Back in April, Eater Seattle surprised food types with the news that Elemental @ Gasworks and its adjoined sibling Elemental Next Door will close June 21 (also a surprise, fantasy author Neil Gaiman’s devotion to the place). So many restaurant shutterings happen quietly—and abruptly. Much like Bruce and Sara Naftaly’s advance notice on Le Gourmand, owners Phred Westfall and Laurie Riedeman’s long lead time means Elemental fans can come back for a final meal (or three…or ten) before the doors close and the intractable Westfall ceases to give customers his signature attitude—the reason most diners either adore or abhor the place.
Not surprisingly, Riedeman reports that the restaurant is packed every night as it counts down its final two weeks in business. Some days the line starts forming at 3 or 3:30, long before doors open at 5. Her advice: If you want a table at Elemental, “come early or come late.” The restaurant seats until midnight, and Riedeman says tables generally open up after 9pm. Things are more fluid at Elemental Next Door.
Each week Riedeman and Westfall are also bringing back at least one much-loved dish from previous years, like lamb tartar, or crab ravioli with a wasabi cream sauce.
The couple still has plans for another project, but Riedeman says nothing is firmed up just yet. “We’re probably going to take the end of summer off, she says. “It’s been so busy that it’s hard to think about much else other than just getting through the next few weeks.”