Sunday, February 19, 2012

LocalEats announces list of best Seattle restaurants for 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

El Gaucho Steakhouse Set for Bellevue

IN THE NEWS: After years of effort, father and son restaurateurs Paul and Chad Mackay have finally secured a spot for an El Gaucho steakhouse in downtown Bellevue, The Puget Sound Business Journal reports. The Mackays secured space at the City Center Plaza building late last month. The office tower is now under construction on the southwest corner of Northeast Sixth Street and 110th Avenue Northeast. ... Seattle Weekly's Jonathan Kauffman reviews Julia's Indonesian Kitchen (910 N.E. 65th St., 522-5528,, while Mike Seely considers Alki Tavern (1321 Harbor Ave., 932-9970), Chris Cornelis visits Fritz European Fry House (Bremerton Harborside), and Adriana Grant stops by Stumptown Coffee Roasters ( 1115 12th Avenue). ... The Stranger's Chris McCann reviews Jhanjay Vegetarian Thai (1718 N 45th St, Seattle, 206-632-1484), while Marti Jonjak hits happy hour at Del Rey (2332 First Avenue, Seattle, 206-770-3228). ...

The Seattle Times's Providence Cicero gives two and a half stars to Taste Restaurant (Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., Seattle; 206-903-5291. and also visits Miro Tea (5405 Ballard Ave. N.W., Seattle; 206-782-6832, ... Karen Gaudette notes: the opening of The Frontier Café (corner of Third Avenue and Cherry Street, 206-340-4401) . ... Stix Billiards & Brewhouse now is Stix Pizza & Brewing Co (1001 Fairview Ave. N., Ste. 2000, Seattle, 206-749-9088, ... The P-I's Leslie Kelly reviews Latona Pub (206-525-2238, 6423 Latona Ave. N.E.,, while Kristin Dizon considers Vietnamese spot Five Seasons Grill (9724 Aurora Ave. N., 206-522-5550) and Victrola Cafe & Roastery (310 E. Pike St., 206-624-172, ... Kelly notes Pick Quick Drive-In (4306 Pacific Highway E. in Fife), Stan's on 828 Rainier Avenue South, and XXX Root Beer Drive-In out Issaquah way (98 N.E. Gilman Blvd.)

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Longtime Russian Restaurant Owner Dies

IN THE NEWS: The PI's Rebekah Denn gives three stars in reviewing Restaurant Zoe (206-256-2060, 2137 Second Ave.,, while Leslie Kelly visits Blue Dog Kitchen (5247 University Way N.E., 206-632-5132), hits mom-and-pop burger stands, including By's (east of Starbucks central on Fourth Avenue South), Ranch Drive-In (18218 Bothell Way N.E.), and Zesto's in Ballard (6416 15th Ave. N.W.). ... Levi Pulkkinen writes the obituary for Lydia Venichenko Ballard, 76, longtime owner of the former Kaleenka, a Russian restaurant that operated for 25 years near the corner of First Avenue and Virginia Street in downtown Seattle, who died in August. The restaurant closed in 2000. ... The Stranger's Bethany Jean Clement has the dollar tacos at Alki Tavern (1321 Harbor Ave SW, Seattle 206-932-9970) and notes the late-fall opening of chef Matthew Dillon (Sitka & Spruce)'s new restaurant The Corson Building (5609 Corson Ave). ... Blogger Bay Area Bites visits Top Pot Doughnuts (2124 5th Avenue, Seattle, 206-728-1966). ... Seattle Times' Providence Cicero reviews Café Presse (1117 12th Ave., Seattle, 206-709-7674,, while Nicole Tsong visits Boulangerie Nantaise (2507 Fourth Ave., Seattle; 206-728-1874, ... visits Entre Nous (216 Stewart St., 206-905-1633), Le Petit Organic Café (2229 5th Ave. 206-441-3845), and Caffe Fiore (3125 NW 85th St). ... Seattle Weekly's Jonathan Kauffman gobbles goat at area eateries Lola (2000 Fourth Ave., 441-1430,, Rosticeria y Cocina el Paisano (9615 15th Ave. S.W., 763-0368) and Kokiri (32703 Pacific Hwy. S., 253-838-4288). ...

Zagat Buzz reports that to celebrate its 20th anniversary, the James Beard Foundation is hosting a series of food festivals and special dinners in 20 cities nationwide. The events kick off on September 18th in New York with a lavish menu inspired by Beard at Four Seasons. The celebrations continue the next week with elaborate dinners cooked by first-rate toques in Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Short Hills, NJ and Washington, DC. All of the events are unique, with different chef lineups and dining formats ranging from gala dinners to walk-around tastings, so check the individual city pages for details. Though prices for the dinners vary, all of them will be followed up on September 29th with special events at local Williams-Sonoma stores where chefs will be offering cooking demos, book signings, specialty food tastings and kids' educational activities free of charge. For more information about the event, logon to

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Openings Include How to Cook a Wolf

IN THE NEWS: The PI's Leslie Kelly awards three and a half stars in reviewing Lark (206-323-5275, 926 12th Ave.,, while Kristin Dizon's Cheap Eats considers Elliott Bay Pizza Co. (2115 Queen Anne Ave. N., 206-285-0500). ... Kelly reports the expected October opening of How to Cook a Wolf (at the top of Queen Anne Hill) notes the openings of Tidbit (in the former XO Bistro at 2359 10th Ave. E.), Cafe Sweet Posie (2315 N.W. Market St.) and Linda Derschang's latest, Smith (332 15th Ave. E.). ... Leslie Kelly blogs that Lisa Nakamura has left the downtown Asian fusion restaurant Qube, and sous chef Joseph Conrad has stepped into the lead role in the kitchen. ... The Seattle Times' Nancy Leson gives one and a half stars to Daily Grill (629 Pike St., Seattle; 206-624-8400,, while Providence Cicero considers Shultzy's Bar & Grill (4114 University Way N.E., Seattle; 206-548-9461, ... Seattle Weekly's Jonathan Kauffman reviews the new Café Presse (1117 12th Ave., 709-7674,, while Mike Seely goes off in search of Philly cheesesteak sandwiches and finds them at Elo's Phily Grill (3431 Airport Way. S., 467-8989), Philadelphia Fevre (2332 E. Madison St., 323-1000,, and Philadelphia Cheese Steak (1400 23rd Ave. E., 328-0500). ... The Stranger's Angela Garbas reviews Oceanaire Seafood Room (1700 Seventh Ave, Seattle, 206-267-2277). ... notes the closing of Daly's Drive-In in Eastlake.

