Painted Hills Burger at Restaurant Zoe

 

The new Restaurant Zoë on Capitol Hill has at least one thing the Belltown original lacked: A burger. “We’re in a new economy,” owner Scott Staples told me soon after he opened the replacement. “We’ll see how the burger does.”

Does great by me, thanks. First there’s the meat: a fat fresh hunk of Painted Hills beef that reminds us that beef at its finest tastes very, very good. On my first visit the meat came topped with balsamic mushrooms and taleggio cheese, along with a smoky slather of pimenton aioli so tasty I tried to reproduce it at home.

Failing that experiment I simply came back to Zoë, which is now topping its burger with the aioli and smoked onion marmalade and tangy Cantal cheese—and which still does great by me. Indeed, several visits to Zoë have taught me that chef James Sherrill can be counted on to keep this burger in toppings worthy of it.