SO. MANY. NEW. PLACES. It is kind of weird. Will the bar bubble inevitably burst?
• BAD MONKEY BISTRO in South Lake Union: A restaurant, sports bar, and piano lounge on South Lake Union. Presumably, throwing your own poop is not allowed.
• PANEVINO TRATTORIA on Capitol Hill: Run by a gentleman from a small town near Rome, this trattoria offers a couple dozen pastas for $10 to $13 a plate, as well as traditional salads, antipasti, secondi, and, at lunchtime, panini. The decor is simple—black-and-white photos of the owner’s family are grouped on one wall—which, given the current fashion for the installation of rusticity, is a relief to the eyeballs. The happy hour here looks like a screaming deal.
• THE MARKET ARMS PUB in Ballard: A British pub—style joint brought to you by the owners of Fremont’s beloved George & Dragon, the Arms has lots of beers on tap, (European) football on the telly, shepherd’s pie on the menu, and so forth. Also: darts, pool, and outdoor seating.
• COPPERLEAF RESTAURANT in Sea-Tac: Copperleaf is part of Cedarbrook Lodge, located one mile from Sea-Tac airport—an area heretofore known for an emphasis on seediness, not sustainability. But they’re doing the local/organic/etc. thing, as well as composting and water reclamation. Also: 100-percent organic bamboo fabrics and hand-blown glass sculptures by local artists. You could smell the change in the air, but it’s probably fragrance-free.
• THE IRON BULL in Wallingford: Where Goldie’s used to be, now there’s the Iron Bull, a spruced-up sports bar with a ton of big-screen TVs.
• EMPIRE ESPRESSO in Columbia City: Empire Espresso is a little piece of locally owned awesomeness in Columbia City featuring great coffee (from Seattle Coffee Works), great panini, beer and wine, and a big garage door that opens onto a courtyard in case of cooperatively awesome weather. Also: Weekends involve waffles.
• ELLIOTT BAY CAFE on Capitol Hill: The Pioneer Square edition remains open, while the relocated Elliott Bay Book Company on Capitol Hill is now home to the second Elliott Bay Cafe. Cafe #2 has a smaller kitchen and menu, but there are breakfasty items, sandwiches, crepes, smoothies, and more. Like EBC #1, it’s order-at-the-counter, and almost everything’s under $10.
• CHEEKY CAFE in the Central District: This nicely designed Central District cafe serves comfort food from all over the place, e.g., sukiyaki, spaghetti bolognese, bacon-topped meatloaf, and macaroni and cheese with a “Korean kick.” Also: Washington state wines.
• SULLIVAN’S STEAKHOUSE downtown: A big Texas chain for “Steaks, Martinis & Jazz,” Sullivan’s has its Seattle home downtown, on the former site of the Union Square Grill (and the extremely short-lived Lost Lady American Cantina). The opening party was insane.
Big Mario in 1971, lookin' good.
• @CAFE in the Central District: A family-friendly cafe on Rainier at the border of the I.D. and the C.D. that’s presumably pronounced “At Cafe.”
• SWEET LOU’S in Ballard: The name has changed from the Sundown Tavern, but Sweet Lou’s remains a great neighborhood hangout with friendly people and in-house smoked barbecue.
• ALLIUM on Orcas Island: Chef Lisa Nakamura, who trained in the kitchens of Thomas Keller and the Herbfarm, now runs what used to be Christina’s on Orcas Island, concentrating on local foodstuffs prepared in simple but lovely-sounding ways. This place is probably really good.
OPENING IMMINENTLY, like sometime next week: AUTO BATTERY (the new sports bar next to/run by Po Dog), BAR FERDINAND(the new oyster and wine bar next to/run by Sitka & Spruce), and BIG MARIO'S (the new dive bar [oxymoron?] and pizzeria next to/run by Caffe Vita/5 Point/Moe Bar owners), all on Capitol Hill (where will it end?!)
NOW CLOSED: ANGIE’S TAVERN in Columbia City • ARTISANAL BRASSERIE & WINE BAR and ARTISANAL PIZZERIA ENOTECA in Bellevue • BEAM’S RESTAURANT on First Hill • DUMPLING DOJO on Capitol Hill • GREY GALLERY & LOUNGE on Capitol Hill • JULIANO’S PIZZA on Capitol Hill • LA MONDELLINA in Magnolia • PALADAR CUBANO in Greenwood
This post assembled with the valiant assistance of Chow intern Matthew Bathan.