The former Grace Kitchen space has officially reopened as Elemental Wood-Fired Pizza, the latest project from Boom Noodle and Blue C Sushi duo Steve Rosen and James Allard. Rosen reports that signs aren't even up, so if you stop in to check them out, remember that various opening kinks are probably being worked out.
The space isn't wildly different from its days at Grace Kitchen, though removing those high-backed booths completely changes the feel of the room. New light fixtures push the space toward a more industrial vibe. Two shiny wood-fired ovens, their exteriors wrapped in naval brass, dominate the open kitchen space, while two subtly placed TVs and a bar area will likely offer refuge for shopping-weary spouses.
The menu of twelve-inch pies is divided between classics and house-devised combos; chef Gustavo Frias worked briefly at Bar del Corso, before being recruited away to open the well-regarded Smoking Monkey Pizza in Renton. I didn't realize Zoe's Meats makes a salami with ghost peppers, but slices of it adorn the High Heat pie, alongside some Mama Lil's and mozzarella. Rosen says this one is already a house favorite, "It's really a warm, nice heat, not just not for the sake of hot." Since this is U Village, a kid's menu is a given, though the oven-fired PBJ might tempt diners with drivers licenses and voting rights. "There are people who want that to be bar food," says Rosen.
Elemental has a landing-page website, but the Facebook page is the place to go for updates. Right now the restaurant serves lunch and dinner and is open until 9 weeknights and 10 on Fridays and Saturdays, though the bar stays open a little later.