Sea Blue in AC last night
I love Michael Mina. I have had wonderful meals in three of his restaurants out west in the past. Even though the last time I ate at Sea Blue I had a less than stellar experience, I was very willing to give it another shot.
The bread and three dips was very good to start as we had our drinks. We wanted to share lots of things so we had a fried trio sampler, a steamed sampler, and a soup sampler to start. Starting with the worst, the fried lobster corn dogs were terrible, with no trace of lobster taste and the fried shrimp were more Arthur Treacher's than anything else. The soft shell crab was a few notches above both of them, but waaaay too much batter for such a small crab.
The steamed dishes were underwhelming as well - so much so that I couldn't tell you, if pressed, just what was on the sampler. I was too busy concentrating on the soups. But even those (which were good) were far from the Michael Mina standard.
I had the tagine of lamb chops, which was kind of in the same boat as the soup, good but nothing to write about. We also got a fruit de mer tagine in which the scallops were mushy. Our server noticed that we were having issues with the dish and they did offer us a free desert. This is a very well-run house after all and much kudos to the staff.
But, all in all, upon leaving I had the feeling that this was money (lots of it) poorly spent. I have spent a lot more money in Micheal Mina's places before and always thought it well worth it, but this was not. Worth the money? Hah - this wasn't even worth the calories.
If you must go there, stick to the wood grilled meats and the lobster pot pie and maybe the soups.
Disappointing review, but thanks for taking the time. It's maddening to spend big bucks for mediocre food.
I think the problem with Atlantic City restaurants in general is that so many high end places have opened in such a short time span that there is just not enough qualified help to staff them properly. Within the past few years you've got the Borgata places (Flay, Puck, MM, etc), the Trop Quarter (Palm, Red Square, Cuba Libre, etc), the Pier (Buddakan, Phillips, Continental, Sonsie, etc) plus other casino or Walk properties (Mia, Morton's, Ruth Chris, etc.) all opening in an area that was never know for fine dining, with the possible exception of Dock's & the Knife & Fork. I'm a year round area resident and not long ago the only AC places I would ever go to were Little Saigon or White House subs. Cape May was the only option. At least you had good service, that's usually my biggest complaint.
Seal - Thanks for the review. We'll be going to A/C in a couple weeks, staying at the Borgata and were considering Sea Blue. We've had OK to very good dinners numerous times at the other top restaurants in the Borgata but havn't tried the Michael Mina experience yet!
Our favorite in A/C is Dock's. So ... should we take a cab to Dock's and have a great meal or pay top dollar for the cuisine and convenience of Sea Blue?!!
Wondering if you've been back to Sea Blue since your original post and if you can compare with Dock's?
The only two decent meals I have ever had at the Borgata were at Old Homestead and Tony Luke's, though I must confess I am curious about Bobby Flay's place and also Wolfgang Puck's. Heck, I could go for a nice ribeye almost any time ;o)
I would say take a cab if you want great seafood.
As much as AC wants to be Vegas, I find the dining, the shows, and even the gambling lacking. Enjoy the Borgata as, for now at least, it's as close as we get.
Thanks again Seal - Dock's it is.
We've had good luck at both Bobby's and Wolfgang Puck's usually midweek when the place isn't a zoo. I actually prefer Bobby's spiced rubbed steaks over Old Homestead's. Usually when dining out we prefer something different or a twist on an old standard and Bobby's southwest flavors hit the mark.
I agree on the AC to Vegas comparo!
Seal - Sorry about the meal. Don't you just hate wasting money and calories on a bad meal? At least you do us all a great service by reporting your experience. I had been considering making the hour trek to SeaBlue on several occasions ( due solely in part on MM's excellent reputation) but have hesitated. Your review only confirms my trepidation and I doubt I will ever go. Thanks again for the review.