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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Corson Building, at Last

posted by on June 10 at 14:11 PM

The Corson Buildingóthe new Georgetown restaurant/microfarm/oasis from Sitka & Spruce’s Matthew Dillonówill start taking reservations by phone this Friday (here’s the number). It was supposed to open last November; as it nearly universally goes with restaurant build-outs, it was all much more complicated and time-consuming than expected. (I should’ve known better than to get so specifically all wound up in print last September.) The first official event was a June 7 dinner with Anthony Bourdain (tickets were auctioned online to the final tune of $600 a plate; more info/photos by a rich man here). At the very well-attended open house last night, Jerry Traunfeld (formerly of the Herbfarm) said his north Broadway restaurant, Poppy, is on schedule to open after Labor Day. He was standing next to Dillon. “Don’t rub it in,” someone said. Dillon and his business partner, Wylie Bush, both were quietly jubilant.


Wylie Bush and Matt Dillon

Food for the party was provided by the Hallava Falafel truck parked out front; Arctic gusts of wind (though, shockingly, no rain) were provided by June. (Perhaps with an assist from climate change—though growing up here, I experienced summers like this about every four or five years; they were known afterwards as “the last time we didn’t have a summer.” People were pretty philosophical about it—it’s good for reading and listening to music—and exposure to such weather provides an inoculation of low-level, ongoing depression that is very helpful in modern life. But I digress.) A pug ran around in a rhinestone (or diamond?) collar; a toddler was entranced with the small planes flying very close overhead and with the stairs that lead to the balcony. The new raised beds in the yard are full of herbs and lettuces and veg that (of course) are doing better than most, despite the recent, endless total eclipse of the sun. The plum trees look good, as do the chickens. (The latter were initially raised by John Sutton of art trio SuttonBeresCuller; a while back, one of the birds was reportedly almost killed by the dog belonging to erstwhile Stranger writer Matthew Richter. Rescued from the very jaws of the great beyond, the near-death chicken remains in Sutton’s South Park coop, where it does not flap its wings like the others, but is eating and otherwise doing fine.) Also, there are doves; a friend of a friend was getting rid of them, and Dillon felt he ought to give them a home. (Will tiny hard-boiled dove eggs appear on top of salads made from the freshest possible greens? Maybe.)

Out front, the fountain of Venus has been repaired (though half of her concrete conch shell, held aloft and spouting water, is still missing). A big barbeque around the side looks very promising. Inside, the plaster has been repaired, but not overly so, with some brick still showing through cracks; the fireplace with its lion ornamentation is working. It’s rustic and nearly nauseatingly charming—the light through the rows of glassware in the windowed pantry, the fox-and-pheasant-and-boar bathroom wallpaper, the heavy door to the meat curing room. The kitchen, added onto the back, is big and airy and has a pleasing view of people playing soccer in the field across the train tracks. The kitchen is maybe a little bit bigger than the front of the house—a chef’s golden ratio, same as at the (much smaller overall) Sitka & Spruce.

Dillon will be spending much of his time at the Corson (who could blame him, he said). Sitka will mostly be left in the capable hands of sous-chef Cormac Mahoney, who was looking very dapper in a suit and tie at the Corson housewarming. Sitka’s default motto, on a small chalkboard at the bar, is “Food worth standing up for.” The Corson—which will have canning parties and cookouts and events (possibly yours—talk to Dillon), as well as the 30-seat, a-few-nights-a-week restaurant—promises to be worth the wait.

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Posted by boxofbirds | June 10, 2008 2:37 PM

Venus.... ah.... the sweet scenes of satisfaction.

Ambiance is often worth the wait, and as with word association, split meanings and subliminal messages of re-construction elevate the mood in an age of frailty.

This occurred to me earlier today a few hours before Chow was loaded onto the SLOG while paused on the #48 bus across from the University of Washington Campus.

Bus stop art was mixed with stains of paint mis-interpreted graffitti and the ever elusive axioms of a house on fire that once upon a time had "your way or the highway " sand blasted across the exterior.

I was reminded on the way to coffee of the great work of Carl Sagan and his partner Ann Druyan as I passed the donation book bin box at the Safeway on east Madison Street, where for a mere two dollars
the lucky participant and book hunter can find a copy of their 1992 Random House book

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors:
A Search For Who We Are

Life is full of odd occurrances and wildly synchronistic coincidence; everywhere we look we all have the chance to see each other neighbors and communities time and effort and confirmations and actions.

Take for instance a flyer posted to the power polls near the Ebeneezers Church around the 1700 block of Madison, ads by a gentleman named Bob Avakian inviting you to partake in his work called

Away with All Gods.

Niot having read his manifesto, I will not say I am capable of erudite explanations in detail as to his claims... atheistic or otherwise, yet I was left with a clear impression of a scienctific approach to a moment that will catch your eye should your glance notice his page.

