New places for stuffing faces! Click through for more info (or to write your own damn review). Note from after the jump, deep down in the NEW LOCATIONS OF EXISTING PLACES section: THE BERLINER II is open in South Lake Union. If you're looking for lunch around there, you're happy now.
· NOOK in the University District: This tiny place on the Ave is co-owned by Alex Green, who started cooking in his hometown of Atlanta under Top Chef All-Star winner Richard Blais, and here has done time at Re:Public and Earth & Ocean. At Nook, he makes special-recipe biscuits (with jam or Nutella or bacon-egg-cheddar), sandwiches on Grand Central bread (like a meatloaf patty melt, white bean/preserved lemon/parsley/tomato, and maybe pork rillettes), and soups, all for (quite a bit) under $10. Note that hours are odd: Mon—Wed 10 am—6 pm, Thu—Fri 10 am—8 pm, and an excellent-sounding biscuit brunch on Saturdays from 8 am—2 pm.
· PHILLY BOYS CHEESESTEAKS in Sodo: Parked in the parking lot of A.C. Automotive (next to the Orient Express, formerly Andy’s Diner, aka that place on Fourth Avenue South made of seven train cars), Philly Boys is run by two guys from Philadelphia. They disagree on the Great Cheesesteak Cheese Choice Debate, so white American, provolone, and Cheez Whiz are all available at their yellow trailer. Also: hand-cut fries and no-nitrate Hempler's hot dogs (cooked in Rainier beer!). They say the crazy lines from when they first opened have abated, and word is their steaks are the real deal.
· MARINATION STATION on Capitol Hill: Marination Mobile’s shiny truck roams all over the city, but you would like to sit down and have a beer, right? Marination Station is located directly above the QFC at Pike on Broadway, with stools-and-counter seating inside, a beer garden outside, and all the Hawaiian-Korean hybrid Marination hits: kalbi beef tacos (like sweet and savory bulgogi steak), kimchi quesadillas (meaty with kalua pork, cheesy with cheddar, spicy/pickley with kimchi), aloha sliders (really, really good). Prices are the same as at the truck, plus there’s stuff the Station has that Mobile doesn’t: loco moco, musubi, kimchi tofu soup, and miso ginger chicken banh mi, all probably great.
Tons more—plus NOW CLOSED, for the morbid...
· CUOCO in South Lake Union: Cuoco is Tom Douglas’s 101st restaurant—in South Lake Union, all-Italian, with a chef from the rightfully revered Cafe Juanita and lots of probably really excellent fresh pasta. (On the 2011 spring opening menu: gnocchi with nettle pesto, pancetta, and hazelnuts; fresh sweet pea risotto with pea vines and ham hock; artichoke ravioli with mascarpone and Parmigiano Reggiano.) Also: Hand-churned butter is imminent.
· BRAVE HORSE in South Lake Union: Brave Horse is Tom Douglas’s 102nd restaurant—an upscale beer hall. It is already insanely popular and extremely loud and arguably fun—see last week's Bar Exam.
· TING MOMO in South Lake Union: Ting Momo is Tom Douglas’s 103rd restaurant—a Tibetan handmade-dumpling-and-noodle house, graced with the likeness of the Dalai Lama and a chef from Tibet.
· KORNER KITCHEN in Fremont: Korner Kitchen is the new name for Nana’s Soup House, which Lindy West has called “entirely darling” with “life-changing” (in a good way) soup. Also, she declared Nana’s corn muffin—Korner Kitchen’s korn muffin?—to be “basically baked candy, in the best way.” The new owners say nothing has changed but the name.
Varro: the mural.
· VARRO on Capitol Hill: The original Varro was a writer and an equestrian (presumably not at the same time) of ancient Rome (116 BC—27 BC). With Lavazza coffee, Italian cocktails, and antipasti, Capitol Hill's Varro is inspired by the drop-by-anytime Italian cafe scene, where patrons drink espresso by day and aperitivos by night, apparently accompanied by elaborate interior black-and-white murals. The menu ranges from antipasti ($3—$11) to steak (Painted Hills organic New York, $22).
· WANNA NOODLE in Queen Anne: Located in what used to be a Taco Del Mar, Wanna Noodle is a soup and wok restaurant with a very noodley menu, including spicy coconut curry chicken noodle soup, sesame miso ramen, and a lemongrass seafood hot pot. According to their website, they are pro-slurping.
· CAFE DE LION in Queen Anne: Cafe de Lion is a “luxury pastry boutique” named after the son of the owners. Lion is a great name for a person and a cafe. Per their Facebook, “We are so delighted to be able to share our mother love sweets & daddy’s stubborn cafeism with you.”
· PENANG FOOD COURT in the International District: Malaysian food that gets mixed reviews where Noodle King used to be.
· YOGURTLAND on Capitol Hill: It’s a LAND of YOGURT!
NOW CLOSED: CUCINA DE SANTIS in Sodo: Beloved by many for big, messy Italian-American sandwiches · FIVE CORNER MARKET in Ballard: After only four months in the former Lombardi’s space, due to slow business—they say, “We gave it our all” · ZIPPY’S GIANT BURGERS in West Seattle: But they’re moving! See above · PITA PIT on Capitol Hill: The pit of pita is no more · LC’S KITCHEN in Maple Leaf: Rent too damn expensive, according to Maple Leaf Life · THE CHARLESTOWN STREET CAFE in West Seattle: Even though people liked the chowder · VINCE’S in Rainier Beach: Sad! But three other Vince’s (Vince’ses?)—in Burien, Federal Way, and Renton—as well as Pizzeria Pulcinella in Rainier Beach, run by the Neapolitan family of Vince’s, are available for your consolation · BAMBUZA downtown: Not surprisingly · NANA’S SOUP HOUSE in Fremont: But! See Korner Kitchen.
This post was assembled with the valiant assistance of Chow intern Chris Collison.