Whether or not you’re on board with the Chihuly behemoth going in at Seattle Center, there’s reason to get excited on the food front. Plans are afoot for what sounds like a rather promising dining destination: Collections Cafe, which will be open to exhibit goers and passersby alike.
Jeff Maxfield and Ivan Szilak are running the kitchen, and Jason Wilson of Crush has helped develop the menu. (You may recall Wilson lent his expertise to Fonte as well.) Szilak’s past experience includes a gig as executive chef at The Hunt Club; Maxfield’s includes sous cheffing under Greg Atkinson during his Canlis days.
Menu specifics are TBD—ideas “started out really big,” and so are still undergoing fine-tuning. Alyson Soma, the food and beverage marketing manager, and April Matson, a PR rep, describe the food as inspired by the glass guy’s many travels around the world, with a Northwest focus. Suppliers are local, and the beer and wine list takes similar cues.
The space, on the other hand, is nearly complete. This being an arty place, a premium has been placed on design. Chihuly is apparently something of a collector, so a number of his wares will serve as decoration (hence the name): old-school accordions, cameras, figurines from fairs, radios. A wall facing Center House (another promising dining destination) features 36 back-lit Chihuly drawings done on acrylic. “It really pops,” says Matson. A patio opens up to the garden.
Collections Cafe is slated to open May 21.