We have dined at Alexander’s Steakhouse in San Francisco many times and always enjoyed the steaks and prime rib. They recently opened a seafood restaurant called The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse in Palo Alto which features fresh sustainable seafood and wild fish with seasonal, quality ingredients prepared with a Japanese flair. It was a rainy and windy night, the creeks in Palo Alto rose above their banks and Highway 101 was flooded but that didn’t deter us or about a hundred other diners. We arrived early for our dinner reservation and decided to have cocktails in their Sea Bar which was inviting and stylish with a white Caesarstone bar top and comfortable white leather barstools. The Perry Nice cocktail made with Reyka Vodka, Pur Williams pear liqueur, lemon, Asian pear and cherry bitters was excellent and the Desert Blossom made with Herencia Blanco Tequila, aperol, grapefruit, blood orange and agave was interesting but actually a bit too sweet for our taste.
We moved to the main dining room where we sat overlooking the exhibition kitchen. The tables were well spaced and we settled in and reviewed the predominately seafood menu. We are always appreciative when the Chef sends out a small taste or Amuse as it is known. The Braised Octopus was very flavorful and gave us a taste of what was to come. The Sea offers both cold and hot Appetizers. We enjoyed Oysters on the half shell. The Fisher Island, Kumamoto and Barnstable oysters were all cold and extremely fresh. The Dungeness Crab Salad with purple rice, blood orange, ginger crème fraiche and chia seeds was also excellent. The Lobster Risotto made with tarragon, lemon, parmesan and lobster jus was very mild not to interfere with the subtle flavor of the lobster. Next we were served another Amuse. This was a Live Maine Scallop stuffed with black truffle. Quite a treat indeed! There are Entrees from both the Land (Non Sea food eaters will enjoy Steaks, Chops and Duck) and The Sea which we thought was more appropriate this evening. The Butter Poached Wild Maine Lobster which was served with kabocha squash, heirloom beets, spinach and horseradish was beautifully plated and a generous portion. Poached lobster is slightly less tender than the traditional preparation but the flavor was perfect and a lovely alternative. The wild Seared John Dory from New Zealand was delicious and very healthy. It was served with peas, Meyer lemons, shimeji mushrooms, carrots, dried bell peppers, smoked salt and potatoes. Definitely try the Sides. We loved both the Wild Mushrooms with parsley and garlic and the Seasonal Vegetables which included Brussels sprouts cooked in garlic butter.
The Sea has an International Wine List with over 300 vintages and 17 by the glass that are served in Riedel wine Glasses. We enjoyed the 2011 Alexander’s Steakhouse Urziger Wurtzgarten Kabinett Reisling from Mosel Germany and the 2011 Jorge Ordonez botani Moscatel from Malaga Spain with our starters and the 2010 Oakwild Ranch Toboni Vineyard Russian River Pinot Noir with our entrees.
We saved room for Dessert and highly recommend the Pucker Up which made with yazu, pate sucre, huckleberry, crème fraiche and meringue. It was just delightful. A perfect finish to our dinner was Columbian Decaf served on a lovely silver tray in a stylish silver pot. The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse serves dinner seven nights a week has a fun bar area, outdoor patio seating and private dining rooms available. It fits perfectly in Palo Alto with its upscale décor, professional service and predominately fresh seafood menu featuring seasonal, wild and sustainable ingredients. Executive Chef Yu Min Lin brings a wealth of experience. He was trained in Japanese, French and California Cuisine, garnered 2 Michelin Stars at Providence in Los Angeles and defeated Chef Masaharu Morimoto in a Food Network Iron Chef America Challenge. Look for an 8 course tasting menu and special dining events in the near future.
By Carol & Joe Davis
The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse
(Next to Dinah’s Garden Hotel)
4269 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA. 94306