Sambrooks Management Company has completed its transformation of Star Fish into 1751 Sea and Bar. When it opens Tuesday, April 2, the new seafood restaurant will feature an all-new interior as well a new menu developed by culinary director Lyle Bento and executive chef J.D. Woodward.
Loosely inspired by the Gin Act of 1751 — said to have marked the beginning of serious, safer spirit production — the design by Stacy Andell at Luxe Living Interiors and Matthew Mitchell Architecture puts a focus on the back bar, which now features 100 varieties of gin. A community table ties the bar to the dining room, and a lounge area replaces the private dining room.
“We are very pleased to present the new 1751 Sea and Bar to our Heights neighbors and the Houston eating and drinking scene," owner Michael Sambrooks said in a statement. “Lyle and his team have created a menu that we believe will make 1751 Sea and Bar the premier seafood destination in Houston. We couldn’t be more pleased with the work Stacy and Matthew put into the remodel and the great work by Iron Horse Builders. The room looks elegant and warm, and reflecting of the superb food we are plating.”
Bento and Woodward, best known for their work together at Underbelly and Southern Goods, have created a menu designed to appeal to diners who want both a traditional, three-course meal as well as those who prefer to share a variety of plates. Highlights include seafood towers that offer raw oysters, delicacies like caviar, and dishes like poke that draw on Bento's Hawaiian upbringing. Entree options range from simply-grilled seafood preparations to crispy snapper, a Thai-inspired tom yum hot pot, and a ribeye sourced from acclaimed purveyor Niman Ranch. A charcuterie board ties 1751 to its sister concept, well-regarded barbecue joint The Pit Room, by offering a range of smoked, cured, and preserved seafood preparations.
Beverage director David Maness, a protege of noted Houston bartender Laurie Harvey, puts all that gin to good use. Obviously, martinis and gin and tonics are well-accounted for on the cocktail list, but the offerings also include mules, tiki drinks, and other riffs on classics. General manager Adrian Cuneo's wine list focuses on affordable bottles that pair with the menu.
1751 Sea and Bar; 191 Heights Blvd.; Tuesday - Thursday 4-10 pm, Friday and Saturday 4-11 pm, Sunday 5-10 pm.