Some big names in the restaurant scene are opening up this summer, including Tom Douglas' first restaurant in Bellevue and Ethan Stowell's two latest in downtown and in Wallingford. And one of the most talked-about donut shops in Seattle is ready for business. Expect long lines.
Eric Rivera, who cooked at one of the world’s great restaurants, Alinea in Chicago, just opened addo:incubator Ballard, in the former Royal Drummer coffeehouse space, with plans for breakfast, lunch and happy hour (all dishes under $13) and soon dinner (all dishes under $25). Expect some eclectic-dinner themes from Dining in Seattle in the ’50s to a Puerto Rican food night. (Royal Drummer coffee will still be around as a pop-up inside addo.)
Lots of donuts pop-ups and openings this year, but the most anticipated, Raised Doughnuts, is finally here. Expect long lines. Its website posted that doors will open on June 30 at “at 7 a.m. until sold out.” On social media, Raised Doughnuts announced its regular line up will be “maple bar, plain glazed, raspberry holes, apple fritter, sugared mochi, and chocolate bar.” The June/July special flavors will be “black sesame, basil blueberry, strawberry pie and ube coconut.”
Zane + Wylie’s Seattle Steakhouse is so adamant about being different from the chain steakhouses that it put “Seattle Steakhouse” in its name and above its door. It focuses more on the downtown denizens than the expense-account suits. Prime cuts and chops are in the $40 range, each a full meal with salad, baked potato and sautéd veggies. Rainier beers are two bucks during happy hour. In the $6-and-under division, you can’t beat its happy-hour bites if you need to kill time before hitting the ACT Theatre.
Speaking of downtown steakhouses, the spot that was once Sullivan’s is now Cortina, the latest pasta-and-pizza production from Ethan Stowell. Stowell also opened a Mexican joint in Wallingford (Super Bueno) that serves breakfast burritos and other Tex-Mex food. The 200-seat restaurant has two patios facing the main drag, Stone Way North.
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Every month brings news of more openings in South Park, Georgetown and White Center. Remember when these enclaves weren’t considered sexy? The much anticipated South Town Pie opened in South Park, and the review from my colleague Bethany Jean Clement is good. South Town comes from Sam Crannel who ran the excellent LlodyMartin in upper Queen Anne before it shut down last year.
In White Center there’s now Southside Pizza, located inside the massive Beer Star space, by Li’l Woody’s. Southside is a pivot from the guys behind CTO, a Chinese take-out counter. The owners have been experimenting with “a Jersey-sourdough hybrid crust” and must be pleased with their mad-scientist tinkering because Southside Pizza launches on June 26. Besides slices and whole pies, there’s salads and pastas. Also, Bok a Bok, the Korean-fried chicken joint that has been a hit in White Center expands further south to Burien.
In Georgetown, Brother Joe is the latest coffeehouse to do lunch and brunch. The early reviews have been solid. Sandwich portions are huge. Brunch items range from loco moco to eggs Benedict. There’s a cheap Bloody-Mary-and-mimosa bar with all the fixings (3 drinks for $13). Nearby, Deep Sea Sugar & Salt has plopped down a second location in the middle of a residential area on Carleton Avenue South, about two miles from its airstream cake shop. (Its chocolate salted caramel cake is to die for.) Also in Georgetown, a new donut-and-soft-serve ice cream spot, Seattle Freeze from Darren McGill and Kryse Martin-McGill who also run Central District Ice Cream Company, Nate’s Wings and Waffles and Happy Grillmore.
On the barbecue front: Meaty Johnson’s takes over the Capitol Hill corner spot on Minor and Pine Street, hawking brisket, pulled pork, St. Louis ribs, chicken and sausages. The BBQ joint is open for lunch Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., though it has been selling out as early as 1 p.m. Pitmaster Zac Johnson will expand to dinner hours at some point in July. Quietly, Wood Shop BBQ, home to one of the city’s best Texas-style briskets, has set up shop in Lower Queen Anne, by the shack Citizen. (Though it might just be temporary. No final decision yet.) This comes after it expanded with a trailer in Georgetown a few months ago. (Have we mentioned how hot G’town is these days?)
Katsu Burger, one of the surprise hits on Capitol Hill in ’17, hopes to duplicate that success in another barhopping neighborhood, Ballard. It’s been in hush-hush, soft-opening mode, but fans have been coming sooner than its planned July 1 grand opening hoopla. At its Ballard branch only, Katsu serves bento boxes with sushi, spicy tuna, California rolls and burger sliders. Its bar focuses on Japanese-inspired cocktails and whiskey. Hours are currently limited — dinner on weekdays, and lunch and dinner on weekends until July. Call ahead; hours are erratic until official launch date.
