National restaurant critic Bill Addison has named his new list of 38 essential spots — and the Seattle area scored two seats at the exclusive table.
After criss-crossing the United States all year long, eating and eating and eating, Eater restaurant critic Bill Addison has named his new list of America’s Essential Restaurants — the 38 places that, in an ideal world, we’d all get to try.
Newly named to the prestigious group is Bateau, the Capitol Hill steakhouse from Seattle chef Renee Erickson. There, Erickson serves local, sustainable beef — some of it raised on her own Whidbey Island farm — in a lovely, unstuffy setting (with an incredible hamburger, too). Last year, Bateau earned a very rare four-star review here in The Seattle Times; Addison calls it “a steakhouse that should change the way America thinks about one of its most codified dining experiences.” And also last year, Renee Erickson earned the honor of a James Beard award.
Returning from last year’s list is the renowned Willows Inn on Lummi Island, from James Beard award-winning chef Blaine Wetzel. (Following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor earlier this year, The Willows Inn agreed to pay workers $149K for wage and overtime violations. The restaurant then discontinued its “stage” apprenticeship program. Wetzel discussed the matter with Eater in an interview, saying, “It’s unfortunate that the verbiage that was used describing the situation made it seem as if we were underpaying staff, and kind of abusing someone who came to learn. But both are not the case.”)
The Eater list contains 18 newcomers including, on the West Coast, Cala and Mister Jiu’s in San Francisco; and Mariscos Jalisco, n/naka, and Republique in Los Angeles. Portland’s Kachka stays on from last year. See the whole list here. Congrats to all!