What’s New The chef.
Diners flock to the legendary Herbfarm for nine courses of seasonal fare with world-class wines, floral digs, and $250 price tags. These days they also come for wunderkind new chef Keith Luce’s subtle innovations with Northwest cuisine. The Herbfarm, 14590 NE 145th St, Woodinville, 425-485-5300; www.theherbfarm.com
What’s New Bellevue address.
El Gaucho—the Seattle classic where the steaks are huge, the tabs are huger, and the spigots flow with double martinis—has merrily cloned itself in Bellevue’s City Center Plaza as if it was still the roaring ’90s. El Gaucho, City Center Plaza, 555 110th Ave NE (entrance at 108th Ave and Fourth St), Bellevue, 425-455-2715; www.elgaucho.com
BIS ON MAIN
What’s New Expansion and remodel.
The beloved meet and greet for West Bellevue gentry has recently doubled in size, sleeked up its interior, installed a proper bar, and improved its street appeal. The terrific bistro food they’ve left alone, thank heavens. Bis on Main, 10213 Main St, Bellevue, 425-455-2033; www.bisonmain.com
What’s New A serious hotel restaurant in Kirkland.
In its short life Trellis has become the place to drop in for dinner in Kirkland, with chef Brian Scheehser pulling the produce out of the ground himself and dinner guests savoring his creations in chic Napa-like quarters. Trellis, 220 Kirkland Ave, Kirkland, 425-284-5900; www.trellis restaurant.net
What’s New Life in Bellevue.
All eyes are on Eric and Sophie Banh as they re-create in Old Bellevue the upmarket piquancy of their Capitol Hill Vietnamese stunner, Monsoon. Sophisticated Main Street digs and claypot Kurobuta pork belly bode well so far. Monsoon East, 10245 Main St, Bellevue, 425-635-1112; www.monsoon restaurants.com/east
What’s New A Seattle outpost.
If you really need proof beyond its almond croissants that the charming European Belle Pastry is the best French bakery in -Bellevue, its westward expansion to Ballard’s Leary Way paints a clear picture of success. Great coffee, too. Belle Pastry, 10246 Main St, Bellevue, 425-289-0015; www.bellepastry.com