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Bainbridge’s Hitchcock Restaurant Is Turning Into an Inventive Seafood Restaurant

Seabird will serve dishes like uni French toast, Dungeness crab chuwanmushi, and giant Pacific octopus

Three breaded and fried oysters on their shells topped with a dollop of aioli all lain on a bed of rocks.
Smoked and fried oysters made during recipe development for Seabird, Brendan McGill’s new Bainbridge Island restaurant.
Grant Rico

Throughout the pandemic, chef Brendan McGill’s Hitchcock restaurant on Bainbridge Island went through a number of interesting pivots, from a guest chef series that first brought Turkish pop-up Hamdi to Seattle, to bringing back popular burger restaurant Burgerhaus for a spell. Now, McGill is doing a more permanent pivot by closing Bainbridge’s Hitchcock restaurant after more than 10 years and turning the Hitchcock space into Seabird, an inventive fine-dining restaurant focused on seafood and vegetables that's set to open on May 26.

“We live in an area revered for its abundance of seafood, and I want to celebrate that as we continue our push to help define our regional cuisine,” McGill said in a statement. “It also feels like the right time to return to finer dining.”

A man wearing a black apron and a short-sleeved white shirt with tattoos and a buzz cut stands in front of the wooden doors of a restaurant.
Chef Brendan McGill.
Suzi Pratt

Grant Rico, the executive chef of the McGill’s Hitchcock Restaurant Group, will lead the kitchen at Seabird and is a partner in the new business.

The menu, which will change regularly based on seasonally available ingredients, features all kinds of seafood, prepared in creative ways. An “iced seafood” section features a rotating selection of local oysters as well as spot prawns, geoduck, and green sea urchin. Other cold seafood dishes include an albacore tuna tartare with duck yolk gel, mustard emulsion, poached leek, and crostini, and a Chinook salmon crudo with beets, spring onion ash, black sesame, and dulse seaweed.

Sharply executed small plates fusing elements of different cuisines also pop up on the opening menu: an uni “French toast” made with brioche soaked in dashi custard and pickled spring onion, fromage blanc, and chive, and a Dungeness crab chawanmushi (Japanese steamed egg custard) with crab fat and dashi foam. Large plates include a wood-fired halibut dish with summer squash and black garlic mole and giant Pacific octopus with carrot butter hollandaise, black lentils, carrots, and kale.

The drink menu will include an extensive wine list including organic and natural wines, and cocktails will include inventive ingredients like yuzu kosho and nitrogen-muddled herbs.

Seabird is located at 133 Winslow Way East, Bainbridge Island. Hours will be Thursday through Sunday, 5 p.m. to 9pm.

Correction: Hitchcock Restaurant is closing to make way for Seabird, not Café Hitchcock, as stated in a previous version of this story.

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