The New Sea Change Restaurant at the Guthrie Theater

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Jul 15, 2009 / 0 comments

(Minneapolis/St. Paul) Chef Tim McKee's newest restaurant, Sea Change, opens at the Guthrie Theater on July 21. McKee has designed a core menu for Sea Change that focuses on sustainable seafood, highlighting fisheries that use environmentally responsible methods of gathering and farming seafood. The menu will also include a number of non-seafood items. In addition to the Sea Change lunch and dinner menus, McKee has created a three-course pre-theater menu as well as late night offerings of small plates and raw bar items.

Dinner at Sea Change features items ranging from a succulent scallop entrée with sweet corn, chorizo and a lime-jalapeño emulsion to a spice-encrusted seared yellowfin tuna with Jerusalem artichoke puree to non-seafood items such as a beef tenderloin with turnips, mustard greens and a sherry gastrique. Lunch at Sea Change offers a variety of salads, sandwiches and entrees including a crispy rainbow trout sandwich with a curry aioli, watercress and fried shallots. Raw bar items, including a variety of oysters with assorted sauces, are available at dinner and in the restaurant's relaxed lounge area late nights.


Sea Change Restaurant - Guthrie Theater



Design firm Shea, Inc., responsible for the interiors of McKee's restaurants La Belle Vie, Solera and Barrio, has created a space that is dramatic and respects the existing architecture of the Guthrie, while at the same time being warm and inviting. Shea achieved this balance by adding lighting with a warmer glow, offering more soft seating options in an expanded lounge area and creating more intimate seating configurations in the dining areas. The addition of a vibrant green as a signature for the new Sea Change brand was applied thoughtfully in various elements from furniture and fixtures to signage and graphics, including the umbrellas shading the two stunning outdoor patio spaces.

Online reservations and full menus will be available on the restaurant's website,, when it launches later this summer. Those links can also be found in the dining section of the Guthrie's website at Sea Change is open for dinner seven days a week and serves lunch Tuesday through Sunday.


Sea Change Restaurant - Guthrie Theater



About Chef Tim McKee
James Beard Award-winning chef Tim McKee is one of the most recognized and respected chefs in the Upper Midwest. He has the unique distinction of having earned multiple four-star reviews from the Star Tribune for his restaurants, Solera and La Belle Vie. In addition, his talents have reaped well-earned praise from a wide range of regional and national food critics as well as his peers. His food style features intense flavors that are "balanced and presented in measured portions that compel the diner to savor each taste in turn."
McKee opened his first restaurant, La Belle Vie, in 1998 to immediate critical acclaim. The intimate French Mediterranean restaurant served impeccable contemporary French cuisine in Stillwater, Minn. In the charming, historic river town community not far from the Twin Cities, La Belle Vie became the area's destination restaurant. Couples frequently planned weekend excursions around dinner at La Belle Vie. Food & Wine praised McKee for his "marvels of Mediterranean cuisine." Local and regional media showered the tiny restaurant with critical praise. Since its opening, La Belle Vie has consistently topped ZAGAT® Restaurant Surveys for the highest-rated restaurant in Minnesota.
In 2003, McKee opened his second restaurant, Solera. Food & Wine again hailed McKee's talents, naming Solera one of the "World's 10 Best New Restaurants." The Star Tribune named McKee and business partner Josh Thoma its first "Restaurateurs of the Year." Gourmet listed it as a top pick for "Where to Eat Now." TV host and food celebrity Chef Andrew Zimmern declared it a "foodie's delight" and summed up the restaurant's appeal by asking, "Can you say, 'wow' in Spanish?"
In 2005, McKee and Thoma turned the spotlight back on La Belle Vie when they announced they would relocate the restaurant to Minneapolis in response to demands from their Twin Cities fans. La Belle Vie's stately new home at 510 Groveland is an appropriate setting for McKee's exquisite cuisine. Gourmet recently named La Belle Vie to its list of "America's Top 50 Restaurants." In his four-star review of the restaurant, Star Tribune critic Jeremy Iggers announced, "What magnificent cuisine!" and declared La Belle Vie the serious gourmet's "ultimate Twin Cities dining experience."

McKee followed up his success with La Belle Vie and Solera with two new and very distinct restaurants in 2008. Going in a completely different direction he created two creative, edgy, casual-style restaurant/bars. In May, he opened the jaunty and spicy Smalley's Caribbean Barbecue and Pirate Bar in Stillwater and followed it up with the irreverent Barrio Tequila Bar and Café in downtown Minneapolis in August.

A new restaurant by Chef Tim McKee
Opening Tuesday, July 21

Dinner: from 5 p.m. daily
Monday-Thursday: 5 to 10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 5 to 11 p.m.
Sunday: 5 to 9 p.m.
Lunch: 11:30 to 2 p.m. Tuesday - Sunday
(matinee lunch service begins at 11 a.m.)

Guthrie Theater
818 South 2nd Street
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Reservations recommended
By phone - 612.225.6499
Online -