If you can’t wait for that Katsu Burger, there’s Crown Hill Broiler, which has one page devoted just to burgers (various toppings from fried egg to pineapple) — served on brioche bun. Or check out the burger-and-shake chain Lunchbox Laboratory, which replaces Greenlake Bar and Grill. (And you know about our Burger Battle Royale, right? Vote for the best burger here.)
Also in soft-opening mode, Kin.dee, hawking Thai street-style food in Madison Valley.
Just in time for summer, Miri’s shack opened on Golden Garden beach with slushy drinks, ice cream and root beer floats. Kebabs, along with daily specials such as hot dogs and baby back ribs, are available for lunch.
Marseille, a wine bar and bottle shop in Melrose Market (with lots of trendy natural wines), also serves Eurocentric plates (white anchovies, beans and veggies) in the $8-$14 range.
After two years of hype, Vine & Spoon, an upscale New American cuisine bistro, opened in West Seattle, complete with an 18-seat bar and garden patio. It’s from the investors behind the cocktail bars Alchemy, located near Vine & Spoon, and By The Pound on Capitol Hill. Hopefully Vine & Spoon will fare better. (Both bars have struggled to find their footing in the Seattle craft-cocktail scene.)
On the Asian takeout, banh mi, bubble tea and dessert front: Mr. Saigon, a swanky banh-mi shop where you see fresh baguettes come out of the oven, is now open for business, across from Seattle University. Its $5.50 per banh mi, but that’s just to entice you to get the special: five subs for $20.
Greenlake also got a bubble tea spot in Blank Space Café.
Hot Pot King opened in Chinatown-International District.
Palmi Korean Cuisine and Teriyaki in Fremont specializes in bibimbap, bulgogi and teriyaki.
Around Queen Anne: Koku Café + Market has Japanese and Asian-fusion rice bowls and panini. Also, check out its retail section — whiskey-barrel-aged-fish sauce, double-brewed soy sauce and other organic and exotic Asian ingredients. Nearby, El Diablo Coffee didn’t move far, same block from its old haunt. There’s an expanded Latin snack menu. It’s scheduled to reopen on July 1. (In related news, in north Queen Anne, the new owners behind Byen Bakeri, aren’t changing the Scandinavian pastry-menu, a spokeswoman said.)
On the food-truck front, Seoul Bowl has Korean barbecue and sandwiches, Sunny Up does egg sandwiches and Bella M’Briana offers Italian comfort food and pasta. But the big truck opening this year, Kukree, comes from a New York City chef who appeared on the Food Network, Aarthi Sampath. (At noon, its lunch line is madness at Westlake Park. Kukree’s line is more manageable when it’s parked near the Amazon campus. And there’s not much of a wait when it’s parked on the Eastside.)
Tom Douglas’ first venture outside Seattle is called Department Bento at Bellevue Square, where customers pick combos of seafood, tofu or other proteins along with rice balls and veggies. There are Japanese beers and sake slushies on tap. Department Bento is located inside Nordstrom.
Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi scored prime real estate on the 31st floor of Lincoln Square South Tower with a panoramic view of Lake Washington and the Cascades. Nearby, Capitol One Café opened in Lincoln Square.
FogRose in the Soma Tower North makes liquid nitrogen ice cream and sorbets, a big hit so far.
Have you been to Lake Hills Village in Bellevue? It’s becoming quite the hub for Asian grub. Shabu Shabu Kyoto is the latest in this mixed-use development, next to two other giants in the Asian restaurant scene: HardWok Café and Little Ting’s Dumplings. (Little Ting’s, which was focused just on clay pots on the Eastside, now has its full dumpling menu ready to go.)
In Issaquah, the Santa-Barbara-chargrilled chain Habit Burger Grill has arrived. Ballard, your Habit branch is coming soon.
Wait, there’s more…
In the North End, MAR.KET, branded as a “fishmonger & eatery,” opened in downtown Edmonds. Grab fish tacos from its service window along Main Street or use one of the nine counter seats inside. There’s lobster rolls and fish and chips. And beer and wine to wash them all down. (You can also sample MAR.KET’s grub at PROOF: The Washington Distillers Festival in Fremont, which showcases all the craft gin- and whiskey-makers around the state. It’s one of the best booze fests in Seattle.)
Whew. Now I’m famished. Let’s eat.