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SEATTLE TIMES Restaurant critic Providence Cicero picks the Top 10 New Restaurants (and then some) reviewed in the past 12 months.

The Old Sage

It’s been clear since they opened Spur that chefs Brian McCracken and Dana Tough have more than a little mad scientist in them. At this 21st century Capitol Hill saloon, the smoke gets in your thighs — your chicken thighs, that is; also in your duck wings, pork cheeks, a salad of amaranths, even cocktails, often mixed with scotch or mezcal. It gets a little geeky, but it’s very often brilliant. (1410 12th Ave., Seattle;

Westward & Little Gull Grocery

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This stylishly nautical restaurant, oyster bar and mercantile on Lake Union’s north shore is designed like a beach house, complete with Adirondack chairs circling a fire pit. Inside, Chef Zoi Antonitsas, inspired by her Greek roots, braises gigante beans and lamb shoulder, simmers fragrant seafood stews, and roasts whole fish in a wood-fired oven, summoning warmth and sunshine on even the dreariest Northwest day. (2501 N. Northlake Way, Seattle;


In a Tangletown space as abbreviated as its name, Ethan Stowell’s Mkt. showcases the big talent of Chef Joe Ritchie. Imagine grilled green beans dressed with lemon and salt; roasted beets served with their oven-crisped greens; hazelnuts and Castelvetrano olives made into pesto; Muscovy duck breast crusted with coriander, rosemary and peppercorn and ethereal sweet potato gnocchi brought to earth by matsutake mushrooms and chanterelles. (2108 N. 55th St., Seattle;

Le Petit Cochon

As the name suggests, pork rules at Derek Ronspies’ treetop hideaway in the heart of Fremont. His “Phat Ass Pork Chop” became an instant icon. But whatever the animal, Ronspies uses it all, which might mean encountering deep-fried duck feet or pig snout hum bao on a menu as audacious as it is delicious. (701 N. 36th St., Suite 200, Seattle;

Restaurant Roux

At Matt Lewis’ rollicking Creole-inspired Fremont eatery, brunch brings beignets bombarded with powdered sugar, pancakes light as eiderdown, and fried chicken and waffles with ham hock flavoring the maple syrup. Dinner rocks with jalapeño-cheddar hush puppies, horseradish-y deviled eggs, big fried oysters and a mighty jambalaya. With potent libations poured day and night, your good time is guaranteed. (4201 Fremont Ave. N., Seattle; )

Brimmer & Heeltap

Perhaps because she lives there and he grew up there, Jen Doak and Mike Whisenhunt could imagine just the sort of eclectic, effervescent bistro and pub that would suit Ballard and its environs. Whisenhunt’s years at Joule and Revel show in his fondness for pickling and the adroit manipulation of heat, salt and sweet on his short, seasonal menu. 425 N.W. Market St., Seattle;


Chrystal chandeliers and white leather booths. Marble, mirrors and mahogany sideboards. Thierry Rautureau’s lively Loulay brings glitz and glam to downtown’s restaurant scene, yet there is nothing pretentious about it. Sure there’s caviar, foie gras and French Champagne, but also superlative roast chicken, a burger of distinction and local wines on tap. (600 Union St., Seattle;


Linda Derschang’s latest restaurant fits East Capitol Hill as comfortably as yoga pants. The sophisticated Midcentury Modern décor feels timeless. Brunch slouches toward decadence, but Chef Walter Edward’s dinner menu has an alluring wholesomeness: so many vegetables used in so many tantalizing ways. 550 19th Ave. E., Seattle;

The London Plane

Bar Sajor’s Matt Dillon continued his conquest of Occidental Park, partnering with Katherine Anderson of Marigold and Mint to conjure this food-lovers’ fantasia. Go in the morning for voluptuous pastries, astonishing bread, buttery eggs and bowls of creamy, house-made yogurt. Midday, enjoy opulent salads and simply prepared meat and seafood. Themed dinners (chicken, pasta, fish, couscous) began this fall, three courses, $69 for two. It just keeps getting better. (300 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle;

Brunswick & Hunt

Two brothers hunt for a home for an antique Brunswick bar. That’s the genesis of this easygoing Ballard eatery. Here are several reasons to drop by: fried chicken drizzled with honey, roasted beets with blue cheese and cashews, blistered green beans with garlic and grapefruit, frozen S’more pie, and The Huntsman, a cocktail deserving of its perch on a gorgeous, century-old bar. (1480 N.W. 70th St., Seattle;

Providence Cicero is The Seattle Times restaurant critic.