These past few months, Eater has been tracking chef/owner Matt Gordon on his journey to build his third restaurant, Sea & Smoke, in our Anatomy of a Restaurant series. If you've been following along, you've seen how the space started, met one of the chefs, previewed the wood fired oven-powered menu and voted it as your most anticipated restaurant opening of the summer. If you were really into it, you probably also kept tabs on the chef's blog.
Now, we take you inside for a first look at the completed Sea & Smoke, which soft opens at 5 p.m. tonight. (Update: a no-show inspector has pushed back the opening until Thursday)
The opening's just in time; Gordon has hit his mark of launching by opening day at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, just a stone's throw from the restaurant's anchor position in Flower Hill Promenade.
The 300 seat, 4,500-square-foot space has been throughly transformed, with style, by Gordon and the Bells & Whistles team, who carried the Sea & Smoke theme through with a palette of teal and gray, mingling design features in the dining room and and lounge-y bar that evoke either a chic Parisian brasserie or a cool mid-century modern hangout.
From the glassed-in kitchen, the chef and his kitchen crew will cook up wood fired meat, vegetables and seafood with mix-and-match sides, all meant to be shared family- style. Pastry chef Jeff Bonilla handles dessert duty and a breakfast and lunch of omelets, tartines and small plates; daytime service may begin this weekend.