining experience."
Perhaps, though, in the end, a trip to coastal seafoods and a good oyster knife, is all you really need to re-create this. Slap some posters of playwrights on your walls and take a straight shot of rot-gut to get the bad taste in your mouth of a poor initial hostess experience, and you've probably saved yourself $65.
806 Second Street S., Minneapolis, MN 55415