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At Bellevue’s Overhauled Seastar, Wine and Seafood Get Star Treatment

See inside the John Howie restaurant, which was ripped down to the studs and got a major menu update, too

Darren Zemanek for John Howie Restaurants

Chef John Howie’s classic Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar in Bellevue reopened yesterday with a new menu to complement its fresh look, updated during a four-week closure in July. The 15-year-old restaurant now gives wine and seafood even greater due with upgrades like different temperature-controlled wine rooms and a chef’s raw bar.

Seastar was ripped down to the studs and remade with a sleek, contemporary design featuring a raw bar that will allow diners to interact with the chefs behind the counter, a sushi display case, two temperature-controlled wine racks that stretch from floor to ceiling, and a reconfigured dining room.

Wine is another major focus of the refresh. Not only is there additional wine capacity that allows for a much longer bottle menu of 750 wines, but there are also new wine rooms that are programmed for varietal-specific temperature storage.

Seastar’s latest food menu retains some popular dishes like the cedar plank-roasted salmon and Dungeness crab cakes, but also expands its small-plate offerings and its range of raw seafood. New options include grilled kalbi sirloin with green papaya salad, shrimp shumai with shiitake mushrooms, and abalone with lemon butter and capers.

Howie, who also operates John Howie Steak, Sport Restaurant and Bar, and Beardslee Public House, closed his South Lake Union Seastar location in January 2015. Here’s a look at the new space and menu items in Bellevue:

Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar

205 108th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98004 (425) 456-0010 Visit Website