Bludorn’s new navy blue seafood restaurant opens in Rice Village on November 18

Navy blueJames Beard Award-nominated chef Aaron Bludorn and his team’s Rice Village seafood restaurant is set to open on Friday, November 18. In anticipation of its opening, the restaurant has already published its menu and accepts Reservations since Friday, November 11.

Navy Blue will serve shrimp and clams in a number of ways, including the clam casino. The baked dish, originally from Rhode Island, is served on the half shell and topped with breadcrumbs, cheese, bacon and peppers.
Julie Sofer

If you’re planning on dining here, here’s what you need to know:

  1. Although Bludorn, his wife Victoria Pappas Bludorn and partner Cherif Mbodji still oversee 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 Café Boulud closed today in New York under the tutelage of celebrity chef Daniel Boulud. Bludorn and Zifchak’s connection began there as they explored seafood in American cuisine using French techniques. Zifchak, who also worked at three-star Michelin restaurant Le Bernardinserved as Executive Chef of Cafe Boulud beginning in 2019 after Bludorn left to open Houston’s Bludorn.
  2. Seafood is the main attraction. Navy Blue will take notes from the Bludorn restaurant, which served raw, fried and baked oysters, and will take the same approach to its clams, prawns and Dover sole – serving them in different ways. It will also offer a rotation of fish, which customers can customize according to their requests. Other highlights include pepper swordfish, which is served with green peppercorn sauce; its blackened red snapper with aji amarillo and its clam casino (clams topped with bacon, peppers and breadcrumbs and baked in the oven). Pasta dishes including lobster ravioli, seafood ravioli and vongole linguini will also be on the menu.
  3. 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 extensive list of spirits, including scotch, plenty of gin, vodka and rum options, as well as a cocktail list, led by Darryl Chan, which features a variety of martinis and tiki drinks.
  4. The name of the restaurant has a deeper meaning. The navy blue is an obvious nod to the restaurant’s seafood dishes and ocean theme, which is implemented in the decor throughout the space – from its concrete oyster wall of sand in her entrance area to her pearl-shaped hostess booth. The name is also a tribute to Chief Bludorn’s father, who served as a naval aviator with the call sign “Blue”.
  5. Wondering what to wear? Navy Blue will have a similar vibe to Bludorn. “The ability to walk in and enjoy the restaurant without feeling the need to dress up or feel the pressure to adhere to traditional standards of a fine dining restaurant is what we strived to achieve when first concepting and what which we will strive to cultivate once Navy Blue launches,” Bludorn said in a written statement.
  6. You can make your reservation now. If you are looking to get the first opinions on the dining experience, you can do a reservation from noon on Friday, November 11 on Resy. Note: Valet parking and self-parking are also available.

Chef Jerrod Zifchak, Aaron Bludorn and Cherif Mbodji sit at a table at Navy Blue.

Bludorn restaurant owners Aaron Bludorn and Cherif Mbodji have chosen New York chef Jerrod Zifchak as executive chef of the new Rice Village Navy Blue seafood restaurant.
Michael Anthony

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. on Fridays and Saturdays. The restaurant will begin serving dinners on Sunday, December 4, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday lunch and brunch services will begin in 2023. 2445 Times Boulevard, 77005.

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