Three new restaurant and bar projects at The Lodge at St. Edward State Park are scheduled to open this weekend in Kenmore, under former James Beard Best Chef: Northwest winner Jason Wilson. The new 84-room The Lodge, located in an old seminary building, will house his farm-to-table bistro Cedar + Elm, with (when the state increases seating capacity) 125 seats indoors and 40 seats on the patio near the trails. The property will include a chef’s garden and an apiary, so expect some edible flowers and honey to be incorporated into the dinner menu later this summer. You might even get to pick your own greens in the garden for your salad.
Attached to that restaurant is Father Mulligan’s Heritage Bar, which can seat 27 and focuses more on casual fare, including pizzas. The hotel will also house Tonsorium Bar with cocktails and bites on the ground floor. This is familiar territory for Wilson, who was the chef behind the now-closed Miller’s Guild, located next to the Hotel Max in downtown Seattle. He’s also behind the culinary program at The Lakehouse and the cocktail den Civility & Unrest in downtown Bellevue.
Speaking of the Eastside, that area was in the middle of a Chinese restaurant boom before the pandemic hit. There were concerns that COVID-19 along with the anti-Asian sentiment resulting from that pandemic might scare Chinese investors away. The opening of Famous Kitchen, a promising Cantonese restaurant in an Issaquah strip mall, is a good sign that maybe it hasn’t. Located in the back of Pickering Square, this barbecue restaurant has been a big hit for its crackly roast pork and honey-glazed char siu.
Also in Issaquah, the Laz’s Tacos truck parks around 25 N.W. Gilman Blvd.
In Kirkland mall news, the much-anticipated Silverlake Ramen, which has been a hit in Southern California, finally opened at The Village at Totem Lake. Expect long lines for this one. The mall, which aims to be a major restaurant hub, will have four other restaurant openings by summer, including the Eastside debut of Seattle’s Bok a Bok fried chicken in July.
Kirkland Urban has landed Vinason Pho & Grill, which used to draw a large lunch crowd at its restaurant near the Amazon campus before the pandemic. Also opening at Kirkland Urban is Plantiful Superfoods, a plant-based cafe serving acai bowls and burgers. In May, the vegetarian restaurant will offer a 20% discount on food and drinks. In Juanita Village is the burger spot Deja Moo, from the investors behind Tipsy Cow.
Bellevue openings: The wildly popular soup dumpling chain Dough Zone has opened on Main Street, taking over the Swiftwater Cellars space. Their xiao long bao still rules, though the chain has found a new legion of fans for its Q-Bao, Shanghai-style buns that have a cottony soft top to contrast with a crispy-fried bottom. One of the most successful pivots during the pandemic for Chinese restaurants has been frozen dumplings, and no one sells more frozen to-go dumplings than Dough Zone on weekends.
Donburi Station Bowl, from the investors behind Fremont Bowl and the Donburi Bowl in Georgetown, has expanded to northeast Bellevue, focusing on meat and seafood rice bowls. And Chakra brings Kadala curry, mutton biryani and crab masala to Crossroads Shopping Center.
In Sammamish, Big Fish Sushi Restaurant does, besides its namesake cuisine, ramen and teriyaki chicken.
In downtown Bothell, you can order croissants, kouign-amann and macarons thanks to the debut of the French bakery Aeipathy Patisserie from pastry chef Danyel Vertin, who was on the pastry team at Wayfare Tavern and the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco. The Eastside chain Mercurys Coffee Co., which just opened in Redmond, has expanded to Bothell as well.
In Edmonds, restaurateur Shubert Ho, who runs five restaurants in the city limits, has notched two more: Potlatch Bistro and Shore Pine Coffee & Gelato, both housed in the new Edmonds Waterfront Center. But the prime real estate is what’s 10 feet in front of the bistro’s entrance: a restored beachfront. Ho will run a beach-shack-inspired to-go menu with fish and chips, smashed burgers and fish tacos, all served in compostable boxes that sunbathers can take to the beach. Two miles southeast of those two waterfront projects sits Yummy Teriyaki & Fried Chicken (yes, more Korean fried chicken).
In Renton, a handful of newcomers: Taco Dudes & Caribbean, which features street tacos and pork sandwiches, debuts next to Uwajimaya. Rice-N-Curry sells rice bowls near the Renton Transit Center. El Muchacho Alegre, which specializes in Mexico seafood dishes, debuts near the Renton Municipal Airport. And Chick-fil-A expands at Rainier Avenue South and Renton Center Way.
In Auburn, Four Season Pizza takes an around-the-world-approach to pies, from a tandoori paneer-inspired version to a feta cheese Greek pizza.
In Kent, Ying Fung Cafe focuses on Hong Kong-style food, though it also caters to the young crowd with Korean fried chicken, and the Asian sweet spot, ZZ Dessert, comes to the Great Wall Shopping Mall.