New Restaurant Alert

Sam Fox's New Seafood Spot, Little Cleo's, Opens at The Yard in North Central Phoenix

Fans of The Yard, restaurateur Sam Fox's 53,000-square-foot dining and hangout space on Seventh Street in north Central Phoenix, can now add seafood to the multi-use urban mix.

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Little Cleo's, Fox Restaurant Concept's first fish house and oyster bar, opened at The Yard on Monday. The seafood-centric spot joins a third location of the restaurant group's trendy gastropub Culinary Dropout, which opened in February.

Here's what diners can expect.

Helmed by Fox Restaurant Concept's executive chef, Clint Woods, the dinner-only seafood spot will feature a small menu of ocean fare following the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, a program that promotes healthy ocean ecosystems.

Dishes include small plates like jars of truffle butter-poached king crab, peel-and-eat shrimp, and New England clam chowder; entrees such as grilled European sea bass (loup de mer), seafood stew, and shrimp po' boys; and the restaurant's main attraction -- an ever-changing mix of seven to eight West Coast varieties of oysters.

On the beverage side, expect to find six wines on tap, as well as beer, cocktails, and effervescent coolers in flavor combinations like honeysuckle and sage.

Little Cleo's warehouse-style setting offers bar seating with a view to those doing the shucking as well as 20 marble-topped tables. Reservations are not accepted.

Little Cleo's The Yard 5632 North 7th Street 602-680-4044 www.littlecleos.com

Hours: 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday

Here's the menu:

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Laura Hahnefeld
Contact: Laura Hahnefeld