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Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: The Seaside

Restaurant Insider

November 13, 2022

Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

The Seaside general manager Todd Vrooman, Anne Lee and The Seaside restaurant manager Ryan Petitti.

ANNE LEE speaks with The Seaside general manager TODD VROOMAN and restaurant manager RYAN PETITTI

The Seaside is one of the newest eateries created by the team at Zetton.

Cleverly named The Seaside after its street location, the restaurant offers fresh-shucked oysters, fresh seafood, and high-end wines and beverages.

Shrimp Ceviche ($18)

It’s led by general manager Todd Vrooman (Oregon) and restaurant manager Ryan Petitti (Boston), who often shuck oysters for you tableside by request (and if time permits).

The menu has just the right amount of options, including a beautiful charcuterie board that I was able to try, along with popular offerings like pickled veggies, a cioppino and my favorite, Kumamoto oysters.

Homemade Taro Chips with guacamole ($11)

Place your order as soon as you arrive, as it takes 30-40 minutes to prepare because everything is made to order. It’s certainly worth the wait.

AL: Todd, can you tell us about the concept of The Seaside?

TV: It’s West Coast Fisherman’s Wharf meets East Coast Boston oysters. It’s all about fresh seafood and the finest wines in a fun atmosphere without sacrificing quality. Our focus is on sharing plates and pupus. It’s also a great place to try a variety of seafood dishes. We highly recommend the Seaside Cioppino ($59) and combining it with our fresh oysters (four varieties every day), and our raw seafood dishes like the ceviches and poke. This gives the table a wide variety of tastes to share.

Seafood Cioppino ($59)

AL: Ryan, you are from Boston, which makes The Seaside a perfect fit for you. Tell me about your background.

RP: One of my first jobs was working for an oyster company on a fish pier in South Boston. So, you can say that I am familiar with oysters. The oysters that we offer are based on what’s in season and what our distributors have available. Right now, we have great options from the West Coast (Washington state and Vancouver, British Columbia). In the summer months, we have varieties from Alaska and New Zealand. Oysters fare much better in cold water, as it’s their winter when it’s our summer. We are definitely working on getting East Coast oysters in the near future.

Stellar Bay oysters ($6 each) with a fresh Kusshi oyster ($5.50 each) in the center.

AL: What are some popular oysters from the East Coast, and what makes them different from West Coast oysters?

RP: In the Cape Cod, Boston, area, the most popular is the Wellfleet oyster. It’s plump and clean, and has a creamy sweetness and brine. I also recommend Onset and Pleasant Bay oysters, and Pemaquid Point from Maine. A lot of the brine and saltiness will differ from these oysters in comparison to the West Coast oysters, as does the cup size (how the meat fills out the cups). The East Coast oysters tend to be longer, and West Coast oysters are rounded.

Charcuterie ($28)

AL: What did you prepare for us today?

TV AND RP: Our Seaside Cioppino ($59, feeds four to five) is a hearty seafood stew with more than 2 pounds of locally sourced Kauai shrimp, mahi mahi, crab, mussels and clams in a tomato bisque. This is plenty for a group of people, especially if you are sharing a bunch of items.

The Fresh Local Pickled Veggies ($9) are pickled in-house. We encourage you to put the pickle brine on your oyster; the dill pairs nicely.

Fresh Local Pickled Veggies ($9)

Fresh-shucked Oysters are $6 each or $4 each during happy hour.

The Shrimp Ceviche ($18) features the light freshness of the citrus, and housemade crab dip and tortilla chips. (This is Todd’s favorite.)

The Charcuterie ($28) always goes well with wine.

The Homemade Taro Chips ($11 with guacamole; $12 with artichoke) are cut thick and fried in-house. It’s a heartier slice and will not break your chip when going for the dip.

AL: Can you explain the sense of place that this location offers to guests?

TV: The Seaside is something for everyone. You can come here to pre-game before you go to your dinner, you can make it a casual evening with friends and have dinner, or you can end the night here with our late-night happy hour. We have one of the longest-running happy hours, during which all of our fresh oysters are on special and hand-shucked when ordered. You can taste the difference — we call it the taste of the ocean — that salty briny taste that you get off the oyster will only happen if it’s shucked fresh.

342 Seaside Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best