After Coastal Kitchen’s 20-year run as a beloved neighborhood staple, its owner, Jeremy Hardy, closed the old girl for a few months to give her a facelift, including, most noticeably, a new bar for cocktails; the original bar is now dedicated to oysters. There’s also new talent in the kitchen: Jason Jones, who once cooked at Poppy. But if my recent dinner is proof, the menu has yet to see the revision given to the décor. Coriander-crusted, seared albacore tuna was overcooked and served over gloppy squash ($23.75). Cuban Pete’s Shipwreck, a loose interpretation of paella with plump mussels and clams, chorizo and soft sweet peppers, was better, though not by much.
Best were the oysters singing with fresh seawater ($25/dozen), and a plate of sublime ahi tuna dressed in grassy olive oil and crunchy salt, a fresh herb salad alongside ($12.25; the latter dish is part of the Sicily menu, a portion of the menu that changes every few months). I’ll make my next visit during breakfast time on a weekday, when regulars take their time leisurely reading the paper and sipping coffee. I can satisfy my huevos rancheros ($8.75) cravings: Here, two bright—though tame—salsas enliven perfectly poached eggs atop crisp corn tortillas and creamy beans. Salt cod hash ($12.25) and the smoked salmon scramble ($12.25) are also sure bets. And the oysters. The oysters do shine. Take a note: One of the best opportunities to sample these new delights is during the late-night happy hour (10 pm to midnight), when they’re $1.25 each (regularly $3 each) and a glass of wine and draft beers are only $4.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Capitol Hill, 429 15th Ave. E; 206.322.1145; coastalkitchenseattle.com $$