Food & Wine confers an honor on a great Seattle chef, the Lost Lake/Comet/etc. guys take over the Kingfish space, $15 gets started and more.

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ZOI ANTONITSAS of Westward is a brand-new Food & Wine Best New Chef, an honor she has definitely earned at the magical spot on Lake Union. She expressed her gratitude via Facebook to “all of my friends and family who have supported me throughout the years of 80-hour work weeks, burns, too many drinks, tears, laughter, etc.” (I asked her if maybe she’ll be departing Huxley Wallace to start her own place, which would stand to reason, but haven’t heard back. Hopefully she’s busy sipping champagne.) MORE>>>

THE KINGFISH CAFE space has been leased by Capitol Hill entrepreneurs Jason LaJeunesse, David Meinert and Joey Burgess (who also run Lost Lake, the Comet, Big Mario’s and Grim’s and the 5 Point). The name-TBA place will be “family-friendly” Italian with a bar. Kingfish fans: Leslie Coaston tells me that they’re actively scouting for the perfect spot for their first takeout spot. MORE>>>

SEATTLE’S MINIMUM WAGE took its first step up to $10 ($11 for chains) yesterday. Restaurateurs are adjusting in various ways to “make this work” (notably Ivar’s, which is going tip-free at its Salmon House, and Tom Douglas, who’s adding a 2 percent surcharge). One worker (at least) is going off food stamps. People like Dave Meinert are opening new restaurants (see above). And the sky does not appear to be falling. MORE>>>

CHICK-FIL-A opens in Bellevue next Thursday, April 9, at “about 6 a.m.” Hordes are guaranteed by the company’s standard opening-day promotion in which the first 100 people get free Chick-fil-A for a year. The Bellevue Chick-fil-A is at 785 116th Avenue NE, at Northeast 8th Street; two more Washington outlets will follow, in Tacoma and Lynnwood, scheduled for April 16 and 23. MORE>>>

CAFE JUANITA, the Kirkland classic for Italian fine dining run by decorated chef Holly Smith, is staying in its temporary Seattle home for a while longer, possibly through June. For those just tuning in, Juanita’s in temporary residence at the old Lark spot near Seattle University while the Kirkland location gets a remodel. MORE>>>

APRIL FOOLS’ happened, and I had my first-ever bloomin’ onion at Derschangigan’s, and it was good. (But the total joy of the staff impersonating the insanely chipper workers at a mall-style chain was even better.) MORE>>>

LOCAL ASPARAGUS and rhubarb are coming any second now, nice and early because of the warm weather (thanks, climate change!?). This exciting fact is brought to you by some great chefs who recently did some great stuff for the great Food Lifeline. MORE>>>

LOCAL MUSHROOM-hunters, prepare for a banner spring! MORE>>>

THE WASABI you’ve been eating — that neon-green, sinus-searing blob that comes with your sushi — isn’t wasabi at all. You should try the real thing! MORE>>>


CAMPFIRE BBQ has found a home at lunchtime on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at Downtown Spirits (which, by the way, has a lovely wine selection). The very cute log-cabin truck reportedly turns out some very fine barbecue (and was paid for, in part, by the trading of an antique shotgun). MORE>>>

BLUE MOON BURGERS now has an outlet on Alki, and it’s in a prime spot for summertime beer-drinking and water-gazing. Between this and the newly opened Top Pot, West Seattle’s pretty happy local-chain-wise right about now. MORE>>>


SPAGHETTI WESTERN on Capitol Hill has closed. The second incarnation of the highly praised La Bête was a pasta-and-barbecue place, and it lasted only four months. Owner Aleks Dimitrijevich said on Facebook, “five years of exhausting work… will suffice as reason enough.” MORE>>>


EAT DESSERT tomorrow at a Matt Dillon restaurant to help out Willows Inn general manager Raquel Ruiz Diaz in a time of serious trouble. MORE>>>

HOP SCOTCH Spring Beer and Scotch Festival, Passover dinners at Golden Beetle and MORE>>>