85°C Bakery Cafe and a few dozen other new restaurants or reopenings to check out.
85°C Bakery Cafe, the biggest Taiwanese import to hit Seattle since Din Tai Fung, opens its first bakery at Southcenter Mall with two more outposts — in Lynnwood and Federal Way — coming in late spring. Expect wait up to 90 minutes for those cheap pastries and breads, at least until the buzz dies down. More details here.
Sen Noodle Bar in Ballard is one of the best Asian restaurants to debut in Seattle so far this year, from the same folks behind Pestle Rock next door and Jhanjay Vegetarian Thai Cuisine across the street. It’s an eclectic menu of noodle soups from around Southeast Asia. Our review here.
Sizzle & Crunch hawks banh mi and other Vietnamese comfort food in the University District.
Saitown Vietnamese Eatery also opens in the University District, four blocks north of Sizzle & Crunch (Ruh roh!) and also with banh mis as well as vermicelli noodles and rice dishes.
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Bruciato opens on Bainbridge Island, chef Brendan McGill’s wood-fired Neapolitan pizza joint with an Italian-focused bar program — think Italian wines and amari.
Jones Brother Co. opens in the former Balmar space in Ballard, offering different meatballs to mix and match with different pastas and sauces.
Acadia, a rice bowl-and-sandwich place with a southern twang, opens in Wallingford.
Bar House opens next to Numa Ramen. It looks indistinguishable from a zillion other watering holes along the Fremont drag until you see the back — the restroom looks like an interior of a submarine and the tiny back room is designed to look like you’re sitting in the woods under the stars by a faux bonfire.
O’BOP opens in Bellevue inside a gas station/convenience store, selling bulgogi and Korean rice bowls.
Openings we’re keeping an eye on:
Zocalo will open late March or early April in Pioneer Square, a 7,000-square-foot restaurant in Occidental Square that will focus on the kind of modern cuisine found in Mexico City, the owner said.
JuneBaby, Chef Edouardo Jordan’s follow-up to his acclaimed restaurant Salare, will open sometime in March.
Relocating or rebranding:
Naka reopens as Adana on Capitol Hill, ditching expensive, fine-dining adventures for three-course dinners and bar bites.
Pintxo will relocate, likely by late spring, to a bigger space in Belltown with a full kitchen so that it can do more ambitious Spanish dishes. Its current space will become a bar with a limited Spanish snack menu, scheduled to open this summer. These same owners are also opening another craft cocktail bar in Belltown in the fall. Meanwhile, its current bar “The Upstairs,” a popular date place, will remain as is. (You still with us?) Four bars and restaurants in Belltown from the same owners.
Cantine in South Lake Union, which became Cantine Market and focused more on sandwiches, is now Cantine Bar, focusing more on craft beers.
The Faerie Queene is now Pittsburgh Lunch and Superette, less seafood, more soups and sandwiches.
Bar Ciudad in Georgetown reopens with $18 rotisserie chickens (or $10 for a half). Those slushies will come in handy when that courtyard opens.
Dragonfish Asian Café in downtown is closed for remodeling. It hopes to reopen on March 20 with an expanded Asian fusion lineup that will include bacon fried rice and tamarind seafood noodles.
Existing restaurants expanding into other neighborhoods:
Poquitos at Safeco Field; Great State Burger at Safeco Field; Paseo on Capitol Hill; Cherry Street Public House in Pioneer Square; Chick-fil-A in Puyallup; Rhein Haus in Tacoma; Sam’s Tavern in Redmond; Rancho Bravo in the U-District; Pressed Juicery in lower Queen Anne; and Green Leaf Vietnamese Restaurant in North Seattle, off Aurora Avenue North.