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Peet's Coffee Founder Alfred Peet Dies

IN THE NEWS: The Oregonian reports that Alfred Peet, founder of Peet's Coffee & Tea -- the predecessor and inspiration for Seattle-based Starbucks -- died Aug. 29 at his Ashland, Ore. home at age 87. Peet opened the original Peet's store on the corner of Walnut and Vine in Berkeley, Calif. in 1966, and eventually added shops in Menlo Park, in Oakland and another in Berkeley across from the Claremont Hotel. Although he retired in 1983, Peet never fully gave up his passion in coffee. He continued to consult with coffee companies and was often known to drop by coffee stores and taste samples of coffee beans with its proprietors, his company said in a statement. ... Seattle Weekly's Jonathan Kauffman does wine and tacos in the Yakima Valley, while John Metcalfe considers Saito's Japanese Cafe & Bar (2120 Second Ave., 728-1333, and Chris Kornelis blogs about a breakfast visit to Mitchelli's Restaurant (84 Yesler Way, Pioneer Square). ... The Seattle Times' Marc Ramirez features the Shanty Cafe, while Providence Cicero gives three stars in reviewing the Queen City Grill (2201 First Ave., Seattle; 206-443-0975, and also visits Columbia City Bakery (4865 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle; 206-723-6023). ... The PI's Leslie Kelly reviews King Falafel Grill (8102 Greenwood Ave., 206-783-1445) and Matt's in the Market (206-467-7909, 94 Pike St., Suite 32, and notes Angie Roberts (Flying Fish) has been named executive chef at BOKA (1010 First Ave.). ... The Stranger's Paul Constant reviews Da Pino (4225 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, 206-356-8502), while Bethany Jean Clement considers Tap House Grill (1506 Sixth Ave, Seattle, 206-816-3314).

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Pike Street's 1200 Bistro Shutters Doors

IN THE NEWS: The Seattle Times' Ellen Banner reports on the Aug. 2 closing -- for an ownership and management change, and for at least a month -- of 1200 Bistro (1200 E. Pike St.) while Leson gives two and a half stars in reviewing Marcello Ristorante (7115 Roosevelt Way N.E., Seattle. 206-527-4778, and Providence Cicero visits Snoqualmie Gourmet Ice Cream (21106 86th Ave. S.E., Maltby; 360-668-8535, ... The PI's Kristin Dizon reviews Volunteer Park Cafe & Marketplace (206-328-3155, 1501 17th Ave. E., and Rancho Bravo Tacos (211 N.E. 45th St.). ... Seattle Weekly's Jonathan Kauffman reviews Tibet First (4741 12th Ave. N.E., 525-5784), while Chris Kornelis visits Shuckers (411 University St., Fairmont Olympic Hotel, 621-1984), and Mike Seely considers Ecola Seafood Restaurant & Market (208 N. Spruce, 503-436-9130, Cannon Beach, Ore.) ... The Stranger's Bethany Jean Clement stops by Sake Nomi (76 S Washington Street, Seattle, 206-467-SAKE).

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Reviewers Rate Opal, Matt's in the Market

IN THE NEWS: Seattle Weekly's Jonathan Kauffman reviews Opal (2 Boston St.,, while Maggie Dutton considers Silver City Restaurant & Brewery (2799 N.W. Myhre Rd.,, Chris Kornelis blogs about a visit to Frontier Room (2203 First Ave., Belltown, and John Metcalfe blogs about a visit to Saito Japanese Cafe & Bar (2120 2nd Ave.). ... Mike Seely reports the closing of Flynn's Cafe. ... The Seattle Times' Nancy Leson gives two and a half stars to Matt's in the Market (94 Pike St., No. 32,, while Leigh Haddix considers Jhanjay Vegetarian Thai Cuisine (1718 N. 45th St., Seattle). ... The PI's Leslie Kelly awards two stars in reviewing Cafe Presse (1117 12th Ave.,, while Lisa Stiffler considers Kokoras Greek Grill (6400 1/2 California Ave. S.W.) and Kristin Dizon visits JaK's Grill (4548 California Ave. S.W.). ... reviews Crazyberry (131 Broadway Ave E., Seattle). ... reviews 35th Street Bistro (709 N. 35th St.), and Elysian Tangletown (2106 N 55th St., Seattle).

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Monday, August 13, 2007

'Bon Appetit' Features Seattle's Cremant

Bon Appetit magazine's September 2007 Restaurant issue features three finalists in a list of quintessential versions of six American classics: pizza, steak, tacos, hamburgers, fried chicken, and ribs. Winner will be announced on the Food Network on Aug. 18 (Good Eats with Alton Brown, 6 and 10 pm CDT). The finalists:

PIZZA: Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix; DiFara Pizza, Brooklyn, NY; Pizzeria Mozza, Los Angeles
STEAK: Peter Luger Steak House, Brooklyn; Cut, Los Angeles; Doe's Eat Place, Greenville, Miss.
TACOS: Taco Taco Cafe, San Antonio; Taqueria del Sol, Atlanta; South Beach Bar & Grill, Ocean Beach, Calif.
Hamburgers: Bobcate Bite, Santa Fe, NM; Taylor's Automatic Refresher, St. Helena, Calif; The Meers Store and Restaurant, Lawton, Okla.
FRIED CHICKEN: Willie Mae's Scotch House, New Orleans; Price's Chicken Coop, Charlotte, NC; Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tenn.
RIBS: Charles Vergos Rendezvous, Memphis; 17th Street Bar & Grill, Murphysboro, Ill; Jaspers, Plano, Texas.

The magazine also features favorite restaurant recipes, including: Lucia's in Minneapolis-St. Paul; Eve in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Dali Restaurant & Tapas Bar in Somerville, Mass.; Binkley's Restaurant in Cave Creek, Ariz.; Kelly Liken Restaurant in Vail, Colo; Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles; and Park Kitchen in Portland, Ore. ... And the mag also features 12 small restaurants and their recipes, including: The Little Owl, New York City; The Good Fork, Brooklyn; La Laiterie at Farmstead, Providence, RI; Cremant, Seattle; Bonne Soiree, Chapel Hill, N.C.; Hatfield's, Los Angeles; Canteen, San Francisco; Revolver, Findlay, Ohio; Le Pigeon, Portland, Ore; and Komi, Washington, DC.

IN THE NEWS: Gretchen Mathers, an operating partner with Schwartz Brothers Restaurants and founder of restaurant chain Gretchen's of Course, died Aug. 7 in Seattle at age 66 after an ongoing struggle with cancer, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports. ... The Seattle Times' Nancy Leson gives two and a half stars to Yama at the Galleria (Bellevue Galleria, 550 106th Ave. N.E.;, while Providence Cicero considers Don Chuy Latin Cuisine (19725 40th Ave. W., Lynnwood; ... Leson notes the recent openings of The Local Vine (2520 Second Ave., No. 113, Seattle;, and Julia's (1825 Queen Anne Ave. N.), the elimination of lunch at Betty (1507 Queen Anne Ave. N.), the closing of Ebb n' Flow (2114 N. 45th St.), and the possible closing of troubled The Wellington, in Columbia City (4869 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, ... The PI's Leslie Kelly gives two stars to Opal (2 Boston St., and visits Pecos Pit (2260 First Ave. S.), Stell's (3310 Third Ave. W.), and The Crumpet Shop (1503 First Ave.). ... Seattle Weekly's Sean Ludwig visits Scoop Du Jour (4029 E. Madison St.), while Brad Hole blogs a visit to Palermo Gourmet Pizza (2005 NW Market Street,Ballard). ... stops by Latona Pub (6423 Latona Ave. NE, Seattle) and Szechuan Noodle Bowl in the International District.

