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January 5, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Campagne closes for makeover, Cafe Campagne stays open

What did I say in my last post? It’s an ever-changing world in the restaurant business, and there are big changes in store at Campagne. “I’m not ready to spill the beans” entirely, says chef/exec Daisley Gordon, who’s been doing just that, culinarily speaking, for 16 years. But this much he can say: The fine-dining arm of Campagne restaurant will close after service on Saturday for a “winter remodel.”

The 23-year-old Pike Place Market restaurant (born two years earlier on Capitol Hill) is slated to reopen in late spring or early summer with a new look, a new menu and a new lease on life. Meanwhile, it’s business as usual at Cafe Campagne, so relax! You can still get your oeufs en meurette with a great Bloody Mary on Post Alley, as well as your steak frites and cassoulet fix, since the cafe remains open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

Closing another door — temporarily. Campagne, at 86 Pine Street in Pike Place Market, will close this week, says chef-exec Daisley Gordon, who runs the place upstairs, and down. [Seattle Times photo/John Lok]

So, what’s next for the beloved Campagne space? “It will be an evolution from what we’re doing,” says Gordon, who has been around long enough to see the debut of Cafe Campagne, the departure of his chef-exec predecessors (Jim Drohman, Tamara Murphy) and the farewell of founding father (and mystery writer!) Peter Lewis. “French food is what I do,” insists Gordon. “That’s my background, and I like to stick to the knitting. I firmly believe that French cooking is at the foundation of so much of the modern cooking in this country.”

Well then, I nudged, will this be another French restaurant? “We serve robust, tasty food, and we’re going to keep doing that,” says the chef. “Without putting a label on it, it’s going to be `real’ food, made in a personal way, with an understanding of the current climate for dining and for what people are looking for.” And will the upstairs spot still bear the name Campagne? I wondered. “For a lot of people, Campagne is shorthand for Cafe Campagne,” Gordon says. Which is to say, it’s confusing. My guess? We can expect some changes there, too.

Post Alley’s Cafe Campagne will remain open while its upstairs sibling gets a major makeover. [Seattle Times/Ken Lambert]

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