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September 20, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Can it be that we don’t already have enough excellent pizza in town, whether your tastes run to Delancey or Serious Pie, Via Tribunali or Tutta Bella, Pagliacci or Bar Del Corso, Flying Squirrel or Veraci, or… should I go on?
The owners of Patxi’s, a small but fast-growing chain, are betting Seattle appetites still have room for more. They’re planning to expand to Seattle in 2014, opening a storefront at 5323 Ballard Ave N.W. to join the company’s existing 11 branches — nine in the Bay Area and two in Colorado. The company’s done well in other tough markets; winning the readers poll in San Francisco Weekly for San Francisco’s best pizza.
Patxi’s does specialize in Chicago deep-dish pizzas, a less common specialty around here, though it has thin crust pizzas as well.
Still, do they have any fears about going slice to slice in our city? CEO Bill Freeman said via email that “We are confident that we will rank with the best of them in Seattle. We can only ask that people give us a try, and we will let them be the judge of our food and hospitality.”
For an advance look of what to expect, check out one of their Bay Area menus over here.
September 6, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Ethan Stowell used to be known for downtown dining. Remember upscale Union, his first “outstanding” urban restaurant? Tavolata, his second, still drawing customers nightly to Belltown?
In the years since he grew from chef to major restaurateur, he’s branched up and down the scale from date-night spots to ballpark franks and pizza parlors, opening ever-smaller outposts in nearby Queen Anne and hip Capitol Hill and booming Ballard.
Next up, though, is a different kind of neighborhood: “mkt,” a downright tiny 600-square-foot contemporary American restaurant, is scheduled to open mid-month in Tangletown. It’ll be in the Keystone Building at 2108 N. 55th St., the same building where the cult-following Honey Bear Bakery used to be.
Tangletown is hardly an obscure area (though the Huffington Post did call it Seattle’s ‘hidden neighborhood,’ but it’s also hardly known for its nightlife. Stowell’s folks said in a press release that he’s “long had a goal of creating community and enlivening Seattle’s neighborhoods with his restaurants, and has endeavored to open restaurants in varied areas of the city.” (He said as far back as 2008 that he wouldn’t be looking at more 85-seat or 3,400-square-foot spots.)
Joe Ritchie, formerly of Poppy and Ray’s Boathouse, will head the kitchen at the new restaurant (it’s pronounced “market.”) Many dishes will be cooked on a wood-fired grill, and the sample opening menu includes dishes from raw porcini salad to grilled lamb tongue with baby beets. Sound like anything you’d like for your own neighborhood hangout?
July 10, 2013 at 11:00 AM
Three-week-old Piggyback Deli is housed in a most unlikely place: a gas station convenience store on the eastern edge of Lynnwood. The gas pumps aren’t quite working yet but Alderwood Food & Deli is open. It sells the typical sundries but–surprise!– where a tired array of fast food warming under heat lamps would normally be there’s a deli case filled with house-made sausages, hot dogs, bacon, porchetta, pastrami, paté and more. There’s also a real kitchen with a couple of chefs grilling those meats for made-to-order sandwiches.
Piggyback’s proprietors are Michael Laroche and Nathan Thomas. Thomas was a chef for NOAA and cooked at sea for six years. Then he met a girl, fell in love and wanted to come ashore. Laroche, whose resume lists several Seattle restaurants, trained with an old-school German butcher in New York City, and worked with Miles James at Dot’s Delicatessen in Fremont. (Piggyback’s “Spicy Pork Sandwich” owes a debt to Dot’s.)
Together they’d been looking for investors and for a place where they could open a butcher shop and “do it right.” Piggyback Deli is, you might say, their hoof-in-the-door, though they had misgivings about the location.
December 12, 2011 at 2:40 PM
I read with interest the November news that Portland-based McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants had been acquired by Houston-based Landry’s Restaurants and was set to be sold for a $132 million. But what held my interest even more, was the fact that Peter Birk had left his longtime post as executive chef at Ray’s Boathouse & Cafe to take the helm at McCormick & Schmick’s revitalized Harborside restaurant complex on Lake Union.
After 11 years at Ray’s on Shilshole Bay, chef Peter Birk has taken the helm at the revitalized Harborside at 1200 Westlake Avenue N. on Lake Union.
Truth? I had no idea the dual-story McCormick & Schmick’s Harborside, which made its debut in the waterfront AGC Building in 1996, had closed in August for a major makeover. But after I showed up last week for lunch at the new Harborside (now devoid of its McCormick & Schmick’s moniker), I thought, “Now that’s an improvement!”
December 9, 2011 at 8:34 AM
Be sure to read Seattle Times restaurant critic Providence Cicero’s review of Altura, the new Capitol Hill restaurant that stood atop my fall newbie list and has rocketed to the top of the star-power firmament, thanks to chef/owner Nathan Lockwood, his wife Rebecca and their stellar crew.
Open only two months, this casual 36-seat seductress has it going on on every level: food, service, ambiance, wine list — the works. After my first meal here, I made sure to plan ahead and reserve for my next. I can’t wait.
Nathan Lockwood at Altura, my new favorite restaurant. [Seattle Times/Mark Harrison]
November 17, 2011 at 1:54 PM
Chef Bradley Dickinson called this week with news that he and his business partner Mikel Rogers, co-owners of downtown Bellevue’s popular Pearl Bar & Dining, are at it again. Their second venture, Koral, a casual “New American Tavern,” will soon be setting up shop where the Twisted Cork stands in the Hyatt Regency — a short walk from Pearl.
According to Dickinson, landlord Kemper Development flirted with “a couple national chains” before settling on a couple local guys. And those fellas are set to fill the restaurant-void left after the ever-revolving Twisted Cork was shuttered early last year. (More recently, the Hyatt has been using the space to provide breakfast to hotel guests, as well as drinks and appetizers come evening.)
