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Finding a coastal tavern on University Ave


Trey Yager, owner and executive chef at the new Seven Seas Tavern (58 University Avenue), grew up on the coast of Florida and made his mark there in the restaurant and seafood industry. "I've made my whole career in seafood," he says.

Yager relocated to Rochester, and opened Havana Cabana five years ago, which he still oversees. He saw a gap in the Rochester food scene for a seafood-forward restaurant and the idea for Seven Seas Tavern was born. The restaurant officially opened in late June.

The restaurant occupies the former space of Tavern 58 at Gibbs, which closed abruptly this year. Yager has renovated the interior, adding a fireplace and a fish tank (and I asked: no, you don't get to pick your dinner from the fish tank), and extended the front bar. The bar will have six draft lines and feature an old-fashioned cocktail selection, think Sidecars and Manhattans.

Seafood is the focus of the menu, with much of it sourced from the Boston area and Florida. Yager says he is using his connections as a former seafood distributor to find the freshest products available. You'll find standard seafood fare, like grilled tuna and lobster, on the menu, but also unique dishes such as a pesto swordfish ($28), which is a grilled swordfish steak topped with basil pesto and served with jasmine rice and sautéed spinach. The Tavern Seafood Nachos ($19) are topped with langostinos, baby shrimp, crab meat, salsa, jalapenos, onions, and cheese.

Those looking for an alternative to seafood will find a roast half duck ($25) served with a crispy skin, orange horseradish marmalade, and mashed potatoes and asparagus on the side. Vegetarians won't have a ton to choose from on the menu, but Yager says he is willing to accommodate both vegetarian and gluten-free requests.

The restaurant has two patios available for outdoor seating and a large parking lot behind the building. Yager will offers half-priced drinks for happy hour, hoping to draw in those thirsty teachers leaving the school right down the street.

Seven Seas Tavern is located at 58 University Avenue, and is open Tuesday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 3 p.m. to 12 a.m., and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. 491-7552;

Quick bites

Connections with Evan Dawson debuted a new series, Summer of Food, at the beginning of July. The series airs at 1 p.m. every Thursday through August 31, and will focus on topics ranging from food waste to what's new in the Rochester and Finger Lakes' culinary scene. You can listen to Connections on WXXI AM 1370, WRUR FM 88.5, WEOS FM 89.5 (Geneva), and online at

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Ristorante Lucano (1815 East Avenue) will host a Cheese Lovers Night on Monday, July 24, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person and include tastings of cheese from around the world plus a homemade dessert. Call 244-3460 or email to make a reservation.


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