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Critics Weigh In On Spazzo, Marjorie

IN THE NEWS: The Seattle Times' Providence Cicero gives two and a half stars to Spazzo Italian Grill & Wine Bar (16499 N.E. 74th St., Redmond Town Center;, while Nicole Tsong considers Hiroki Desserts (2224 N. 56th St., Seattle). ... The PI's Leslie Kelly gives two and a half stars to Marjorie (2331 Second Ave.,, while Kristin Dizon visits Dish D'Lish (5136 Ballard Ave. N.W., ... The Puget Sound Business Journal profiles Canlis Restaurant's executive chef Aaron Wright. ... Seattle Weekly's Jonathan Kauffman reviews Somali eateries Marwa Restaurant (15035 Pacific Hwy. S.) and Salaama Restaurant (13820 Tukwila International Blvd.), while the paper blogs about visits to Georgetown Truck Stop (5327 Denver Ave. S.) and Grinders (19811 Aurora Avenue North, Shoreline). ... The Stranger's Angela Garbes reviews the Japanese eateries Kisaku (2101 N 55th St, Seattle) and Vi Bacchus (1401 Broadway, Seattle). ... visits Sitka & Spruce (2238 Eastlake Ave. E., Seattle).

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Cheesecake Factory Set for Westfield Mall

IN THE NEWS: The Seattle Times' Nancy Leson awards two and a half stars in her review of Elliott Bay Brewhouse & Pub and Elliott Bay Brewery & Pub (255 S.W. 152nd St., Burien;, and 4720 California Ave. S.W., Seattle;, while Leigh Haddix considers Calamity Jane's (5701 Airport Way S., Seattle). ... The paper reports The Cheesecake Factory ( soon will be serving its namesake desserts at Westfield Shoppingtown Southcenter. The restaurant is scheduled to open in late fall and is part of a more than $220 million mall expansion. ... The PI's Kristin Dizon reviews Betty (1507 Queen Anne Ave. N.), while Claudia Rowe considers Gorgeous George's Mediterranean Kitchen (7719 Greenwood Ave. N.), and the paper also notes 21 Acres' Dinner on the Farm at 21 Acres near Woodinville ( ... Seattle Weekly's Jonathan Kauffman stops by Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe (4757 12th Ave. N.E.,, Tango Restaurant (1100 Pike St.,, Cafe Presse (1117 12th Ave.,, and Old Village Korean Restaurant (15200 Aurora Ave. N., Shoreline), and also blogs a visit to Filiberto’s Italian Restaurant (14401 Des Moines Memorial Dr., Burien). ... The Stranger's Erica Barnett goes out in search of Frito Pie and finds some at Smarty Pants in Georgetown (6017 Airport Way S).

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

County Bans Trans-Fat at Chain Eateries

IN THE NEWS: The Seattle Times' Carol Ostrom reports, "Despite objections from restaurant owners and food-industry officials, the King County Board of Health on July 19 banned artificial trans fat and required nutrition labeling for menu items in chain restaurants." ... Nancy Leson gives three stars to Betty (1507 Queen Anne Ave. N., Seattle), while Providence Cicero visits Kokoras Greek Grill (6400 ½ California Ave. S.W., West Seattle; ... The PI's Leslie Kelly's Cheap Eats visits Uli's Famous Sausage (1511 Pike Place Market, ... Seattle Weekly's Jonathan Kauffman reviews the not-so-underground restaurants VagabondMeal ( to join the mailing list) and One Pot Meal ( .. The $13 column visits Ballard Sunday Farmers Market. ... Mike Seely stops by Chelan Cafe (3527 Chelan Ave.), while Maggie Dutton considers Seattle's Best Tea (506 S. King St.) and blogs Shoofly Pie Company (4444 California Ave. SW.) ... The Stranger's Bethany Jean Clement reviews Matt's in the Market (94 Pike St, Seattle) and Taste (1300 First Ave, Seattle).

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Monday, July 16, 2007

'Bon Appetit''s Top Tables Features Brasa

The August 2007 Bon Appetit magazine's Top Tables feature includes: Seattle's Brasa (2107 Third Avenue,; Boulder, Co.'s The Kitchen (1039 Pearl St.,; Brenham, Texas' The Inn at Dos Brisas (9400 Champion Drive,; Kansas City's Bluestem (900 Westport Road,; Chicago's Crust (2056 W. Division St.); Atlanta's The Farmhouse (10950 Hutcheson Ferry Road, Palmetto,; and San Francisco's Plumpjack Cafe (3127 Fillmore St.,

IN THE NEWS: The Seattle Times' Nancy Leson gives three stars to Ray's Boathouse (6049 Seaview Ave. N.W., Seattle, and notes the opening of The Local Vine wine bar (2520 Second Ave., No. 113, Seattle,, whose consulting chef is consulting chef is Jason Wilson of Crush. ... Leson also reports: Julia's, famous for its breakfasts and carrot cake, made its belated Queen Anne Hill debut in mid-June (at 1825 Queen Anne Ave. N., ... Betty (1507 Queen Anne Ave. N.) already has eliminated lunch ... Ebb n' Flow (2114 N. 45th St.), previously known as Jitterbug and long-loved as the Beeliner Diner, has closed ... Faltering The Wellington, in Columbia City (4869 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, is on the sales block. ... The PI's Leslie Kelly reviews SAM (1300 First Ave., Seattle Art Museum, and notes the closings of Ovio Bistro in West Seattle, Dandelion in Ballard, Honda Teriyaki in Bellevue, and Green Papaya on Capitol Hill. ... Kristin Dizon visits Geneve Cafe (4459 Fremont Ave. N), while Lisa Stiffler stops by Flame Burgers (2123 Queen Anne Ave N.). ... Seattle Weekly's Jonathan Kauffman reviews TASTE Restaurant (Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave.,, while the 13 Dollars column visits Canalis (2576 Aurora Ave. N.). ... The Stranger's Angela Garbes reviews Geraldine's Counter (4872 Rainier Ave S, Seattle). ... The Puget Sound Business Journal reports, "When a small Vashon Island eatery lost its contract to supply food on state ferry boats last December, it also lost two-thirds of its revenue. Five months later, Sound Food Cafe closed its doors for good, ending more than three decades in operation. Now, Sound Food owners Bill Dorn and Norm Vork have filed breach of contract and misrepresentation claims against Washington State Ferries."

