Goldenbeetle1
1 of 9
Slideshow-prev-disabled Slideshow-next

The 85-seat Golden Beetle includes a bar area (capacity 45) and dining room (capacity 40). Twenty-five lanterns hang from the ceiling, all custom made for Hines in Istanbul, Turkey.

"It cost more to get them changed over so they would be legit in the US—the electrical or whatever—than it did to buy the lanterns," said the chef. "But they’re really pretty."

goldenbeetle2
2 of 9
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

Eating her way through the street food of the Eastern Mediterranean, Hines was struck by the ingenuity of the vendors, and how openly they cooked and assembled their food.

"It’s about as exhibition as you’re going to get," said Hines, who prefers her own restaurants to have open kitchens. "I like having that nice flow. We’re all connected: the servers, the cooks, and the guests."

goldenbeetle3
3 of 9
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

Hines loves the inherent juxtaposition of installing a super-precise combination oven next to the rustic wood-fired oven. "It’s the meeting place of the ancient, the beginning of times, all the way to the most contemporary equipment. I think it’s going to be fun to eat here and experience having snails sous vide and then have, like, a goat flat bread coming out of a smoky, wood-fired oven."

goldenbeetle4
4 of 9
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

The Wood Stone oven came with the space and is part of what attracted Hines to it. She commissioned Seattle Mosaic Arts to cover it in tiles matching the Mediterranean palate of the restaurant.

"That was the one luxury that I splurged on," said Hines.

goldenbeetle5
5 of 9
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

Tables will be set with a pot of housemade harissa (a Tunisian chili sauce) as well as cumin for seasoning.

In the Golden Beetle kitchen, says Hines, "we’re seasoning the food with spice, not just with salt. Whereas at Tilth everything is so clean—it’s just a little salt and a little lemon juice—here it is handfuls of cumin, handfuls of cardamom, toasted spices. All the food is big, bold, and spicy."

goldenbeetle6
6 of 9
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

Also on each table: Pink Flake salt from Murray River in Australia

goldenbeetle7
7 of 9
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

Hines’ rock-climbing partner Frank Huster traveled with her through countries like Turkey, Tunisia, and Egypt, snapping the photographs that decorate the new restaurant.

"I told him: ‘I have this fantasy that when I go to the Eastern Mediterranean to check out the food scene, you come along and take photos and I just pay for your room and board because that’s all I can afford to do,’" recalled Hines. "He was like: ‘Let’s do it.’ We stayed in hostels, we backpacked. It was like $60 a day for the two of us."

goldenbeetle7.5
8 of 9
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

Hines visited the only farmers market in Beirut, she said, whose organizer owns a restaurant nearby. "This guy is so forward-thinking and progressive. There are probably 30 vendors, and he has this great little restaurant down the street where he features a vendor every week."

Another inspiring moment: a guy with a sweet-potato smoker in Cairo. "How fucking cool is that?" Hines marveled. "The thing probably never gets cleaned, it’s perfectly seasoned. With street food, what you see is what they’re doing. There’s nothing hidden."

goldenbeetle8
9 of 9
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next-disabled

Golden Beetle will serve dinner six nights a week starting Friday, February 18.

Goldenbeetle1
goldenbeetle2
goldenbeetle3
goldenbeetle4
goldenbeetle5
goldenbeetle6
Slideshow-next
goldenbeetle7
goldenbeetle7.5
goldenbeetle8
Slideshow-prev

Please help us keep this community civil. We retain the right to remove or edit comments containing personal attacks or excessive profanity, and comments unrelated to the editorial content. Consult our Terms of Use for more details.