Restaurant projects can take a while. Since my last email exchange with chef Vuong Loc regarding his plans for a new place in Fremont, I managed to have a baby. That baby now has teeth. Now Loc is readying a new arrival of his own; he and wife Tricia will open Pomerol at 127 N 36th Street in a few short weeks. And unlike a baby, it comes equipped with a wood-fired grill.
The chef is currently getting acquainted with his new kitchen implement, which required an inordinate amount of permiting and ventilation and other delay-inducing trappings. He says Pomerol's menu of French-meets-Northwest fare will be a bit more expansive, but similar to Portage, the Queen Anne bistro that established Loc's reputation in Seattle (I still miss his lovely restaurant June in Madrona).
Obviously the grill will play a major role; Loc only got the green light to operate it two days ago so he hesitated to delve into menu specifics, but he's eager to take it for a spin with some game meats. "I want to keep the menu really simple and focus on ingredients," he told me. "It sounds cliché but in the end it’s true."
Pomerol will have a full bar and a wine list that draws from both France and the Northwest. The 60-seat space will have a more modern feel than Portage (which the Locs sold about six months ago) despite its home in an older building. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the deck in the back of the restaurant.
Dinner service should begin in a few weeks (with lunch coming a bit later); keep an eye on Pomerol's Facebook page for more specifics.