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All You Can Eat

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Category: New Restaurants
April 8, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Biting Back: The Sloppy Cicero at Miller’s Guild

The Sloppy Cicero at Miller's Guild

The Sloppy Cicero at Miller’s Guild

Last May, a couple of La Mancha goats born at Mountain Lodge Farm in Eatonville were named “Providence” and “Cicero.” Not sure how the little fellows (or their mother, Cinnamon) felt about those exotic monikers–bestowed by the farm’s effervescent owner, Sherwin Ferguson — but I was tickled by the tribute.

To my list of namesakes, I can now add the “Sloppy Cicero,” a sandwich that recently appeared on the lunch menu at Jason Wilson’s restaurant Miller’s Guild in the wake of my 2.5-star review.


Comments | Topics: Miller's Guild, Providence Cicero, Sloppy Cicero

September 6, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Another Ethan Stowell restaurant, coming to a neighborhood near you?

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…


Comments | Topics: Ethan Stowell, mkt, Rebekah Denn

July 10, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Fill ‘er Up at Lynnwood’s Piggyback Deli

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.

The well-stocked meat case at Piggyback Deli inside a Lynnwood gas station.

The well-stocked meat case at Piggyback Deli inside a Lynnwood gas station.

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.


Comments | Topics: Michael Laroche, Nathan Thomas, Piggyback Deli

December 12, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Ray’s chef Peter Birk now steering the ship at Harborside

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!”


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November 17, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Pearl guys to open Koral: a “New American Tavern” in Bellevue

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]


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November 8, 2011 at 7:00 PM

David Sanford gets creative with Ballard’s Belle Clementine

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.


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November 3, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Fall harvest in Seattle: a taste of 10 new restaurants

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, March&#233 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 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 Hours: dinner 5 p.m.-close Tuesday-Sunday (Foursies 3-5 p.m.).


Comments | More in New Restaurants | Topics: Nancy's Restaurant Roundups

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