Sea Level was opened by Paul Manley in February 2016, and is the destination for Seafood Uptown ($1 oysters, anyone?). We have been to (and enjoyed) Sea Level several times on our own, and we were invited out a couple of times in the past two months to check everything out again, and we sampled their summer menu on our most recent visit. Check out everything we ordered below!
Sea Level Oysters
From Sea Level, NC
Did you know there is an actual Sea Level, North Carolina? It's true, and that's where these oysters are from! Manley routinely takes his staff there so they can see the oysters being caught! All of the oysters and seafood served are sourced from North Carolina, and are all sustainable.
citrus marinade, fresh strawberry apple salsa, house made chips
Fried Springer Mountain Chicken Sandwich
greens, chorizo gravy, ranch
Jason's favorite. This sandwich was a winner: perfectly crispy and well seasoned. Special cameo by Chrissie Beth's hand!
Sea Level Salad
fried oysters, romaine, cabbage, radish, corn, pickled shallots, white balsamic vinaigrette, horseradish aioli
Maine Style Lobster Roll
lobster lightly coated in mayo, greens
This roll is heavy on the lobster and light on mayo. Perfect. The Parmesan tater tots that came with it were just okay--nothing offensive, but not very flavorful.
Connecticut Style Lobster Roll
lobster lightly coated in butter, greens
The Connecticut style roll just debuted on Sea Level's summer menu, and this was the hand's down crowd favorite at the media event. I prefer this one to the Maine style, but it's a close race. Definitely go for the fries over the tater tots.
Fried Chicken Bao Bun
with honey BBQ & slaw
Sea Level regularly rotates their dessert menu, and they are currently working on adding some fun and creative options to their sweet menu items. On our last visit, we tried the chocolate spoon cake, which was simply divine.
Chocolate fudge Spoon Cake
with whipped icing
Sea Level has a full bar and some fun cocktail offerings, and they recently started venturing into the world of mocktails. The Nada Colada mocktail below is a revelation. Here a fun story on this episode of the pod regarding this particularly drink.
Summer G & T
Sutler's gin, house-made tonic, apricot, basil, lime
pineapple, coconut, almond, lime
Sea Level has a fantastic dining room and outdoor patio. It is formal enough for business folks to take clients ("professionals," as we termed them on the pod), but you don't feel as though you need to get dressed up, which we love. Everyone in the restaurant seemed to be having a great time, and there were good vibes all around.
Also! Charlotte needs to prepare for more fresh seafood, because Manley's next venture, The Waterman, is opening in South End in early fall. Diners should anticipate a slightly more casual vibe and a rooftop patio. Heck yeah.
Under the Sea Hospitality:
We have always received top notch service, even when we dined incognito.
Here we go, here we go, now let me see your lobster roll; Chrissie Beth & I scared everyone when we walked outside with all of our food when we visited on our friend date; It's all about the lighting, people; Ollie is originally from Sea Level, NC, where we plucked him out of the sea like a beautiful mermaid; Jason wishes that The Waterman were called The Merman; When I posted the Nada Colada on Instagram, I got asked if I was pregnant; I am not pregnant.
Disclaimer: This meal was provided free of charge in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. All opinions are our own, and we were not compensated for this review.