Of course, my experiance has taught me thus far that if the impulse to cling to a doctrine of randomn chance without a creative design some point in inception, you might as well fly to the moon and gobble up some space dust for I'm with Kurt Cobain (in spirit anyway) with the "come as you are" philosophy in his enlightenment

" I found God..." yeah....most of us still miss Kurt.

One of the benefits of having the appearance of a personality character traits that is by way of outside observation and on the surface level at least, is the notion that the directive

" he or she is afraid to speak out to authority until a crisis point has reached the red alert stage, and therefore then requires the observation and maintinence by that same authorities detractors, is the unique position to pull into a discourse or debate the opportunity for an honest as well as intellectual change of heart, which then opens up room for passionately altered emotions.

This is of course impervious at times to revenge.

Take again for instance, another example, the little sliver of pictured eye on the north west door frame of the downtown Macy's department store at Westlake Center.

This morning, on the way to the # 48 bus, there was a picture pasted to the wall there.

I am confident someone wanted that fully disclosed message to linger there for some intended shock or interpretive value.

I on the other hand chose to 'self correct' the moment.

That's a lifestyle decision I am working on thanks to the inspiration of Thom Yorke and Radioheads' smashing song

"Bodysnatcers", off their recent release

In Rainbows.

Now, I can't and WILL NOT claim that i have received "messages" from them instructing me to scratch off a full frontal XXX vibrator stuffing picture of a twenty something phortograph.

I just chose to make a little edit that i felt was appropriate for the downtown shopping district a few days before fathers day during there one day sale.

I received no payment or thanks for it, and don't expect any.... yet revenge is something that lurks in the hearts of those who often feel affronted or slighted.

The old phrase,

" Revenge is best served cold..." in my opinion is a vile beast seldomn capable all by itself of reception of the term I am studying from that MU-KOO voice ( spelling? ) moo-koo voice... I don't moan...
( EYE don't moan?)...

you see I got a burned in copy of their In Rainbows on trade from my copy of IF, by Joni Mitchell... and therefore have not had the opportunity to study the art of their printed word in any other form than a couple of week listen to In Rainbows.

Never the less... I was inspired and hence my action...self correct for my personal ethic in "le'flagrante' uno-publico".

K-shirah-shirah... for whatever will bee will be.

At any rate maybe it will help with an introduction, (or knot) if it is not to follow at the gate in August when I attempt to gate crash the White River Will Call Window and give the gift of some hand painted oil pastels and a peice of granite to The Men from England, Radiohead.

There you can find

Posted by daniel bennett kieneker | June 10, 2008 3:12 PM

Oh my god I loathe the fact that I am still in serious debt and my job has yet to leave me flush with cash. I wish wish WISH I had just said fuck it and had tried to get tickets to that dinner as I am in SERIOUS love with Anthony Bourdain. No doubt I would have been drooling over him all night long. And I'm sure the dinner was a fantabulous feast also worth drooling over.

Posted by Queen_of_Sleaze | June 10, 2008 3:14 PM

Christ.. what a fuck-up SLICK am I trying to slog while running out of time...?

The same old goat.

Any way, the little typos are obvious in #2 comment...and the cut off is here.

Posted by Mis-speller man DBK | June 10, 2008 3:26 PM

that freakin' chicken was asking for it. you're lucky i got a feather stuck in my throat.

scrambled eggs for you, sutton! ha!


Posted by bourne | June 10, 2008 3:36 PM

Is this a runway or red carpet fashion commentary zone - or a restaurant?

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 10, 2008 3:43 PM

Hey, Bethany: summer doesn't technically start until June 21. Maybe we should wait until it actually doesn't happen before we announce we didn't have one, hmm?

Posted by Fnarf | June 10, 2008 4:08 PM

I am so glad i did not rent the Corson building for a medical marijuana clinic! this is so much better can't wait to eat there.

Posted by Dale | June 10, 2008 4:09 PM

oh, SNAP, fnarf! buuuuuurn, bethany!

Posted by season wonk | June 10, 2008 5:25 PM

I was there. I ate the food. I talked to AB. It was an auction like eBay and I paid what I thought it was worth. What was it worth? It was worth every penny, hard earned, saved and scrimped. And all the $ supported the non-profit STG (who do some of the coolest shit in town, btw who were very thankful and treated me like a king).

And Gabriel Claycamp's bacon doughnuts injected with maple syrup at the after party were the cherry on fucking top.

I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Posted by Foodie | June 10, 2008 5:25 PM

When you call yourself a Foodie, everybody loses.

Posted by kid icarus | June 14, 2008 10:48 AM

Daniel - the dictionary called. It'd like its words back.

Posted by Andrew | June 17, 2008 4:06 PM

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