First Look: Inside the Glittering New Joule
The homey Wallingford restaurant grows up with a sophisticated new space in Fremont and a steak house-focused menu.
During its six-month hiatus, owners Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi also devised a new menu, organized like that of a traditional steak house, but Korean-influenced and still unmistakeably Joule. The four steaks offerings (each eight ounces and priced at $18 or $19) include a petite tender, or shoulder filet, with fermented tofu and crispy shallots, and kalbi with grilled kimchi. In the open kitchen, Yang and her kitchen crew all sport gray T-shirts with a little cow emblem next to the restaurant name. The change was inspired in part, says Yang, by Koreans' love of beef. And, really, Seattle diners can only freak out about pork for so long.
The menu also includes sections for starters, salads, vegetables, rice and noodles, and an "Other Than Steak" entree list. All of these should look comfortingly familiar to fans of the eclectic fare the couple served in Wallingford. Dishes on the current menu include a beef tartare with Asian pear and spicy cod roe, mackerel with a crust of green curry cilantro, and a seaweed risotto with pickled leeks and smoked chilies. The amazing kalbi burger is on there, too.
Dinner service begins tonight, and online reservations via Rezbook will kick in on Friday. This weekend the restaurant will also launch brunch service. The opening press release mentions a highly intriguing "breakfast porchetta" entree with oatmeal stuffing and a sweet chili rub, but the long communal table in the bar area will also hold a buffet-style array of pastries, salads, and fruit. The setup is reminiscent of Joule's popular urban barbecues.
While the weather might be rotten right now, the outdoor patio area and firepit looks to be a promising destination in warmer months. Check out the slide show above for a closer look at the new space.