Restaurant Shifts and Shakeups
This week: Asian fusion tacos in South Lake Union, Montana is expanding, and Skelly and the Bean to close in two weeks.
The prime corner storefront at 2134 Westlake Avenue is now occupied by Toi Taco, a casual fushion counter that serves a variety of Asian and Mexican fusion cuisines. Menu items include banh mi sandwiches, wraps, noodles, and a variety of $3 tacos. Good for a quick fix, Toi Taco will please office denizens all over South Lake Union.
The latest from local bar legend Linda Derschang will open December 10 at 606 Broadway East. The maritime-themed bar is near completion so all you sailors can head on over for fish and chips, frozen drinks, and tap cocktails. Knotty pine walls, sailboat-inspired light fixtures, and a seven-foot-long marlin complete the nautical decor.
Dan Bugge, owner of Matt's in the Market for nearly six years, is planning a new cocktail bar to open in January. Set at a former architecture office across from the restaurant, the 48-seat watering hole will be dedicated to brown liquors, from Scotch to bourbon to rye, and is working with 2Bar Spirits to craft a house whiskey. Tyler Palagi will run the food program, which will consist of pub food items, smoked meats, and smoked fish.
The popular Thai restaurant on Ballard Avenue that closed about a year ago will be resurrected early next year in Phinney Ridge. The location has not been confirmed yet, but rumors are flying that it could be taking over the old Gaspare space. Many of the original staff will be returning, as will many of the favorite dishes.
South Seattle will soon be host to a lively Mexico City eatery in spring 2013 when the much-loved and former Mexican taqueria reopens after a fire in 2011, according to Eater Seattle. The stylish, larger, and brand new space at The Station at Othello complex right off the light rail line is planned to have 100-120 seats, huge windows, and a menu full of old favorites and a few exciting new ones.
Smith: Marley Tomic-Beard
Last year she created a menu of Southern-tinged cocktails at The Sexton. Before that, she tended bar at Bathtub Gin and Co., Spur, and Golden Beetle. Now she's heading over to Smith as the new bar manager at Linda Derschang's 15th Avenue gastropub. Look for spirit-forward libations and a new tap cocktail on the menu.
Branzino: Michael Don Rico
Longtime Branzino frontman Michael Don Rico, who had a minor ownership position with the restaurant, is no longer at the door, says Eater Seattle. A familiar figure around Belltown, Don Rico has worked at El Gaucho, Axis, and Il Bistro, before joining on with co-owners Peter Lamb and Wei Fu. Don Rico is rumored to be looking at restaurant properties in Capitol Hill.
The place for German wursts, sausages, wieners, and hams in Pike Place Market has opened a small dining nook last weekend with seats looking out at the market crowds. Although there is still no official menu posted, Eater Seattle suggests: "...just ask for the house sandwiches, then throw in some German Potato salad, or fleischsalat (meat and mayo), sauerkraut, fresh pastries, and then wash it all down with German beer or a just-off-the-boat juice."
Construction began this week to expand the small, dark, and often cramped bar into the space next door. The larger floorspace will allow for as many as 50 seats, a small service bar for beer and shots, and a few taps more for kegged cocktails. The new layout will be unveiled early next year and will be just like an extension of the original black-walled bar.
After a year and a half of open business, the popular biscuit house in the U District is changing things with a new menu and format. Co-owner Aki Woodward says it will continue as a biscuit specialty shop, but will run more like a coffe shop than a restaurant. It will close after this weekend for a short time, to reopen later this month with a new menu focused solely on sweet and savory handmade buttermilk biscuits.
Skelly and the Bean
Zephyr Paquette's community-supported restaurant in North Capitol Hill will be closing Thursday, December 20. What started with the ultimate feel-good restaurant opening became an incubator for rising chefs in Seattle to try their hand before opening their own restaurant or food truck. Paquette thinly references issues with the landlord as a reason, but also that she is hoping to find another location.
As the first espresso coffeehouse and dessert cafe in Seattle, the B&O has seen a lot since 1976. However, its time is up according to a chalkboard sign in their entryway that says the space needs to be vacated, and December 9 will be the last day of service. Hey, look—the shop is moving to Ballard.