What's with the sudden closures of Hommage and Entre Amis? More new restaurants on Capitol Hill?! What the hell is Coffee Flour? And more.
1. FRENCH MYSTERIES: Last week, Hommage near Fremont suddenly closed with no specific reason given, just that something’s going on with French chef Nico Borzee — owner Sumi Almquist told Nosh Pit that Borzee had personal matters that required his attention. Then there was Almquist’s mysterious coda: “If you want blood and guts, it will have to be over drinks and strictly confidential.”
This week, we find out that Entre Amis on Queen Anne has also precipitously closed, for the equally mysterious reason that owner Benjamin Bernard-Luneau abruptly needed to return to France for unspecified purposes.
Hommage had only been open since September — it was the Book Bindery before that — while Entre Amis existed for just four months. Hommage is set to undergo yet another reincarnation, while the Entre Amis space will become Eden Hill, from promising chef Max Petty. Meanwhile, the chef of Entre Amis, Matt Cyr, whose food sounds excellent, is available. Maybe he could take over at Hommage?!
2. CAPITOL HILL MADNESS: Three more new places, just this past week! In the closest-to-old-school category: Bill’s Off Broadway, reborn on its old site (albeit in a new building). In most-exciting-for-the-sweet-toothed: Hot Cakes, which has an outdoor fire pit and indoor tabletop hibachis for making s’mores, on the corner where the zero-fire-feature-having B&O Espresso used to be. (Awesome? End-stage capitalism? Both?). In best-for-the-bookish: Little Oddfellows, ensconced inside Elliott Bay Book Company. And of course, last week brought the very-exciting-for-gourmands Lionhead, which is the great Jerry Traunfeld’s Szechuan restaurant (with no tipping, yes MSG).
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3. SURPRISE: It comes as no surprise that Crush on Madison is closing at the end of the month — chef/owner Jason Wilson has had much success with his downtown steakhouse Miller’s Guild, and he had previously put Crush up for sale. What is surprising is that, according to a press release, the 1903 Tudor home that houses Crush will “transition… to a culinary test lab for Coffee Flour, of which Chef Wilson is executive chef.” Coffee flour, we are further informed, “converts the surrounding fruit of the coffee bean into a nutrient-dense new super-ingredient.” Wilson also promises to announce a new restaurant this year. Meanwhile, use those Crush gift certificates (if you’re lucky enough to have one).
4. INSIDIOUS ONION: Who would’ve thought that everyone’s favorite satirical site would stoop this low, in such an insidious and cynical manner?
5. SWEET SEATTLE FREEZE: Here’s the almost impossibly endearing story of Six Strawberries. Their ice pops would be really good on this hot Seattle day.
ALSO NOW OPEN: Beardslee Public House in Bothell. RENAMED: La Bodega has (hilariously) become Manu’s Bodega. EVENTS: Amuse your bouche with free doughnuts (!), the Seattle Street Food Festival and more.