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Chef Nockold's Bistro Dandelion Wilts

IN THE NEWS: The Seattle Times' Nancy Leson reports: Dandelion (5809 24th Ave. N.W.), the beloved Ballard bistro that was the longtime dream of chef Carol Nockold, was to close July 8, says owner Connie Palmore, who co-founded the sunny little cafe with Nockold in 2004. She expects to turn the keys over to new owner Jeff Birkner mid-July, and says that Birkner plans to reopen as an upscale Tex-Mex cafe and bar; Via Tribunali made its long-awaited Queen Anne debut late last month (at 317 W. Galer St., Seattle), six months later than expected. ... Karen Gaudette reports Mark Randolph has taken over as executive chef at Seattle's Palisade (, armed with 15 years of experience in the culinary industry. ... Providence Cicero gives three stars to Made In Kitchen (701 Eighth Ave. S., Seattle; and stops by The Stone House Cafe (16244 Cleveland St., Redmond). ... The Stranger's Bethany Jean Clement reviews Daily Grill (629 Pike St), while Angela Garbes rates Oliver's Twist (6822 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle). ... Seattle Weekly's Jonathan Kauffman reviews Betty Bar & Restaurant (1507 Queen Anne Ave. N.), while Maggie Dutton considers Tap House Grill (1506 Sixth Ave.,, Mike Seely stops by Dennis' Snacks (516 Third Ave., King County Courthouse, Pioneer Square) and Courthouse Cafe (700 Stewart St., Federal Courthouse, and 13 Dollars visits Dahlia Bakery. ... John Metcalfe blogs about Grillside (605 15th Ave. E), while Jess Thomson notes the July 7 opening of Julia's Indonesian Kitchen (910 N.E. 65th St.). ... visits Crave & The Baguette Box.

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Kurrent to Take Over Green Papaya Spot

IN THE NEWS: The Seattle Times' Providence Cicero awards two and a half stars in her review of Volunteer Park Cafe & Marketplace (1501 17th Ave. E., Seattle,, while Tan Vinh considers Salvadoran spot Mi Chalateca (9710 Aurora Ave. N., Seattle). ... The paper reports the scheduled July 21 opening of Kurrent Restaurant and Ice Bar (600 E. Pine St., The new Capitol Hill eatery is taking over The Green Papaya's spot along the Pike/Pine corridor and will feature a 50-foot ice bar, live DJs after dark and a seafood-heavy menu for lunch and dinner and late-night bites, with flavors from around the globe crafted by executive chef Matt Baer (formerly of Marco's Supperclub, Salty's on Alki Beach, Seattle's World Trade Center and Bell Harbor Conference Center). ... The PI's Kristin Dizon reviews T & T Seafood Restaurant (22511 Highway 99, Edmonds), while Kristen Bolt considers Columbia City's Verve. ... Leslie Kelly notes the upcoming openings of: Heathman of Portland is opening a new hotel this summer in Kirkland, its signature restaurant Trellis to be helmed by Brian Scheehser, formerly of the Hunt Club; The Local Vine (2520 Second Ave.) on July 5, featuring more than 80 wines by the glass and a menu developed with input from Jason Wilson of Crush; Stumptown Coffee Roasters from Portland's Seattle cafe/coffeehouse in late August. She also notes the recent openings of: Via Tribunali on Queen Anne, Jimmy's on First (1046 First Ave. S), Bimbo's Cantina (1013 E. Pike St.), Mae Ploy Thai (6421 15th Ave. N.W.), Calamity Jane's (5701 Airport Way S.), The Daily Grill (at 629 Pike St.), Pho Tai (1216 E. Pine St.) and the much-delayed reopening of Matt's in the Market (94 Pike St # 32). ... Seattle Weekly's Jonathan Kauffman reviews veggie Thai joints In the Bowl Vegetarian Noodle House (1554 E. Olive Way) and Jhanjay Vegetarian Thai Cuisine (1718 N. 45th St.), while the 13 Dollars column considers Cream Cheese Bagels & Sausages (corner of First and Washington), and Jess Thomson's Happy Hour drops by Barking Dog (705 N.W. 70th St.). ... Chris Kornelis blogs about eating the Alder-Planked Alaskan Salmon at The Brooklyn (1212 Second Ave.), while Kauffman blogs about dining at Rocking Wok Taiwanese Cuisine (4301 Interlake Ave N.), and Adriana Grant notes the June 27 opening of Saké Nomi (First Ave. and South Main Street). ... The Stranger's Bethany Jean Clement reviews Betty (1507 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle), while Marti Jonjak stops by Buddha Bar (2222 Second Ave). ... Seattle magazine features Veraci pizza, ... Starbucks Corp. said it's expanding the fare it serves for lunch at 4,400 of its U.S. locations, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports. Nationally, the Seattle-based coffee giant said it's adding a tomato mozzarella salad and a corn and black bean salad topped by grilled chicken at its stores that currently offer lunch. Regional additions to the luncheon menu have also been made, including white chicken curry with couscous, albacore tuna penne, champagne pasta salad, bowtie pasta with goat cheese, and Asian sesame noodle salad. Starbucks also added a new raspberry mocha frappuccino blended coffee drink to its menu. Starbucks launched its lunches in a few test markets in 1998 and added more stores in 1999. Slightly less than half of the company's nearly 9,500 U.S. stores sell lunch.

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Restaurants Unlimited Buys Portland Group

IN THE NEWS: Pacific Coast Restaurants Inc., which operates some of Portland's best-known eateries, is being sold to Seattle-based Restaurants Unlimited Inc, the Portland Business Journal reports. The 2,000 employees of Pacific Coast were notified of the sale agreement recently. A company official who asked not to be identified confirmed the two restaurant operators have entered a purchase agreement and are in a quiet period until the deal formally closes in 30 to 45 days. Portland-based Pacific Coast operates 27 restaurants in Oregon, Washington and California, along with a Newport Bay franchise in Seattle. Its holdings include the Portland City Grill in U.S. Bancorp Tower, Henry's 12th Street Tavern, Manzana Rotisseri Grill, Newport Seafood Grill, the Portland Steak & Chophouse, the Stanford's Restaurant and Bar chain and the Newport Bay Restaurant chain. Restaurants Unlimited Inc. formed in 1969 in Seattle with the opening of The Red Baron, described as a steak and lobster house. Today, it is a nationwide operation with a handful of concepts. Its restaurants operate under the names Simon & Seafort's, Palomino, Kincaid's, Clinkerdagger, Stanley & Seafort's, and Maggie Bluff's. ...

