Heavy Seas Alehouse is open. The new restaurant, the first to carry the name of the popular Baltimore-based brewery, opened its doors very quietly on Tuesday night, a week ahead of its announced official opening.
Heavy Seas Alehouse, which has described itself as a neighborhood tavern, takes over the Tack Factory space formerly occupied by Tsunami and Diablita. Technically, the location is Little Italy, but most people think of it as Harbor East. Construction on the restaurant began last November, just around the time that the first announcement of the project was made. On Wednesday night, the bar area was nicely filled. The bar itself was fully occupied as were many of the tables, which include two long community-style high tables.
Heavy Seas is open now for dinner only. Lunch service will begin soon.
Customers have been coming in. Heavy Seas beers are being served, and a preliminary version of the first menu from chef Matt Seeber is up and running. The preview menu pushes off with raw bar and chilled seafood selections before sailing into a couple dozen appetizers, entrees and sides.
Seeber is using various Heavy Seas brews in his broths, batters and glazes, and the menu recommends beer pairings for the entrees.
Among the starters, we have our eyes on the marinated lobster salad with ginger lime vinaigrette ($17), fried artichokes with basil pesto ($6.50) and braised bacon with house-smoked tomato and maple glaze, which is served with a piece of crab toast ($12). The half dozen entrees include mussels and fries with a Gold Ale broth ($9 or $16), a grilled hanger steak with celery root puree, shiitake mushrooms and smoked bacon ($26) and a 24-hour beef short rib with a glaze made from Heavy Seas' Peg Leg imperial stout $24).
But the single item we have to have is from the sides section, onion rings with a whole grain mustard and Loose Cannon batter ($5.50).
Heavy Seas is at 1300 Bank St. (at the corner of Central Ave. and Bank St.). For more information call 410-522-0850 or go to heavyseasalehouse.com.