A former Canlis chef is opening in White Center, a favorite Vietnamese restaurant will launch an all-vegan menu, a popular bar plans a tiki extravaganza. … With 70%-plus of Seattle all vaxxed up (good for us!) and Washington restaurants set to reopen at full capacity by June 30 (yes!), Seattle Times restaurant critics Bethany Jean Clement and Tan Vinh cleared their brains of COVID-19 cobwebs and assembled this list of most-anticipated places. Some are coming soon; some have just debuted; some have new chefs or a fresh location. Wherever you might decide to go, enjoy it as much as humanly possible (we’re so lucky to be going out in the world again!) and tip big (after what restaurants have been through, they deserve it more than ever!).
Brady Williams’ upcoming restaurant
The James Beard Award-winning former chef of famously upscale Canlis isn’t ready to give details on how he’ll fit into his new neighborhood yet, but we do know the name: Tomo Restaurant (and the address: 9811 16th Ave. S.W.; and his partner: one William True).
South Lake Union
The family behind Monsoon and Ba Bar will debut a vegan counter inside their Ba Bar restaurant near the Amazon campus later this summer. Expect tofu banh mi, kimchi fried rice with plant-based sausage and vegetarian dishes inspired by flavors from around Southeast Asia.
Sun Hong’s next endeavor
Somewhere in Seattle
By Tae, the tiny sushi-and-more spot in Chophouse Row, provided huge happiness before it had to move out earlier this year, but chef Sun says he’s coming back, be it with club sandwiches, all-you-can-eat spaghetti or something else entirely. Can’t. Wait.
The tropical oasis Rumba has been teasing cocktail geeks all spring with the promise of over-the-top flaming tiki drinks served in an underwater-themed den tucked inside its main bar. This tiki nirvana will open on June 25.
Chef Eli Dahlin, who brought Seattle the (genius) Caesar salad sandwich at Damn the Weather, now co-owns this natural wine bar where Bar Ferdinand used to be, making pizzas like snail/ramp/tarragon/Asiago and nettle/Taleggio/smoked lardo in the wood-fired oven.
Brothers Brian and Mark Canlis still rave about the seven-course feast their chef Aisha Ibrahim composed last winter during her weeklong interview to be the executive chef at Seattle’s most storied fine dining institution. The unveiling of Ibrahim’s menu comes July 1 when Canlis reopens. It’s the hottest ticket in town.
Under the direction of the original owners’ grandson, Terrell Jackson, this Seattle classic traveled through a few locations (including a spot in Rainier Valley) — now Juneteenth brings a grand reopening in Community House’s Patricia K. building with live music, special guests and more.
Lupe Flores has been bouncing around different breweries to hawk her Lebanese-Mexican fusion tacos during the pandemic. Her much-talked-about fried tacos now have a fixed address: inside the artsy Jupiter Bar every Thursday through Sunday.
It’s been a hell of a year for chef Shota Nakajima, but he’s certainly landed on his feet, what with opening this spot for the crispy-coated Japanese fried chicken called karaage and looking like a strong contender to be this season’s “Top Chef”!
The tea leaves are telling the hospitality industry that fast-casual and smash burgers are the way to go, but executive chef Gaurav Raj doubles down on fine dining. He plates New Delhi-inspired gastronomic, Instagram-friendly dishes.
This pretty wine bar from the people who run the much-loved Diller Room promises a minitrip abroad with marble counters, gilt mirrors, cheeses, charcuterie and lots (and lots!) of wine, all imported from Italy — and the original tile floors happen to be the 1890 work of Italian craftspeople, too.
Maybe you’ve seen chef Hampton Isom’s food truck that goes by the same name, his motto, “Some of the best spooning is done in the kitchen,” emblazoned on the side — now the former pro basketball player and Alaska Airlines flight attendant’s got a brick-and-mortar space for his Cajun cooking, with a full bar, too. His nickname: The Boss.
Chef Preeti Agarwal started out doing pop-ups after she took over Fremont’s French place, Pomerol — now she’s dedicated the whole space, including the wood-fired oven, to her modern Indian cuisine.
The winery is opening a New American cuisine-focused restaurant in the former Wheelhouse bistro space on June 23. Sure, any excuse to sip its outstanding Bordeaux-style blend Chaleur Blanc.
Under new ownership, the former corner grocery at 17th and Galer (known as Groucho’s back in the day) is set to reopen soon with two Canlis alums making breakfast, lunch and pastries. Yay!
With chef Jason Stratton of Spinasse fame newly in charge, this Italian place has a serious pasta precedent — plus there’s lots of outdoor space for summertime fun.
Near Pike Place Market
After almost 20 years in Belltown — and more than three decades downtown before that — this prime Seattle steakhouse now sits at the edge of the Market, and we’re looking forward to sitting at the bar for Manhattans and fancy hamburgers.
Pike Place Market
Open since 1981, Jackie Roberts’ hidden-away-in-plain-sight spot has always been a favorite for its lovely outdoor deck — and now, promisingly, longtime local chef Dylan Giordan (Serafina, Cicchetti, Piatti) is in the kitchen.
From fried buns and pot stickers to boiled morsels stuffed with pork or seafood, this strip mall cafe with a focus on Northern-style Chinese cuisine is the latest to jump into the dumpling craze.
This Peruvian place from chef Tamara Murphy and partner Linda Di Lello Morton of beloved Terra Plata has been a long time coming — hopefully, people will be drinking pisco there sometime soon.
This much-hyped place out of Los Angeles now has a branch in Totem Lake — with a ton of ramen choices around now, how will it stack up?