Taking on the nearly 8000-square-foot slot at 900 Bellevue Way N.E. is a big deal: one Dickinson and Rogers have been considering for more than a year. Before nailing the lease, “We’ve remodeled the restaurant several times and we haven’t even opened it yet!” the chef said. “Trust me. That saved us money.” A major makeover will begin after Thanksgiving, with an opening date expected in February. Koral is slated to seat 100 in the bar and 170 in the dining room.
Separated at birth? The bar at Pearl (left), and at the original Twisted Cork (as seen in 2007, right) soon to be reincarnated as Koral. [Seattle Times/Mark Harrison]
November 8, 2011 at 7:00 PM
Cold-calling salesmen offering everything from linens to limoncello show up at Belle Clementine, David Sanford’s as-yet-unopened Ballard restaurant. “Is the owner around?” they ask, ignoring the boyish restaurateur in painter pants and dusty boots laboring in the high-ceiling husk of the century-old building that once housed Olsen Furniture.
The first time I laid eyes on Sanford I was inclined to overlook him, too. It was 2008, and he was a young dishwasher. Or so I thought.
As one of the hands who helped Matt Dillon and Wylie Bush launch The Corson Building, Sanford also prepped meals in their Georgetown kitchen, though his job description included managing reservations, promotion and public relations, and, as he recalls, “taking all the creative, crazy ideas we’d come up with and figure out how to bring them into existence.”
I’ve since come to know this food-focused brainiac, now 28, as a culinary visionary with a well-honed entrepreneurial streak — and a Stanford University degree in entrepreneurial management to back it up.
A Mercer Island High School grad, Sanford went pre-med at UW, moved on to Stanford, hitched his wagon to the roving restaurant caravan Outstanding in the Field, lent his business-kopf to a series of Internet startups and worked as a private chef and restaurant consultant.
Dave Sanford out standing in a field at Oxbow Farm in Carnation, during an Outstanding in the Field dinner held last year.
Today his boots are firmly planted at 5451 Leary Avenue N.W., where he’s come up with a creative, crazy idea of his own: a subscription-based communal-dining experience disguised as a 36-seat restaurant. If all goes as planned, Belle Clementine, named for his artist grandmother, will open by December.
November 3, 2011 at 7:00 PM
Talk about a fall harvest! So many restaurants made their debut last month, it’s difficult deciding where to go first. To celebrate the season, here, in alphabetical order, are 10 October debutantes to put on your check-it-out list. Want to add your two cents about these newbies — or any others recently opened or in the offing? Please do.
By the time autumn turns to winter, dozens of new restaurants will have opened in and around Seattle. October brought the debut of many, including (from left) Altura, Mezcaleria Oaxaca, Marché and LloydMartin. [Seattle Times/Erika Schultz]
Here on North Broadway, chef/owner Nathan Lockwood is turning it out in an open kitchen and turning us on to seasonal Italian cuisine and the option of a “3-4-5″ coursed dinner ($49-$69). Added attractions: paired wines and a 10-seat counter.
617 Broadway E., Seattle (206-402-6749 or www.alturarestaurant.com). Hours: dinner 5:30-10:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.
Remember the old Jade Pagoda? Forget it! On that site across from Altura stands Keeman Wong’s contemporary Cantonese restaurant and bar. Wong ditched the kitsch to make a modern mark. Cocktails are king, and you may enjoy one alongside char siu pork at “Foursies” (think happy hour).
606 Broadway E., Seattle (206-829-8958 or www.bakoseattle.com). Hours: dinner 5 p.m.-close Tuesday-Sunday (Foursies 3-5 p.m.).
October 20, 2011 at 11:50 PM
Nate and I needed a little sustenance tonight after his school concert. “Hey, Mom! Did you hear Dick’s opened today?” Why, yes. Yes I did. “Let’s go!” he said. Good idea, I figured, seeing as it was after 9 p.m., we hadn’t had dinner yet and we live only blocks from the much-anticipated new Dick’s. Our jaws dropped when we saw the the traffic cops, the cars crowding the TOP Food parking lot and a sea of people waiting, and waiting, for their chance to say, “I ate at the new Dick’s the day it opened!”
While Nate chatted up a classmate, I made my way through the crowd, garnering a few nasty stares as I cut in line to see what was going on up front. After chatting up a handful of folks who were far harder-core than we were, the kid and I left and went to Demitris Woodstone Taverna where we enjoyed a late-night happy hour menu. That said, we’ve still got the jones for a Deluxe. Ah, there’s always tomorrow. Not that I think the lines at Dick’s will be any less crowded then. Meanwhile, here’s what was going down off the corner of Highway 99 and 220th in Edmonds tonight.
September 21, 2011 at 11:00 AM
Wild Ginger. El Gaucho. Blue C and Boom Noodle. Monsoon. Cantinetta. And now make way for the Lunchbox Laboratory, another Seattle-born sensation soon to make its Bellevue debut. With a lease just signed, permits in the works and design plans underway, owner John Schmidt expects to open the Eastside version of the popular Seattle burger joint in late December.
Schmidt, owner of five Neighborhood Grills in and around Seattle, added Lunchbox Lab to its restaurant roster in January after relocating that beloved Ballard hole-in-the wall to his (now-defunct) Southlake Grill in South Lake Union. “Growth is what we’re about,” he told me last December, after forging a partnership with Lunchbox Lab’s creative force, Scott Simpson, whose death months later shocked and saddened Seattle’s restaurant community.
Yesterday’s Lunchbox lunch at South Lake Union: sweet potato fries and an “Homage to Dick’s Deluxe” with Kobe-style beef, American cheese and honey-cured bacon. Unlike at Dick’s, I couldn’t possibly eat two.
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