The P.I.'s Leslie Kelly gives three stars in her review of The Pink Door (1919 Post Alley; and notes Pike Place Market tours as well as the June 20 opening of the much-anticipated bistro Cafe Press (1117 12th Ave. on Capitol Hill, from Le Pichet's dynamic duo, Joanne Herron and Jim Drohman, as well as Via Tribunali on Queen Anne. ... She also notes a new location of Mad Pizza on South Lake Union (1263 Thomas St.). ... Claudia Rowe reviews Alki Crab & Fish Co. (1660 Harbor Ave. S.W.; ... Seattle Weekly's Jonathan Kauffman reviews the Spanish restaurant Gaudi (3410 N.E. 55th St), while the new 13 Dollars column visits Commuter Comforts Cafe & Wine Bar (Colman Dock, Ferry Terminal, 801 Alaskan Way, Pier 52) and the Bottom Feeder column stops by Dome Burger (111 Occidental Ave. in Pioneer Square), one of only two businesses to refer to their seven-years-gone neighbor the Kingdome, since the recent forced shuttering of Dome Stadium Tavern on Fourth Avenue. ... Seattle Times' Nancy Leson gives three stars to Opal (2 Boston St., Seattle;, while Leigh Haddix considers Gorgeous George's Mediterranean Kitchen (7719 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle). ... Karen Gaudette reports on the scheduled June 30 closing of five-year-old West Seattle eatery Ovio Bistro ( ... The Stranger's Angela Garbas reviews Entre Nous (216 Stewart St, Seattle) and also visits La Medusa (4857 Rainier Ave S.), while Bethany Jean Clement reports on the closing and relocation of Cha Cha (1013 E Pike St.).

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

'Food & Wine' Taps Sitka & Spruce's Dillon

IN THE NEWS: In its July 2007 issue, Food & Wine magazine features its prestigious Best New Chefs of 2007 list, including: Ian Schnoebelen of Iris in New Orleans, Sean O' Brien of Myth in San Francisco, Paul Virant of Vie in Western Springs (Ill.), Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon in Portland (Ore.), Gabriel Bremer of Salts in Cambridge (Mass.), Gavin Kaysen of El Bizcocho in San Diego, April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig in New York City, Johnny Morris of Komi in Washington, D.C, Steve Corry of Five Fifty-Five in Portland (Maine) and Matthew Dillon of Sitka & Spruce in Seattle. ... The mag also features Seattle's "outsider" chefs, including wild food champion Johnathan Sundstrom of Lark. ... A Florida-based restaurant chain is putting out feelers that it wants to greatly expand its reach, the Denver Business Journal reports. Earl of Sandwich, founded in 2004 and based in Orlando, says it's looking for franchisees around the United States, including Denver. Other cities on the company's radar screen include Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., Atlanta, San Francisco (including Oakland and San Jose), Dallas/Ft. Worth, Seattle, Columbus, Nashville, San Diego, Cleveland, St. Louis and Sacramento. The company's president, Michael Grodi, said the goal is to add more than 100 locations a year. A former executive at Denver-based Quiznos, Grodi was named president and CEO of the sandwich chain in January. Quiznos sued Grodi and Earl of Sandwich in federal court in Denver in April, alleging Grodi would hurt Quiznos by disclosing their trade secrets about selling sandwiches to his new employer. Grodi left Quiznos in May 2006. He has denied Quiznos' allegations. ... The one-and-a-half-year-old smoking ban has had a "minimal effect" on the Washington bar and tavern business, according to state officials, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports. Gross business income for taverns and bars grew 0.3 percent in 2006, compared with a 1.1 percent average annual growth rate from 2002 to 2005, according to the state Department of Revenue. Voters passed Initiative 901 that took effect in December 2005. ... The Seattle Times' Nancy Leson gives her outdoor dining picks and fondly recalls her years visiting Pike Place Market, while Providence Cicero visits Baguette Box (626 N. 34th St., Seattle; ... Leson also reports, "Steve Rosen and James Allard, the tech-boom entrepreneurs who brought us the ever-(r)evolving Blue C Sushi, have another project in the works: Boom Noodle, which borrows its name from the Japanese phrase "my boom" — used to describe one's latest obsession.Their boom is a Japanese noodle house that spans 4,500 square feet of high-profile slurping space anchoring the new mixed-use building at 12th and Pike. The Capitol Hill restaurant and bar (1121 E. Pike St.) is slated to open in September, as is the third Blue C Sushi ( at Alderwood Mall." ... The P-I's Leslie Kelly gives two stars in her review of Madoka (241 Winslow Way W., Bainbridge Island,, blogs about the opening of Cafe Presse (1117 12th Ave) and also stops by Tandoori Hut (2616 Second Ave.) ... Seattle Weekly's Jonathan Kauffman reviews Rose Petals Restaurant (6901 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S.), while the paper blogs about The Redwood (514 E. Howell St). ... The Stranger's Bethany Jean Clement reviews Boat Street Cafe and Kitchen (3131 Western Ave).

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Monday, June 11, 2007

Tavolata Makes 'Bon Appetit' Hot List

The June issue of Bon Appetit magazine lists 10 restaurants as "summer's hotspots," new foodie destinations around the country. Prices range from $10 pizzas at Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles to the $54 and $67 prix fixe menus at Bijoux in Dallas. Here's the full list:

Momofuku Ssam Bar, 207 Second Ave., New York City
Central Michel Richard, 1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
Trois, 1180 Peachtree St., Atlanta
Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza, 641 N. Highland Ave., and 6602 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles
Tavolata, 2323 Second Ave., Seattle
Radda Trattoria, 1265 Alpine Ave., Boulder, Colo.
Aigre Doux Restaurant & Bakery, 230 W. Kinzie St., Chicago
Bijoux, 5450 West Lovers Lane, Suite 225, Dallas
Osteria, 640 N. Broad St., Philadelphia
Ad Hoc, 6476 Washington St., Yountville, Calif. (Napa Valley)

IN THE NEWS: The Stranger's Sage Van Wing reviews The Station Bistro (4910 Leary Ave NW), while Bethany Jean Clement visits Moe Bar (925 E Pike St.) and and Marti Jonjak notes Hangar Cafe (6261 13th Ave S.). ... Angela Garbes reports that International District's Japanese restaurant Takohachi closed June 2. "The owner retired and, according to one of the charming and carefully hand-lettered signs that hang on the restaurant's walls, a new Japanese restaurant will open in the spot on 610 South Jackson Street later this summer." ... The paper spotlights Ali Jafari, owner of Noosh Cafe (1629 Queen Anne Ave N). ... Seattle Weekly's Voracious blog visits TASTE Restaurant (1300 First Ave), while Mike Seely highlights the wondrous hot dog stands outside Safeco Field, including Joe's Gourmet Grilled Dogs. ... The PI's Leslie Kelly rounds up restaurants with a view. ... The Seattle Times' Nancy Leson gives two stars in her review of Hae-Nam Kalbi & Calamari (15001 Aurora Ave. N., Shoreline), while Nicole Tsong stops by Kurry King (5503 Airport Way S., Seattle). Leson also notes the closing of Redmond's Bar Shu, and reports, "Don't burst into tears if you stop by The Harvest Vine (2701 E. Madison St., Seattle, or late this month and find the place closed. Owners Joseba Jiménez de Jiménez and Carolin Messier de Jiménez are planning a quick upstairs remodel, closing June 24 and expecting to reopen July 9. They're rebuilding their worn copper bar, reconfiguring the pantry station, replacing stoves and counters and gutting the tile floor — which Carolin installed herself when they opened their celebrated tapas bar on a shoestring budget in 1998. As if that isn't action enough for Carolin and her big Basque, how about this: They're also opening a second place, in Belltown, having recently signed the lease for Txori (say "chor-ee" — it means bird), a darling 900-square-foot space at 2227 Second Ave. If all goes well, the tiny spot will debut in August as a San Sebastian-styled pinchos bar — complete with French doors that open onto a small rear deck, blessedly off the beaten path from Belltown's noise and foot-traffic."

