Navy Blue, the Rice Village seafood restaurant from James Beard Award-nominated chef Aaron Bludorn and his team, is slated to open Friday, November 18. In anticipation of its opening, the restaurant has already released its menu and is accepting reservations as of Friday, November 11.
If planning to dine here, here’s what you need to know:
- Though Bludorn, his wife Victoria Pappas Bludorn, and partner Cherif Mbodji are still overseeing the space, a New York chef will take the helm. New York chef Jerrod Zifchak will take over the kitchen as executive chef. Zifchak, born in Chicago and raised in New York, previously worked with Aaron Bludorn at the now-shuttered Cafe Boulud in New York under the tutelage of renowned chef Daniel Boulud. Bludorn’s and Zifchak’s connection began there as they explored seafood within American cuisine using French techniques. Zifchak, who also worked at three-star Michelin restaurant Le Bernardin, served as executive chef of Cafe Boulud starting in 2019 following Bludorn’s departure to open Houston’s Bludorn.
- Seafood is the main attraction. Navy Blue will take notes from the Bludorn restaurant, which served up oysters raw, fried, and baked, and will take the same approach to its clams, shrimp, and Dover Sole — serving them up in different ways. It will also offer a rotation of fish, which guests will be able to customize with requests. Other highlights include the swordfish au poivre, which is served with a green peppercorn sauce; its blackened red snapper with aji amarillo, and its clams casino (clams topped with bacon, peppers, and breadcrumbs and baked). Pasta dishes, including lobster ravioli, seafood ravioli, and linguini vongole, will also be on the menu.
- Drinks will be served. Sommelier Molly Austad has assembled a wine list of around 160 bottles across the spectrum of sparkling, white, and red wines from France and beyond. Diners can also expect an expansive list of spirits, including Scotch, plenty of gin, vodka, and rum options, plus a cocktail list, helmed by Darryl Chan, that features a variety of martinis and tiki drinks.
- The restaurant’s name has a deeper meaning. Navy Blue is an obvious nod to the restaurant’s seafood fare and ocean theme, which is implemented in the decor throughout the space — from its sandy concrete-blocked, oyster-shaped wall in its entrance area to its pearl-shaped hostess stand. The name is also an homage to chef Bludorn’s father, who served as a naval aviator with the call sign “Blue.”
- Wondering what to wear? Navy Blue will have a similar, come-as-you-are vibe to Bludorn. “The ability to come in and enjoy the restaurant without feeling the need to dress up or to feel pressure to adhere to traditional standards of a fine dining restaurant is what we strived to achieve at the first concept and what we will strive to cultivate once Navy Blue launches,” Bludorn said in a written statement.
- You can book your reservation now. If looking to get first dibs on the dining experience, you can make a reservation as early as noon on Friday, November 11 on Resy. Note: Both valet and self-parking are also available.
Navy Blue will be open for dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The restaurant will begin serving dinners on Sunday, December 4, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Lunch and Sunday brunch services will begin in 2023. 2445 Times Boulevard, 77005.