LOCAL FOOD NEWS
EDOUARDO JORDAN, chef de cuisine at Pioneer Square’s acclaimed Bar Sajor, is opening his own restaurant in Ravenna this summer. Originally from Florida, Jordan started out in the restaurant world as a server at a Bennigan’s. He went to culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Tampa, then got an apprenticeship at the French Laundry and cooked at the Herbfarm, Per Se and Lincoln in New York, and Sitka & Spruce (all very much the opposite of a Bennigan’s). Sitka & Spruce/Bar Sajor owner Matt Dillon calls him his “co-conspirator de cuisine,” and Jordan’s been given a lot of responsibility for the kitchen at Sajor.
Jordan’s both excited and freaked out to be opening his own place (and understandably so). But, he says, “It’s a dream of mine to do this… this is what I started cooking for.”
At his place, Salare (Latin for “salt”), he says, “My Southern cooking will finally come into play more,” and he’s also planning to include flavors from Africa, Europe and the Caribbean, which sounds like a thankfully unusual combination. As you might expect, Jordan is committed to supporting and serving the work of local farmers and ranchers, but he’s not sticking to the Northwest-ingredients-only doctrine; stuff like mangoes and pineapple will be involved.
Jordan says the space on Northeast 65th Street is “kind of cold and dark right now, so I’m trying to bring more love into it.” That love will include “beautiful” chandeliers, polished concrete floors and a chef’s counter, and there’ll be both a “chef’s library” room housing his cookbook collection and a more social, louder main dining room.
“I wanted to have my own identity, my own little neighborhood,” he says about choosing Ravenna over neighborhoods “overpopulated” with restaurants like Capitol Hill and Pioneer Square. He lives in Lake City, so Ravenna made sense that way, too.
As for Salare’s anticipated opening date, Jordan says June 1 (and “I’m knocking on wood right now as I say that”). He’ll be at Bar Sajor for another month or so. Trivia: Jordan told me a while back that he’d choose either Eddie Murphy or Wesley Snipes to play himself in a movie. This ought to be really, really good (his restaurant, not the movie, though that’d probably be good too).
RAY’S BOATHOUSE near Shilshole has a new executive chef: Paul Duncan. Duncan was promoted from his role as Ray’s chef de cuisine, to which he was promoted when executive chef Wayne Johnson left a year ago (Johnson now runs Suga Jazz Bistro in Renton). Duncan’s only the sixth exec. chef at Ray’s in 42 years. He’s originally from Oregon; his resume includes the Hi-Life in Seattle, the Ritz Carlton Kapalua, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company (Maui), and Tabla and Caffe Mingo in Portland.
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FOOD NEWS FURTHER AFIELD
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BRAND-NEW RESTAURANTS AND BARS
SHAKER + SPEAR and PENNYROYAL are open in Belltown, making the plus sign officially the new ampersand (see also John Sundstrom’s Slab Sandwiches + Pie). S+S’s menu is slanted toward seafood, while bar Pennyroyal (predictably) has aged spirits, a changing punch menu and house-made bitters/infusions/tonic, plus (naturally) small plates. It’s all in a new upscale hotel, the Palladian, and it’s all run by chef Walter Pisano of Tulio (which he opened in 1992). MORE>>>
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BLU SARDINIA is open in Redmond, serving “modern takes on traditional Sardinian cuisine,” plus house-made Italian breads and gelato. Owner (and native of Sardinia) Fabrizio Loi is also the chef/owner of Restaurant Paradiso in Kirkland. A PR rep says it’s “Not a chef-driven restaurant, but most of the menu items are conceptualized by Fabrizio and executed by his team.” MORE>>>
CANTINA LEÑA downtown has reopened, after neighbors complained about smoke from the gigantic indoor fire pit the first time around. Now the wood-fired cooking and smoking for T-Doug’s Mexican place is done across the street at his Palace Kitchen. MORE>>>
MIYABI 45TH’S SECOND BIRTHDAY means $2 specials including food, Sapporo and hot sake from Monday, Feb. 9, through Friday, Feb. 13 (except during Wednesday’s ramen pop-up). Chef Mutsuko Soma does very good work, and this is bound to be crowded; reservations recommended. MORE>>>
VALENTINE’S DAY APPROACHETH, and you’d better make reservations now if you want to go out to dinner. MORE>>>