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Longtime Ivar's Chowder Cook Retires

IN THE NEWS: The Post-Intelligencer's Leslie Kelly reviews Portage (2209 Queen Anne Ave. N.) and also interviews Einar Larson, who's hanging up his apron after 45 years of cooking chowder at the legendary Ivar's. ... Kelly blogs that Patrick Rolfe, a sous chef at Palisade, is one of the finalists on the new season of The Next Food Network Star, which debuted June 3 ... Cheap Eats stops by Judy Fu's Snappy Dragon (8917 Roosevelt Way N.E.). ... The Seattle Times' Providence Cicero gives one and a half stars to Southlake Grill (1253 Thomas St., Seattle) and stops by Snoose Junction Pizzeria (2305 N.W. Market St., Seattle). ... The paper also notes the opening of Crow restaurant spinoff Betty (1507 Queen Anne Ave. N) as well as the June 2 closing of chef-owner Mike Manley's Union Bay Cafe after 21 years. Chef-owner David Hahne's Italian restaurant Enotria takes over the space in July. ... The Stranger's Bethany Jean Clement does the Twist Restaurant and Lounge (2313 First Ave, Seattle), while Chris McCann considers Ephesus (5245 California Ave SW, Seattle) and Kokoras Greek Grill (6400 1/2 California Ave SW, Seattle). ... Seattle Weekly's Jonathan Kauffman reviews Salvadorian spot Mi Chalateca (9710 Aurora Ave. N.) and Padi Indonesian Cafe (5004 University Way N.E.), while Aja Pecknold stops by Umi Sake House (2230 First Ave.). And from Kauffman's Voracious blog, "Super Bowl Noodle House, the 10-year-old Ravenna shop with the great Thai soup noodles and better menu descriptions, is closing (May 31), six months after owner Parichad Khumpitak died of liver cancer. But it won't be shut for long. Mary Hoy has taken over the business, and will reopen Super Bowl on June 8 as Big Bowl Noodle House, with much the same menu. If you're free for lunch on June 11, stop by (from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.), when all proceeds from your bowl of Old Faithful or M-80 noodles will go to cancer research." ... Starbucks Corp. will begin making its espresso drinks with reduced-fat milk instead of whole milk by the end of the year, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports. The Seattle-based coffee giant currently makes its lattes with whole milk, unless otherwise requested. Later this year, Starbucks will use 2 percent milk, unless otherwise requested, at all its North American locations. Starbucks officials said they're making the switch because of customer demand for 2 percent milk, which has less fat and fewer calories. Currently, according to, a 16-ounce (grande) Starbucks Caffe Mocha drink made with whole milk has 400 calories and one made with nonfat milk has 330 calories, the paper reports.

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Seattle Coffee Works' Different Buzz

IN THE NEWS: From the PI's Leslie Kelly, "After hearing the noble mission of the soon-to-debut Seattle Coffee Works (set to open May 28), you might wonder why nobody has ever tried something like this before. Its brilliant conceit: to bring together the area's most respected local roasters under one roof. Kind of like a wine bar, or a brewpub, but with a different kind of buzz. Beans from Lighthouse, Mukilteo, Caffe Umbria, Vashon Coffee Co., Borogrove, Brown's and Caffe D'Arte, among others, will be on the menu at this "microroast cafe," just east of Pike Place Market. The focus is on small-batch roasters, some working with as little as 5 to 7 pounds at a time. (That's Seven Roasters from Phinney Ridge.)" ... The PI's Kristin Dizon gives one and a half stars in her review of Bennett's Pure Food Bistro (7650 S.E. 27th St., Mercer Island) and visits Souped Up (7900 Green Lake Drive N.), while Leslie Kelly drops by Lakeview Deli (1505 Westlake Ave. N.). ... From the Seattle Times' Diane Brooks, "Good thing the immediate future of the Spirit of Washington Dinner Train doesn't hinge upon King County politics or the Eastside's rails-versus-trails debates. The popular train's 15-year run between Renton and Woodinville's Columbia Winery must end July 31. A widening of Interstate 405 through Bellevue will sever the tracks — permanently — by wiping out the Wilburton Tunnel, which carries southbound freeway traffic beneath the railway. Insiders are optimistic that ongoing talks between the Dinner Train operator and BNSF Railway will yield a new route between Woodinville and Snohomish. If all goes well, the train — and its 100,000 yearly riders — could be heading into the historic riverside city by fall. Meanwhile, King County, the Port of Seattle and BNSF continue to hash out a complex, three-way deal involving Boeing Field, $169 million from Port coffers and 42 miles of track between Snohomish and Renton. That stretch of rail includes both the existing and hoped-for Dinner Train routes.... Dana Blozis reviews Mama Passarelli's Dinner House (24306 Roberts Drive, Black Diamond) for the Times, while Providence Cicero gives two and a half stars in her review of Il Capretto d'Or (14471 Woodinville-Redmond Road, Woodinville) and also visits Stell's Burgers & More (3310 Third Ave. W., Seattle). ... The Times also reports, "Tutta Bella is bringing its Neapolitan-style pizzeria to the ever-growing South Lake Union area. The restaurant will open this fall at 2200 Westlake, the Denny Way and Westlake Avenue building that's home to Whole Foods Market, Marazul restaurant, Koots Green Tea and the Pan Pacific Hotel." ... Seattle Weekly's Jonathan Kauffman reports the closing of Union Bay Cafe in Sand Point. " After 21 years, owner Mark Manley has decided that it is time to move on. His last day of service will be June 2. Taking over the space: David Hahne, who moved here from Minneapolis. The new restaurant is to be called Enotria, and will be rustic Italian, with a special focus on ... wait for it ... Italian wine." ... Kauffman reviews Marazul (2200 Westlake Ave.), while Mike Seely visits Flynn's Cafe (3923 Airport Way S.).

