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All You Can Eat

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Topic: Ethan Stowell Restaurants

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December 5, 2013 at 11:42 PM

Your table is not waiting, but you are: the ‘no reservations’ game

A menu at Blind Pig Bistro Photo: Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times

Menu at Blind Pig Bistro
Photo: Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times

With just 27 seats and a chalkboard menu listing fewer than a dozen items, Blind Pig Bistro appears to be the sort of neighborhood place that wouldn’t take reservations, much less offer a tasting menu.

But the two-year-old Eastlake eatery announced this week they now accept reservations, plus they’ve made their popular whole-menu tasting option more attractive: the 8 to10-plate shareable feast is priced at $35-$45 per person.

The news got me wondering anew why some restaurants take reservations, while others—to the annoyance of many diners, me included—don’t.

Blind Pig’s chef/owner Charles Walpole says he’s thinking of his customers. “The idea at this point is, how can we be better, how can we grow. Taking reservations is one way we can improve service. It’s asking a lot to ask people to come in and not have a table waiting.”

He’s also thinking long term. In 2014 he plans to transform the adjacent Eastlake Teryiyaki into a 35-seat bar and lounge. The two storefronts will be connected but have separate names and menus.

The reason many small restaurants don’t take reservations, says Walpole, is largely a staffing issue. “It requires managing the tables, calling and confirming the reservations. We have a bigger staff and a stronger team. We feel we can do it now and do it right.”

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0 Comments | Topics: Blind Pig Bistro, Cantinetta, Ethan Stowell Restaurants

June 24, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Ethan Stowell a Best New Chef All-Star says Food & Wine

Ethan Stowell (Photo by Geoffrey Smith)

Ethan Stowell (Photo by Geoffrey Smith)

Food & Wine’s Magazine’s Best New Chefs of 2013 grace the cover of the July issue (on newsstands now). No Seattle chef made the cut this year but look inside: Ethan Stowell was named a “Best New Chef All-Star.”

To celebrate 25 years of “Best New Chef” honorees, the editors chose one from each year for the All-Star roster. Stowell (Class of 2008) joins a group that includes such culinary luminaries as Thomas Keller (1988), Tom Colicchio (1991), Grant Achatz (2002) and David Chang (2006).

Stowell’s reaction to being one of the 25: “There are some pretty sweet dudes on that list. These are my idols. I looked up to all those guys.”

When he was named a “Best New Chef” he was almost 35 and had just opened his second and third restaurants, Tavolata and How to Cook a Wolf.  “I definitely didn’t feel like a new chef then.”

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0 Comments | More in Chefs | Topics: Ethan Stowell, Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Food & Wine Best New Chef All-Stars

April 22, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Where to eat out for Earth Day

The most earth-friendly way to dine on Earth Day Monday may be to cook at home using your own garden-grown vegetables (radishes, anyone?) Vegan restaurants might also be good bets. But several other eateries are getting in the spirit of the day, offering these foods and deals: The eco-friendly Bon Appetit Management Company

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0 Comments | Topics: Ballard Farmers Market, Bon Appetit Management Co., Broadway Farmers Market