Mare Mediterranean, seafood restaurant, opening in Birmingham

A new restaurant with a strong influence on Mediterranean seafood will open in Birmingham city center.

Wednesday will kick off the Mare Mediterranean, a seafood restaurant with an influence of Greek, Italian and Spanish flavors. Restaurateur Nino Cutraro has teamed up with Jay Feldman of the Feldman Automotive Group to open the new spot. Cutraro also owns nearby Bella Piatti with his wife, Liz.

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Mare Mediterranean opens in the space formerly occupied by Cameron’s steakhouse at 115 Willits. It’s a space that Cutraro says provided the perfect layout.

The interior has been completely renovated, Cutraro says, and guests can expect the space to feature a large bar, open kitchen, and seating area.

Expect an Italian seafood market concept very similar to what is found in Italy, says Cutraro. The fish from Mare Mediterranean will be displayed for the guests’ selection. Customers will also choose a preferred cooking method, such as broiled, baked, or pan-fried.

“What’s different is the quality of the fish and where it comes from,” Cutraro explains.

Mare Mediterranean fish will come from Greece, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal and Florida.

A fish market will be in front of the open kitchen concept where customers will choose their fish which will be returned to the kitchen to be prepared.

“The restaurant has a lot of influence (of) Greek and Italian cuisine,” Cutraro says.

The food will be prepared in the Mediterranean style, he says, using ingredients like olive oil.

On the menu, says Cutraro, customers may see fish that aren’t so familiar, like sea bream, tai snapper, and turbot. Cooking options include cooked in white wine with fennel, onions, capers, and tomatoes; pan-fried with crispy vegetables, or grilled and served with sautéed vegetables. There is also an option of fish cooked under salt.

From raw sea bass there is tuna and salmon sashimi and a branzino ceviche, depending on the menu. There are several choices of pasta, as well as a seafood and lobster risotto.

For meat lovers, there’s the Grilled Wagyu Beef Tenderloin and New York Strip, and Colorado Lamb Chops.

Mare Mediterranean has been in the making for almost two years and has been in Cutraro’s mind for quite some time.

“It’s one of those things that you have a idea of ​​and most of the time that never comes to pass,” Cutraro says. “It’s an idea that my group and I have developed and brought to life. “

Cutraro calls Mare Mediterranean “the best place I have opened”. It’s both classic and hip, he says.

Inside, the 6,800 square foot restaurant will seat approximately 200 people. There is a sitting area, a separate room where you can have a cocktail with a small table. Two private rooms are available. There is one for small gatherings and another for over 25, for conferences and meetings. Expect outdoor seating on the sidewalk in the summer.

Birmingham, says Cutraro, is an incredible place to eat.

“Everything is within walking distance. It’s like an urban setting. You can walk to shops, cafes and movies. “

Mediterranean mare, 115 Willits, Birmingham; Tuesday to Thursday, 4.30 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 4:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.; Sunday, 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Closed Mondays.

Contact Sue Selasky, culinary editor for Detroit Free Press, and send food and restaurant news to: 313-222-6872 or [email protected] Follow @SusanMariecooks on Twitter.

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