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April 1, 2010 at 3:15 PM

Txori to close, reopen as Pintxo

It’s been a challenging year for Carolin Messier — whom you may know better by her married name, Messier de Jimenez, and by her association with the inimitable Joseba Jimenez de Jimenez and their much beloved Madison Valley restaurant, The Harvest Vine. This just in from the former Mrs. J., whose little pintxos bar, Txori, isn’t long for this world.

Dear Friends,

After nearly 2 1/2 years of continual flight, my beloved little Basque bar, Txori, is going into hibernation. I say hibernating rather than closing because after a restorative rest and an improved economy I hope to begin looking for a new nest for my little bird at the end of the year. Our final txoko dinner (see below for details) will be this coming Monday, April 5th. Our final day of service at our Belltown nest will be Monday, April 19th. At my other restaurant, The Harvest Vine, it will remain business as usual. I hope you’ll join us in the coming weeks at Txori and into the future at The Harvest Vine.

But don’t despair Belltown will not be left pintxo-free. In fact two of its own residents, right from the neighborhood, will be taking over the jewel-box of a space on April 21st and reopening shortly thereafter as “Pintxo.” C.J. Chaney and Corey Chigbrow have been patrons and fans of Txori as their neighborhood place. Having met while working for Myspace several years ago, they believe in community in both the virtual and physical worlds. They share with me the joy of bringing people together through food, understanding that the connections forged over a bite and a glass are like no other. I hope that you will welcome and support them as I have. In time perhaps Seattle will support a tapas bar on every street! (My personal mission…)

I would like to thank all of you who have supported Txori from its inception. I begin with my longtime friend, Julie Montgomery, who turned my vision into workable blueprints and Mike Cain who turned what was essentially “an empty lot with a brick dropped on it” into the well-crafted, light-filled nest of a bar that it is. To Carmen Cano a warm embrace for her enchanting images of birds and the gift of my vision of family on canvas. And the dear friends and family who have held my hand and given me a shoulder to cry on through the highs and lows that a restaurant experiences.

I have enjoyed, and felt honored to work with every single employee. They are the ones who created the heart of this special place. I offer a special thank you to my chef Joey Serquinia and my manager Jeff Watanabe. They both worked tirelessly and generously from our pre-opening trip to San Sebastian through today. Joey’s food is the soul of the place and Jeff is the engine which has kept everything going. I couldn’t have survived the past year without you two.

And the reason I created Txori: my customers who I hope felt like welcome guests, I thank you most of all. Without you it would have remained a shoebox of a place full of tasty aromas. You created a vibrant, living thing and many of you have become friends.

Many, many thanks. I am so incredibly grateful for these past 29 months in birdland,

Carolin Messier


Final Txoko Dinner

This coming Monday, April 5th at 6:30pm, Carolin will be hosting the final txoko dinner at Txori. We’ve hosted this communal dinner nearly every month since we opened. This 6-course, family-style dinner is a chance to meet new people, eat great Basque comfort food, and discuss everything from hiking in the Pyrenees to humorous blind date stories.

$45 per person plus beverages, tax and gratuity. Call 204-9771 for reservations. This is certain to sell out.

Brunch at Harvest Vine

Joey has been working on some new tortillas and Carolin has been perfecting her ensaimadas and croissants in preparation for the coming brunch at The Harvest Vine. We will be serving sweet and savory morning fare from the Basque Country and nearby regions every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 2pm beginning Saturday, May 1st. Reservations are accepted for tables, or just stop by.

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