Speaking of La Bête, kind of, its former co-owner and co-chef Tyler Moritz has a new gig in the kitchen at Zig Zag Cafe. This seems pretty brilliant—Zig Zag's cocktail credibility is unimpeachable, and has remained so since Murray Stenson's departure. Erik, Ben, Ricardo, and crew can turn on a dime to make a drink to suit your mood, but the food menu has been static for years.
Zig Zag's new food offerings are approachable, befitting a place that sees a lot of out-of-town visitors, and seasonal, befitting a place that clings to the hill beneath Pike Place Market. Snacks include an onion dip made with ramps and served with potato chips. There is pork rillete and oysters on the half shell and beef cheeks braised in red wine. So far, says Moritz, the tuna and chicken liver tartines are early favorites. Happy hour offerings range from warm gruyere gougeres to a flatbread with roasted mushrooms. The menu will flip with each new season, but here's the version that just launched. Moritz also wants to give seafood a greater presence here.
Moritz has known Zig Zag owner Ben Dougherty for ages; he used to come in to eat at La Bête. The chef did a a temporary stint in the cocktail bar's kitchen a while back, but when he floated the idea of completely recasting the menu, Moritz was game. His goal: Make Zig Zag a place where people eat and imbibe, rather than stopping in for a drink before or after dining elsewhere. "The food should match the quality of the cocktails."