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Monday, May 21, 2007

Purple Cafe, Coupage, BOKA in the news

IN THE NEWS: The Seattle Times' Providence Cicero awards three stars in her review of Purple Café and Wine Bar (1225 Fourth Ave., Seattle), while Leigh Haddix reviews Mike's Noodle House (418 Maynard Ave. S., Seattle). In dining notes, "Owner Tom Hurley is taking over the kitchen at Seattle's Coupage (1404 34th Ave.) after the departure of his recently married chef and sous chef duo Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi. ... BOKA Kitchen + Bar (1010 First Ave.) executive chef Seis Kamimura is leaving to take on the executive chef/assistant general manager post of Wolfgang Puck's catering operations at the Seattle Design Center and Benaroya Hall. ... A new wine bar is headed Belltown's way in early July. The Local Vine (2520 Second Ave.), a joint venture of Harvard Business School grads Sarah Munson and Allison Nelson, will feature a menu of small plates developed by chef Jason Wilson of Crush, free Wi-Fi, more than 80 wines by the glass and wine events each week. The duo plans to open additional wine bars throughout the region within the next five years." ... The P.I.'s Kristen Millares Bolt reviews Mi Chalateca (9710 Aurora Ave N., Seattle), while energetic Leslie Kelly checks out the time-honored happy hour at O'Asian Kitchen and Lounge (800 Fifth Ave., Seattle), notes Pac Island Grill (2012 S. 320th St., Seattle) and the openings of Opal and Betty, and reviews Marazul (2200 Westlake Ave., Seattle). ... Seattle Weekly's Jonathan Kauffman reviews Sunlight Cafe (6403 Roosevelt Way N.E., Seattle). ... The Stranger's Bethany Jean Clement writes a worthy tribute to longtime restaurant and lounge piano man Howard Bulson, who died May. 7. The Triple Door was to host a tribute to Bulson on May 23.

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Monday, May 14, 2007

America's Best Restaurant Cities

"Today ... most major cities in the U.S. have the kind of gastronomic diversity and regionality that is rich in every department, and even if you’ve visited recently, you can be sure that next time you go, there’ll be more new and enticing restaurants than you could possibly visit," writes Donald Burnam in a recent piece, "America's Best Restaurant Cities." "It’s getting hard not to have a great meal anywhere in the U.S.." Burnam continues.

Forbes' Top 10 Restaurant Cities:
1. New York City
2. Chicago
3. San Francisco
4. Los Angeles
5. New Orleans
6. Houston
7. Washington, D.C.
8. Atlanta
9. Boston
10. Las Vegas

Rankings were based on: Overall number of restaurants above the fast food level; Number of fine dining restaurants with national and international standing; Solid representation of regional American food; A wide segment of second-tier restaurants that would include seafood, steakhouses, and independently chef-owned restaurants; Breadth and depth of ethnic restaurants, especially if the city has neighborhood such as a Chinatown; A significant number of neigborhood restaurants where the locals tend to eat out regularly; A well-traveled clientele that regards eating out in that city one of the real pleasures of going there.

IN THE NEWS: The PI's Leslie Kelly reports that Jerry Traunfeld, executive chef at The Herbfarm, will open his own restaurant in Seattle in 2008. He's to stay on through the end of the year, however ... Kelly reviews Place Pigalle (81 Pike St.) and Pike Place Chowder (1530 Post Alley), and Jack's Fish Spot (1514 Pike Place), and also pays a visit to the original Starbucks (1912 Pike Place). ... Zephyr Grill & Bar (240 W. Kent Station St., Kent) gets two stars from the Times' Providence Cicero, while Trotter's Restaurant (825 Harvey Road, Auburn), and Rowdy Cowgirl BBQ (3620 Stone Way N., Seattle) also are reviewed. ... Seattle Weekly's Jonathan Kauffman reviews Steelhead Diner (5 Pine St.), while the Search & Distill column looks at Calamity Jane's (5701 Airport Way S.) and Georgetown Liquor Company (5501 Airport Way S). ... Paul Constant of The Stranger also weighs in on Steelhead Diner.

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

P.I. Critic Wins Beard Award

Seattle P-I restaurant critic Rebekah Denn has won a 2007 James Beard Foundation award. Denn, a P-I critic for the past 18 months, won the award for "Newspaper or Magazine Restaurant Review or Critique." "I'm so honored I just can't believe it," Denn said. The award ceremony was at the Hudson Theatre May 6 in New York City. The James Beard Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to celebrating America's culinary heritage. This is the 20th anniversary of the James Beard Foundation awards. Before becoming the P-I's restaurant critic Denn, was an award-winning Metro desk reporter, most recently having worked as the newspaper's education writer.

Chicago's Frontera Grill won Outstanding Restaurant of the Year and Michel Richard of Michel Richard Citronelle in Washington, D.C. was named Outstanding Chef at the 2007 James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony. Hosted by CBS Early Show anchor Hannah Storm, the Beard Awards were held May 7 at Avery Fisher Hall in New York's Lincoln Center. More than 60 awards were presented by the country's pre-eminent nonprofit culinary organization, in its 20th anniversary celebration, and more than 1,600 industry leaders attended the ceremony. Other top awards went to: New York's L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, named Best New Restaurant; Thomas Keller (The French Laundry, Yountville, Ca.) received the award for Outstanding Restaurateur; and David Chang (Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York) received the Rising Star Chef of the Year award. Celebrity and culinary superstar attendees included Stephanie March, Ted Allen, Katie Lee Joel, Martha Stewart, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Thomas Keller, Jose Andres, Tom Colicchio, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Padma Lakshmi, and Marcus Samuelsson. The Foundation's Media Awards took place at a separate event at the Hudson Theatre at Millennium Broadway Hotel on May 6. All Award winners received a bronze medallion etched with the image of the late James Beard, the esteemed chef, cookbook author, and food journalist. There are no cash awards. Established in 1990, the James Beard Foundation Awards recognizes outstanding achievement within the fine food and beverage industry in North America. For full awards results, please visit

Beard Award highlights are:

AMERICA'S CLASSICS: Primanti Brothers, Demetrios Patrinos, Pittsburgh, Pa.; The Pickwick, Christopher Wisocki, Duluth, Minn.; Doe's Eat Place, The Signa Family, Greenville, Miss.; Aunt Carrie's, Elsie Foy, Narragansett, R.I.; I

Brookville Hotel, Mark and Connie Martin, Abilene, Kan.; Weaver D's, Dexter Weaver, Athens, Ga.

BEST CHEF, GREAT LAKES: Grant Achatz, Alinea, Chicago

BEST CHEF, MID-ATLANTIC: R.J. Cooper, III, Vidalia, Washington, DC

BEST CHEF, MIDWEST: Celina Tio, The American Restaurant, Kansas City, Mo.

BEST CHEF, NEW YORK CITY: David Waltuck, Chanterelle, New York, NY

BEST CHEF, NORTHEAST: Frank McClelland, L'Espalier, Boston

BEST CHEF, NORTHWEST: John Sundstrom, Lark, Seattle

BEST CHEF, PACIFIC: Traci Des Jardins, Jardinière, San Francisco

BEST CHEF, SOUTH: Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans

BEST CHEF, SOUTHEAST: Scott Peacock, Watershed, Decatur, Ga.

