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March 23, 2010 at 8:50 AM

Blueacre Seafood opens with plenty of ocean — and more air

Blueacre Seafood, the second restaurant for the owners of the Steelhead Diner, made its debut — as promised — with chef Kevin Davis in the kitchen and his wife Terresa, visibly pregnant (with twins!) throwing open their doors to the public March 19.

Those doors — at 7th and Olive — are familiar ones for the couple, formerly employed by the restaurant’s predecessor, the Oceanaire Seafood Room. During his five-year tenure as Oceanaire’s executive chef, Kevin earned a fervent following before going out on his own with the Steelhead in Pike Place Market.

Swing on in — they’re open! The late Oceanaire Seafood Room is now the site of Blueacre Seafood, courtesy of Steelhead Diner’s Kevin and Terresa Davis.

At Blueacre, window dressings and dark-wood shelving have been removed to let in the light, now shining on a much brighter bar and restaurant — accented in butterfly blue — that will nonetheless look familiar to those who’ve sat here before.

Before (left, at Oceanaire Seafood Room), and after (the oyster bar and lounge at Blueacre Seafood last week).

As a longtime fan of the Oceanaire (shuttered abruptly in July) and the Steelhead (opened to much applause in 2007), I’m happy to report that the lengthy menu at Blueacre pays homage to both, with familiar favorites known and loved before. Among them: red chili-sauced Point Judith squid and whole “Angry Dungeness Crab” (from Kevin’s menu at Oceanaire), and as seen on the menu in Pike Place Market, the Steelhead’s iceberg salad, the chef’s signature gumbo, and crispy Idaho-raised catfish.

On the menu at Blueacre: Whole Angry Crab — the devil’s Dungeness, and Kevin’s heavenly gumbo, a signature at the Steelhead.

Testing the waters last week during Wednesday night’s invite-only “friends and family” dinner were friends-of-the-house including restaurateurs (Wild Ginger’s Rick and Ann Yoder) and real estate moguls (Martin Selig), cocktail kingpins (Tini Bigs’ Keith Robbins) and furniture mavins (Bob and Cindy Masin). As for family, I brought along Kevin’s biggest fan, who gave the big thumbs-up to the Rainier-battered fish ‘n chips and was nice enough to share Blueacre’s “Ultimate Blue Crabcake” with his mom.

The Ultimate Blue Crabcake (before, left), and after a fork fight.

So there you have it: proof, once more, that when one door closes, another opens. Lunch and dinner are served daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., with brunch Saturdays and Sundays. During happy hour (3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the lounge only), a can of Rainier Beer ($1.50) might be just the thing to swig while checking out the Dungeness crab mac ‘n cheese ($8).

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