Seabird, new seafood restaurant and oyster bar now open in Wilmington

Dean Neff in front of his new restaurant, Seabird. (Source: Lindy Schoenborn)
Dean Neff in front of his new restaurant, Seabird. (Source: Lindy Schoenborn)

In the heart of downtown Wilmington, there is a new seafood restaurant and oyster bar that is devoted to North Carolina’s coast.

The husband-and-wife duo, former Pinpoint restaurant owner Dean Neff and Lydia Clopton, former Love Lydia Bakery owner, have just opened their first solo venture together, Seabird.

Seabird is open for dining all day – from breakfast, lunch, and brunch to dinner and late-night cocktails.

In the mornings they offer a small grab-and-go breakfast menu including Counter Culture Coffee and Clopton’s house-made pastries and biscuits.

Strawberry Rose Crostata (Source: @jdiecchio)
Strawberry Rose Crostata (Source: Lindy Schoenborn)

“Seabird’s opening menu celebrates the Spring season with Neff’s adept coastal cooking,” the restaurant said in a press release. “Begin at the gorgeous bar with natural wines, local beer or craft cocktails like the refreshing rhubarb & rum cocktail and a dozen oysters–served raw or broiled.”

Sweet “peel and eat” NC shrimp served with warm Worcestershire butter, Seafood Towers with smoked tuna, pickled shrimp, oysters and nasturtiums flower mignonette, Yellowfin Tuna with cabbage, mango and toasted peanut-soy vinagrette, Catfish Pups and fried spring onions, Signature Smoked Catfish and Oyster Pie, Sorghum Lacquered Pork Ribs, and Applewood Smoked Bavette Steak with spring garlic pesto are just some of the items on the Seabird menu that foodies have to look forward to. (Check out their full menu here.)

Various Seabird dishes. (Source: Lindy Schoenborn)
Various Seabird dishes. (Source: Lindy Schoenborn)

Neff and Clopton say Seabird represents a culmination of greater regional food and artisan community.

“We’re uniquely fortunate to have so many small-scale seafood sources for exceptional fish and shellfish delivered straight from the boat to our door; there really is no better place to enjoy North Carolina seafood than here in its home on the coast,” explained Neff, who sources oysters from Stone’s Bay and Hold Fast Oyster Co., fish from Steve’s Seafood, and features foraged, farmed and cured items from Burgeoning Farm, Anson Mills, Chanin’ Ways and Benton’s, to name a few.

Dish from Seabird (Source: Lindy Schoenborn)
Dish from Seabird (Source: Lindy Schoenborn)

Restaurant-goers will also appreciate the way the couple along with Old School Rebuilders, Mauer Architecture, Smith Haynes Studio and landlord James Goodnight, have preserved and restored the restaurants 2600-square-foot space.

“Sea blues, wooden bookshelves, aquatic works of art and vintage lighting create the warm, nautical backdrop for a variety of cozy seating areas including a U-shaped bar, private dining room, semi-circular booths and a 6-seat interactive Chef’s Table where Neff and his team will present creative and affordable off-menu offerings,” the press release said.

Inside Seabird (Source: Lindy Schoenborn)
Inside Seabird (Source: Lindy Schoenborn)

Seabird is now accepting reservations on Open Table beginning Friday from 5pm to 10pm and on-going, Wednesdays through Mondays. Counter-style breakfast service begins Wednesday from 9am-2pm (Seabird will be closed Tuesdays). Lunch, brunch and late-night cocktail service will begin this Summer.

Seabird is located at 1 South Front Street in downtown Wilmington. For more information visit their website or Facebook page.


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