BEST CHEF, SOUTHWEST: Nobuo Fukuda, Sea Saw, Scottsdale, Ariz.

BEST NEW RESTAURANT: L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Chef-Owner: Joël Robuchon, New York, NY

OUTSTANDING CHEF: Michel Richard, Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, DC

OUTSTANDING PASTRY CHEF: Michael Laskonis, Le Bernardin, New York, NY

OUTSTANDING RESTAURANT: Frontera Grill, chef-owner: Rick and Deann Bayless, Chicago

OUTSTANDING RESTAURATEUR: Thomas Keller, The French Laundry, Yountville, Calif.

OUTSTANDING SERVICE: Rick Tramonto, Gale Gand, and Richard Melman, Tru, Chicago

OUTSTANDING WINE AND SPIRITS PROFESSIONAL: Paul Draper, Ridge Vineyards, Cupertino, Calif.

OUTSTANDING WINE SERVICE: Mark Slater, Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, DC

RISING STAR CHEF OF THE YEAR: David Chang, Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York, NY

IN THE NEWS: Ever-active P-I critic Leslie Kelly awards four stars to chef Scott Carsberg's Lampreia, 2400 First Ave. Kelly also blurbs Capitol Hill's Dinette, 1514 E. Olive and the Seattle Art Museum's SAM Taste Restaurant, and (whew!) blogs La Medusa and reports that Scott Staples, Restaurant Zoe's chef/owner, and wife Heather plan to open a gastropub this fall on Capitol Hill, on the corner of 10th Avenue and East Pike Street. ... The P-I's Claudia Rowe reviews La Casa Del Mojito, 7545 Lake City Way N.E. ... The Seattle Times reviews: Tavolata, 2323 Second Ave. in Seattle; Ristorante Isabella, 27116 167th Place S.E. in Covington, and Szechuan 99, 6124 200th St. S.W. in Lynnwood. From The Times dining notes: "It's a homecoming at The Pink Door for chef Steve Smrstik. He's returned to head the kitchen at the restaurant in Pike Place Market after 20 years away working at a variety of eateries, including Manhattan's La Colombe d'Or and Café des Bruxelles." ... Seattle Weekly's Jonathan Kauffman reviews Can-Am Pizza and Inchin's Bamboo Garden, while Scott Seely looks at By's Drive-In and Stan's Drive-In, and Jess Thomson reviews the Hyatt's wine bar Twisted Cork. ... The Stranger provides a guide to eating outdoors, with area rooftop options, while also blurbing Lottie's Lounge (4900 Rainier Ave. S.) and noting the May 1 demise after 20 years in business of Rainbow Natural Grocery on Capitol Hill's 15th Avenue East.

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Sunday, April 29, 2007

James Beard Awards Await

Roughly the dining out equivalent of The Academy Awards, The James Beard Foundation annual awards ceremony takes place Monday, May 7, at the Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. The talented Maria Hines of Seattle's Tilth, Joseba Jimenez de Jimenez of Seattle's The Harvest Vine, Holly Smith of Kirkland's Cafe Juanita, and John Sundstrom of Seattle's Lark are among the five nominees for Best Chef: Northwest. Go to for the complete list, but here's a partial list of national nominees:

-- Outstanding Restaurant: Boulevard, San Francisco; Frontera Grill, Chicago; Magnolia Grill, Durham, N.C., Picholine, New York; Spiaggia, Chicago.
-- Best New Restaurant: A Voce, New York City; Chochon, New Orleans; Cut, Beverly Hills, Calif; L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, New York City; Momofuku Ssam Bar, New York City; Restaurant Guy Savoy, Las Vegas.
-- Outstanding Restaurateur: Thomas Keller, The French Laundry, Yountville, Calif; Keith McNally, Balthazar, New York City; Richard Melman, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (R.J. Grunts, Wildfire, Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!), Chicago; Drew Nieporent, Myriad Restaurant Group (Tribeca Grill, Nobu, Rubicon), New York City; Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jean Georges restaurant, New York City.
-- Outstanding Chef: Tom Colicchio, Craft, New York City; Lee Hefter, Spago, Beverly Hills, Calif.; Jean Joho, Everest, Chicago; Paul Kahan, Blackbird, Chicago; Michel Richard, Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, D.C.
-- Rising Star Chef: Nate Appleman, A16, San Francisco; Graham Elliot Bowles, Avenues at The Peninsula Hotel, Philadelphia; David Chang, Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York; Patrick Connelly, Radius, Boston; Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park, New York City.

Restaurant magazine just released its list of the world's top 100 restaurants. ( Here are the U.S. entries:

The French Laundry, Yountville, Ca. (No. 4)
Per Se, New York City (No. 9)
Jean Georges, New York City (No. 18)
Le Bernardin, New York City (No. 26)
Charlie Trotter's, Chicago (No. 30)
Daniel, New York City (No. 32)
Alinea, Chicago (No. 36)
Chez Panisse, Berkeley, Ca. (No. 40)
Masa, New York City (No. 56)
L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon at the Four Seasons, New York City (No. 64)
Peter Lugar, Brooklyn, NY (No. 69)
Nobu New York, New York City (No. 89)
Gramercy Tavern, New York city (No. 90)
WD-50, New York City (No. 91)
Zuni Café, San Francisco (No. 98)
Alex at Wynn, Las Vegas (No. 100)

IN THE NEWS: The P-I's critic Leslie Kelly gives twos stars in her review of the Spanish joint Gaudi, 3410 N.E. 55th St. Kelly also details and lists participating restaurants in the May dining special Sundays through Thursdays through May, except Mother's Day. Kristin Dizon's Cheap Eats column looks at Bakery Nouveau, 4737 California Ave. S.W., Seattle ( And Kelly pays a visit to Etta's at the Pike Place Market in her always entertaining Whining and Dining blog. ... The Times' Karen Johnson reviews Sun Break Café, 22 A Street S.W., Auburn., Providence Cicero gives two and a half stars to Qube, 1901 Second Ave., Seattle (, while Leigh Haddix's Dining Deals looks at Roti Cuisine of India, 530 Queen Anne Ave. N., Seattle. ... Seattle Weekly's Mike Seely wrestles with a 72-ounce steak at Wedgwood Broiler, 8230 35th Ave. N.E., Wedgwood . The Weekly's Voracious blog details the just-opened Opal, 2 Boston St., Queen Anne., and the recent closing of Rainbow Grocery on 15th Ave. East in Capitol Hill. ... The Stranger ( searches for Seattle's best cheap Vietnamese sandwich ... West Seattle's Blackbird restaurant is reviewed by the Puget Sound Business Journal. ... reviews Steelhead Diner.