Restaurants & Bars

Albany – Outdoor patio brunch at Sea Mi

rworange | Jul 5, 200512:51 AM    

The organic fruit salad was lovely – perfectly ripe blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and mandarin oranges drizzled with peach yogurt. It is in the same class as Betty’s Ocean View Diner fruit cups which I consider one of the best.

This is also seems like a good choice for vegetarians because, to me, there always seem to be some interesting vegetarian options on the menu. One of the owners is very committed to using top quality organic ingredients much of which comes from local farmers markets.

In addition to the regular menu, on Sundays there is a prix-fixe brunch menu. It really is the true definition of brunch with a mix of lunch and breakfast items. This restaurant officially open all of two days (unofficially two weeks) is still working on the menus. There is a five dollar savings on the brunch during July while the menu is being tweaked.

The menu will be seasonal relying on fresh market produce. This restaurant isn’t about the latest celebrity chef, but about using top grade ingredients and preparing them flavor-fully.

I started with a mimosa made with organic orange juice that is included in the price of brunch.

Other items on the fixed menu were:

English muffin with cinnamon or herb butter
A choice of entrée
- lamb chops with papaya salad
- NY steak with rainbow potatoes
- grilled salmon with mixed vegetables
- tofu stew
For dessert there was the choice of the fresh fruit salad or melon sorbet

The items can be ordered individually and not as part of the prix fixe menu.

I usually avoid gazpacho. This was very nice though served in a glass with a celery stick, it was refreshingly chilled and fresh tasting with a little spiciness. A side of house made hot sauce allowed upping the heat to personal preference.

The herb butter was very delicious. The salmon was moist and not over cooked. It came with three lovely browned slices of potato and a chopped fresh tomato-cucumber salsa type of side.

There is a relaxing patio area in the back which the owners plan to upgrade. There is a huge grill out back and, depending on permits, there might be some grilling going on. There is official parking for the restaurant in the BevMo parking lot that borders the restaurant. The Sea Mi spaces run the length of the restaurant and are identified with signs.

As I said in the post below, it is unfair to post about a restaurant this new, but there is always one dish that really impresses me.

On a second dinner visit a week ago, the egg rolls were wonderful with a perfect, greaseless wrapper and colorfully stuffed with red cabbage, carrots, sprouts, and slivered beans.

I also enjoyed the Thai chicken soup on that visit which was not only tasty but colorful with green, red and yellow sliced bell peppers, green zuchhini and carrots. The vegetables are handled perfectly and not under or over cooked.

Similar colorful vegetables in the green curry were purple japanese eggplant. green and yellow peppers and fresh peas.

Brunch is currently $19.95. A refill of champagne is $3.50. The staff is very accommodating. Mimosas were not on the menu, but they made one when I asked.

This restaurant is still a work in progress, but the attention to using quality organic products is one that I like. It is located on San Pablo Avenue and Solano, next door to BevMo. Brunch starts at noon. I’d call and check about the hours for lunch and dinner.

I don't want to over sell this restaurant or make it sound like more than it is. Talking to one of the owners, it seems they are taking a slow aproach to openeing and not trying to overwhelm the restuarant before they have worked out glitches.

However, I have had three lovely meals there and IMO it is a restaurant worth keeping an eye on.

BTW, those ‘Strawberry Smiles’ that come with the sorbet and mentioned in the post below are actually organic strawberries from Japan with the center scooped out by hand and filled with cream, milk and sugar. This sounds great, but as I said they really just taste like frozen strawberries, not anything special but a pretty novelty. I saw these being sold at, of all places, Sonoma Market. They were expensive too.

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